OLD ORCHARD BEACH — First Title of Maine was thin on pitching heading into the final day of the Northeast Regional tournament Monday at The Ballpark.

In a five-day, double-elimination tournament, it often comes down to which team has the most pitching depth.

That was Milford, Conn. which beat First Title 9-1 to win the American Legion Northeast Regional baseball tournament and earn a spot in the Legion World Series.

Milford (30-6) also showed plenty of offense which enabled it to build a 5-0 lead after two innings. They banged out 12 hits. Cory Hadden, the team’s No. 1 pitcher, allowed six hits in nine innings.

First Title (23-10), comprised of Cheverus High School players, stayed alive in the tournament by beating Barnstable, Mass. 6-5 in 12 innings Sunday.

First Title needed two wins over Milford, which was unbeaten in the tournament, to advance to the World Series. Milford beat First Title 4-1 Friday night.

“It’s been a great run,” First Title coach Mac McKew said. “The veteran players like Louie (DiStasio) and Harry (Ridge) can look back at four great years of high school and Legion baseball. We ran out of gas. Playing 12 innings the day before didn’t help. Milford is a very good team. I wish all the best for them in the World Series.”

First Title went 3-2 in the tournament with wins over Woonsocket, R.I., Saratoga, N.Y. and Barnstable, Mass.

“It was a great experience,” said DiStasio, who will play baseball at the University of Rhode Island. “We came up short against Connecticut on Saturday night. Harry pitched a great game. They got the hits and we didn’t.”

In the rematch, Milford jumped out to a big lead after two innings.

“Their first five runs came after two were out,” McKew said. “But then again, we only scored one run.”

DiStasio, the team’s No. 1 pitcher, was eligible to pitch, but McKew felt he hadn’t had sufficient rest. DiStasio had thrown eight innings and 128 pitches Friday night against Saratoga, N.Y.

“These guys get taxed in a tournament. I want my pitchers to have careers, not Tommy John surgery,” he said.

Had the game been close in the late innings, DiStasio, who also plays shortstop, said he would have been available for a couple of innings of relief.

First Title went with a pair of lefthanders. Nate Smith started, but lasted only two innings before Brad Murray pitched the rest of the way.

First Title’s only run came in the fourth. Tyler Flaherty led off with a double and went to third on a single by Drew Ferrick. One batter later, Felix delVecchio drove in Flaherty with a sacrifice fly to left.

Milford sent eight batters to the plate to score three runs in the bottom of the first. The team strung together five straight hits with the big blow being Joe Zanghi’s two-run homer to left field that didn’t appear out when the ball left his bat, but got caught up in the wind blowing out which helped carry it over the fence.

Shawn Cariglio had a two-run single in the second. In the eighth, he cleared the bases with a triple to right center, making it 9-1. Cariglio finished with three hits and five RBI.

Ed Michaud of Milford was named the tournament MVP. The third baseman had two hits and scored three runs in the game.

Milford needed to win a play-in game to make its state tournament where it was also unbeaten. Counting regular season and tournament play, the team has won 17 straight games heading into the World Series which begins Friday night in Shelby, N.C.

“This season has been a dream,” Michaud said. “To be one of the top eight teams in the country is something I can’t get my mind around yet.”

Michaud said his team’s pitching depth comes from position players being to able to throw complete games like centerfielder Jake Saley who went nine innings Saturday against First Title to improve to 6-2.

“It’s great when those guys come in and throw a complete game,” Michaud said.

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