NORWALK, Conn. — The Central Maine 13-year-old Babe Ruth team wasn’t quite ready to exit the New England Regional tournament.

Thanks to a 6-3 victory over host Norwalk in an elimination game Wednesday, it will stick around another day.

JT Nutting turned in yet another dominant pitching performance and Dan Pooler hit a home run to help Central Maine advance to the championship round today.

“We came out and battled,” Central Maine coach Butch Cunningham said. “We’re warriors. It’s always good to knock the host out.”

Central Maine will need to beat undefeated Cranston, R.I., twice today to reach the World Series.

Cranston defeated Central Maine 12-11 in a wild nine-inning game Tuesday night.

The teams will play at 4 p.m. at Brian McMahon High School. Should Central Maine win, it would play about 20 minutes after the first game.

“We know we can play with them,” Cunningham.

Nutting struck out 10 Norwalk hitters Wednesday. He’s allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched covering the district, state and regional tournaments.

“He’s always around the strike zone,” Cunningham said. “He keeps his pitch counts down.”

Central Maine jumped out 3-0 in the second inning, thanks to a two-run single from Nick Bryand. Noah Caret also squeezed home a run with what Cunningham called a “perfectly executed bunt.”

Pooler hit an inside-the-park home run in the fifth and Derek Bowen added a pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth for Central Maine.

Tuesday’s game

Cranston 12, Central Maine 11, 9 innings: Jared Cunningham and Ben Frazee both drove in a pair of runs as Central Maine rallied with four runs in the ninth inning, but the rally fell just short, in a winners’ bracket game Tuesday.

Cranston jumped out to a 7-0 lead with six runs in the second inning, but were shut down by Central Maine reliever Nick Mayo, who pitched six innings of scoreless relief. Mayo tired in the ninth and allowed four runs. Cranston finished the ninth with five runs for a 12-7 lead.

Mayo finished with seven strikeouts and four walks.

Central Maine scored five runs in the third to get within one, 7-6, then scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Mayo.


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