SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The bats never woke up for the Bowling Green East All-Stars at the Little League Baseball World Series.
A day after being held to two hits in an opening-round loss to Coon Rapids-Andover (Minn.), BG East managed just two hits again in a 6-1 loss to New England Region champion Barrington (R.I.) in Saturday’s elimination game.
That lack of offense was in stark contrast to last week’s Great Lakes Regional in Westfield, Ind., where BG East romped to the championship after averaging nearly 11 runs per game in three contests.
“Something just happened between Indianapolis and here,” BG East manager Rick Kelley said. “We lost our bats. We were hitting the ball extremely well and once we got to Williamsport, it just sort of went away. And you can’t win baseball games with two hits and one run up here.”
Barrington grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, but BG East responded with a run in the top of the fourth.
Jameson Napper drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and then moved to third on a William Alexander groundout. BG East’s Luke Idlett then lined a single into left field to drive in the run and tie the game.
It wouldn’t last, as Barrington rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lucas Tanous had the big blow for the New England Region champs, a two-run double that stretched his team’s lead to 5-1. Miles Fontaine added an RBI double in the frame for Barrington, which tacked on one more run in the bottom of the fifth.
Tanous was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead Barrington, which tallied eight hits in the win.
Napper and Luke Idlett had the only hits for BG East, which was eliminated from tournament play but will have one more game in South Williamsport. BG East will take on Australia in an exhibition game Monday at 10 a.m.
Despite the loss, Kelley praised his team’s remarkable run to the LLWS as it joined BG East’s 2015 and 2016 squads as participants in the tournament.
“I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished, and the fact to get here is an outstanding feat,” Kelley said.