BRISTOL, Conn. — A couple of 12-year-old Little League All Star teams will put their perfect 9-0 records on the line when Brattleboro faces off against Bangor in the opening round of the New England Regional Tournament on Breen Field today at 10 a.m.
Brattleboro is 1-2 versus Maine in regional play since 2000, including a 4-3 victory in 2009. Kassidi Ramirez went 2-for-2 and also drove in a couple of runs to guide the Vermont champs in that contest.
Caden Wood racked up three singles and Zinabu McNeice had four RBI in the last meeting — an 8-4 win by Maine in 2016.
After going 6-0 in district play, Brattleboro cruised through the 2022 state tourney in Saint Albans to become the 18th group in this town’s history to win it all.
This will be the first time since 2016 that Brattleboro has returned to the New England Region tournament.
Chad Gundry is managing this All-Star team for the second time.
“It’s a great opportunity. These kids have worked really hard,” said Gundry. “They came up short in the state championship game last year; they worked really hard to get back there this year and accomplish the goal. Now this is an opportunity for them to go to that next step. We’re saying, ‘Why not us?’”
The locals are expected to see Caden Karam on the bump for Maine, considering he punched out nine batters in a recent 10-0 rout of Augusta for all the marbles.
Six different Brattleboro players are batting .400 or better. Senji Kimura leads the way at .667, followed by Sebastian Garro (.538), Ryan Peloso (.500), Briar Cutting (.462), Logan Waite (.429) and Landon Zinn (.400).
Peloso has a team-high five homers and 21 runs batted in. Kason Gundry has went deep twice and is second on the team with seven RBI.
Head coach Chad Gundry’s squad will now take on a Maine team that has scored 81 total runs in its nine games. Mason Bond and Jacoby Harvey brought the thunder in the state finals with a two-run blast and a triple, respectively.
Those sluggers will be seeing smoke on Saturday morning.
Kimura and Peloso have consistently been throwing in the high 60s on the radar gun. The former is 4-0 and has struck out 60 in 26 innings of work, while the latter is 2-0 and has fanned 25 in his 10 innings on the hill.
Gundry said they have relied heavily on good pitching and some timely hitting. But he also added that there are things to improve upon, such as their base running.
“But pitching and three-run homers, that’s where it’s been at for us,” said Gundry.
Brattleboro’s roster: Coaches — Chad Gundry, Tucker Leary, Brian Casey. Players — Briar Cutting, Senji Kimura, Ryan Peloso, Kaden Cole, Kason Gundry, Landon Zinn, Logan Casey, Wylie Nelson, Colby Robinson, Yingnyen Wangchuk, Logan Waite, Cooper Leary, Sebastian Garro.
The winner of the four-team double-elimination tournament in Bristol moves on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Aug. 17-28.
Look for continued coverage of Brattleboro’s competition in the Little League Baseball New England Regional all week in the print and e-editions of the Reformer, and online at reformer.com.
To watch a live stream of Saturday’s game, go to https://www.espn.com/watch/player?id=fe3b5ca9-2fad-4b0d-843a-8ef4fa234cbe (Registration required).
Kristopher Radder contributed to this report.