FARMINGTON — On the final day of the New England Babe Ruth 13-15-year-old tournament, the teams from Trumbull, Conn., and Braintree, Mass., more than made up for the lack of sportsmanship on display the previous night at Hippach Field. After Trumbull’s 3-1 win in the tournament’s championship game, after all the trophies and plaques had been handed out, the last two teams standing posed together at home plate while friends and families from both sides snapped pictures and mingled.

“Off the field, we were really good friends with (Braintree),” said Colin Keyes, Trumbull’s winning pitcher in the championship game. “On the field, they were in our way.”

Trumbull went 4-0 in the tournament, outscoring opponents 27-10. Next up is the World Series in Jamestown, N.Y., from Aug. 20-27.

Wednesday’s close championship game was on the heels of a sportsmanship low displayed Tuesday night. Moments after Braintree’s 2-1 win over Manchester, N.H., both benches cleared and the teams became involved in a shoving match at home plate. The incident began after the teams exchanged heated words, and Braintree manager Patrick O’Connor tried to get Manchester manager Bob Harris to go back to his dugout, Steve Tricomi, Maine’s Babe Ruth commissioner, said.

When a Braintree player got between Harris and O’Connor, Harris shoved the player, Tricomi said. Farmington police were called to the scene to make sure Manchester left Hippach Field peacefully.

Tricomi spoke to Manchester Babe Ruth officials by phone Tuesday night.

“There is some (discipline) pending in the Manchester Babe Ruth,” Tricomi said. “The league president is going to plan a meeting in a day or two with the coaching staff.”

Wednesday’s final had nothing but hard-nosed baseball. Trumbull scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Jeff Sam led off the inning with a walk, and hustled to third base on Stan Wolpiuk’s sacrifice bunt down the third-base line. Matt VonSchleusingen singled to score Sam, and later scored on a bases loaded walk.

Braintree got a run back in the top of the sixth inning when Steve Lee went to third base on a wild pitch, and scored when Trumbull catcher Willy Valez’s throw went into left field.

Trumbull got the run back in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ryan Fritz scored on Wolpiuk’s sacrifice fly to center field.

Braintree had runners on second and third in the seventh inning, but Wolpiuk worked out of the jam with a groundout to short to earn the save.

The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Braintree, which climbed out of the loser’s bracket after a loss to Essex, Vt., in the first game of the tournament. Fighting back after a loss wasn’t new to Braintree, the team did the same thing in its regional and state tournaments.

“We had a great team from the beginning. We didn’t let one loss get to us. We had a great tournament, (Trumbull) was just top-notch,” O’Connor said. “We just tell them, ‘Hey guys, you’ve got to come out, and you know you’ve got your backs against the wall. There is no tomorrow. Let’s get together and play.'”

For Trumbull, winning this tournament has been the goal since falling in the state finals last summer as 14-year-olds.

“We worked out at a college, starting in January and February. Coach (Mike Buswell) wanted us to be prepared for this moment right here,” Wolpiuk said.

After an 8-5 win over Manchester on Sunday night, Trumbull had two days off while the other remaining teams knocked each other off. Trumbull was getting antsy, and eager to play ball again.

“We had practice yesterday, so it wasn’t two days off, really,” Wolpiuk said.

For the organizers of the tournament from Franklin County Babe Ruth, the week was a success. There were plenty of volunteers on hand to do everything from sell concessions and to help get Hippach Field playable after long rain delays Monday and Tuesday.

“People came out of the woodwork,” Franklin County Babe Ruth president Dave Duley said. “Some people were here every day… On paper, two weeks ago, we wondered, are we really going to be able to do this?”

Players from Trumbull and Braintree, posing together after a tight championship game, after Tricomi thanked both clubs for their sportsmanship and strong play, was proof that despite one ugly incident, the tournament was a success.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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