Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BRATTLEBORO — Fresh off their state title game win, members of the Brattleboro 12-year-old All-Star baseball team practiced Monday as they prepare to face a team from Bangor, Maine, on Saturday in the first game of the Little League Baseball New England Region tournament in Bristol, Conn.

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?’”

Gundry said it is hard to compare previous years’ teams to this and that they are just playing baseball “their way.” He said his players are a very bonded group. “They’re just all together and they work for each other and they cheer each other on and it’s almost like a little family.”

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

As they get ready for Saturday’s game, 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.

Gundry said they don’t really know the competition that they will face, but that they are going down to Bristol to have fun and play their game and not worry about what the other team is doing.

Gundry has also been very happy about the community and their support for the team, such as shutting down Main Street on Sunday to allow the team to have a small parade after its state title win.

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 the state title.

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.