AUGUSTA — Dalton Wood delivered a gem on the mound and some heroics with his bat to lift the Central Maine 15-and-under Babe Ruth team to the state championship Sunday afternoon at the CARA Complex.

Wood hit a game-winning, walk-off double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Central Maine a 2-1 victory over Auburn in the final of the double-elimination tournament.

“Unbelievable,” Wood said. “It feels so great.”

Central Maine advanced to the New England regional tournament, scheduled Aug. 1 in Manchester, N.H.

It marks the third straight regional appearance for Central Maine, which also advanced in the 14U and 13U tournaments.

“We played good, fundamental baseball,” Central Maine coach Tom Bell said. “It’s been a nice little run.”

Wood pitched seven strong innings for the second time in the state tournament.

He helped Central Maine edge Tri-County 9-7 in the tournament opener Friday, and then kept Auburn off balance Sunday.

Wood allowed just four hits and an unearned run in the top of the first inning.

“I started off a little slow but then I warmed up,” Wood said.

Added Bell: “He just shut them down the rest of the way.”

Auburn, which dropped a 4-3 decision to Central Maine on Saturday, took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning before Central Maine pulled even.

Kolby Lawrence led off with a double, advanced to third on a flyout and then came home on a Sam Bell single to left-center that tied the game 1-1.

The drama continued in the seventh.

Central Maine loaded the bases with one out, thanks to a hit batter and an error, and with Wood at the plate Tom Bell called for a suicide squeeze.

“We tried to go for it there,” Bell said.

It didn’t work. Tyler Blanchard threw a pitch down and low, Wood didn’t make contact and Josh Joy was out at the plate.

“It was a tough pitch to hit,” Wood said. “I had to re-focus on the next pitch. And re-focus Wood did. He ripped a line drive over the center fielder’s head to score Shea McCann with the winning run.

“It felt awesome,” Wood said.

14U

Augusta entered Sunday needing two victories over Windham at Hippach Field in Farmington to win the state tournament.

Augusta won the first game 4-2 to set up a winner-take-all showdown.

However, the run came to an end as Windham rebounded for a 4-1 victory to reach the New England regionals.


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