His team was getting beaten — routed, in fact. But Ararat 10U Cal Ripken coach Chris Farrell saw a sign that indicated his team wasn’t finished just yet.

“They came in and I saw a little bit of a spark, so I gave them a little bit of a fifth inning pep talk,” he said. “All of a sudden, boom, they started hitting the ball like crazy.”

What Ararat did was rally from a nine-run deficit with an 11-run fifth inning, leading it to a 14-12 victory over Saco Valley, a state championship and a berth in the regional tournament in Marlboro, Massachusetts starting today.

The team is based out of Topsham, but has five Richmond players on the roster: Rhys Terry, Zander Steele, Cale Harrington, Brady Alexander and Kenny Mecham.

“They are fearless athletes, and they’re willing to risk making mistakes in order to make the play,” Farrell said. “I’ve got kids in the outfield diving all over the place and catchers that are diving to catch foul balls. It just leads right into our offense, and once we get cracking our bats it’s amazing to watch.”

Ask Saco Valley. Ararat had a game to give in the double-elimination tournament by the time Saco made it out of the losers’ bracket final to make the championship round, and Farrell got to work planning for that second matchup once his team fell behind 12-3.

“We were kind of figuring ‘OK, we’ll put another pitcher in besides our starter to get through the game, then go back to our starters for the last game,’ ” he said. “Obviously, we didn’t have to do that.”

Not after a double play to end the fourth seemed to recharge his players as they came into the dugout and prepared to hit.

“All of a sudden there was a spark of life and the kids ignited, and it took over,” he said.

After an out to start the inning, a double by Farrell’s son, Dash, kickstarted the frantic rally.

“From then on, we hit seven or eight line drives all over the place, scored six (or) seven runs,” he said. “We got another out, then scored five or six more to take the lead. It was incredible. It was all in one inning. It was amazing.”

Ararat held from there, sealing its spot in Massachusetts. And now that his team is going, Farrell is looking for it to hang around a bit.

“I’m expecting to win a couple of games, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think the kids are looking for more than just being there.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

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Twitter: @dbonifantMTM