FARMINGTON — It didn’t have the excitement of Sunday’s near-donnybrook. Instead, Monday’s New England 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth tournament game at Hippach Field was a matter of waiting out the rain.

It was a game between the two Massachusetts teams, and though it was cut in half by a nearly two-hour rain delay and didn’t end until more than 3 1/2 hours after the first pitch, Braintree held on for a 6-3 victory.

Braintree will play Manchester, N.H. at 5:30 p.m., today. The winner of that game will face Trumbull, Conn. in the championship game at 2 p.m., Wednesday, with an “if necessary” game 30 minutes after the completion of the first game. Leominster is eliminated from the tournament.

Alex Alexander pitched the first four innings and got the win for Braintree. Kevin Howard pitched the final three innings and allowed only one hit.

Braintree made two fine defensive plays behind Howard in the top of the sixth inning. With a runner on first and nobody out, Nick Cordio hit a popup to left-center, and shortstop Steve Lee made a difficult one-handed catch.

The next batter, Connor Gill, hit a shot headed for the right-center field gap, but Alexander, now playing center field, made a diving catch for a key out.

Leominster had two hits in each of the first three innings, including doubles by Neil O’Connor and starting pitcher Pete Bovenzi, and had leads of 2-0 and 3-1.

But Braintree got creative to manufacture a run in the second (single, stolen base, balk, wild pitch) and got within 3-2 on a solo homer by Patrick Horrocks in the second.

With the rain starting to fall, Braintree used a single, a hit batsman and three walks in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead before the skies broke loose.

When the game resumed 1 hour and 48 minutes later, Braintree got another run on a wild pitch and led 6-3 after four innings.

Cam Ruziak singled and doubled for Leominster. Jimbo Flaherty had two singles in two at bats for Braintree.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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