TRUMBULL, Conn. — The Augusta 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team definitely had high hopes heading into Monday afternoon’s semifinal game against host Trumbull.

But hopes sometimes can’t stand up against extenuating circumstances — like facing a team that’s been sleeping in its own beds all week and playing nothing but games under the lights. Augusta also had to play what amounted to a fifth game after battling Vermont for 14 innings on Saturday. There was also the torturous wait all day on Monday with Augusta stuck inside due to poor weather.

All that added up to the end of the run at the New England Regionals for the Maine state champions, who ran up against a tough starting pitcher from Trumbull and fell 6-0 at Trumbull High School.

Trumbull exploded for four runs in the third to take a 5-0 lead and never lost control after that.

Augusta went 2-2 at the tournament and finished fourth in New England. Not bad for a team that was battling against the odds all weekend.

“I think we did awesome. We worked our butts off to get here and I couldn’t be more proud of the kids,” Augusta manager Mike Bechard said. “Today was just too tough with all the down time at the hotel. Trumbull’s a great team.”

Augusta managed just three hits off Trumbull starter Nolan Nemchek (2-0), who struck out four and walked two and needed just 67 pitches to pick up his second win the tournament. Augusta might have been a bit over-aggressive. Nemchek threw just 47 pitches through six innings.

“I think we were a little flat,” Bechard said. “We just had too much down time today. We woke up at 9 a.m. and sat around our hotel until 3 o’clock. That wasn’t good.”

But even when Augusta threatened, getting the leadoff batter on in the fourth before putting runners on first and third with one out in the fifth, Trumbull turned inning-ending double plays.

Trumbull (4-0) will face either Pittsfield, Mass., or in-state rival New Milford in the New England championship Tuesday night. The winner of that game advances to the World Series in Tennessee.

“That team played some solid defense,” Bechard said. “Trumbull’s a solid team.”

Nick Pooler started and allowed five runs over the first 2 1/3 innings for Augusta before being replaced by Cole Lockhart, who would have started had he not thrown four innings on Saturday during the marathon against Vermont. Lockhart, who gave up one run over an inning and 2/3, appeared in three of the four games.

Hunter Chasse threw two scoreless innings to wrap things up, using a fantastic curveball that had Trumbull’s tough lineup guessing.

The victory over Vermont was certainly thrilling. It ultimately earned Augusta a spot in the final four, but it also ended up being pretty damaging in the end.

“The 14-inning game didn’t help at all,” Bechard said. “I’m not saying it would have made a difference. Trumbull was really good. But it didn’t help us.”

Nemchek retired the first seven batters he faced before Isaiah Magee doubled with one out in the third. But Nemchek got out of the mini jam, retiring the next two batters in order. Cody Taylor led off the fourth with a single, but Trumbull turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Noah Bonsant, who had a strong showing at the regionals with a game-winning single against Vermont and a win on the mound against Cranston to get Augusta into the semifinals, walked to open the fifth. Devon Maschino singled with one out, putting runners on first and third with one out, but Trumbull turned another inning-ending double play.

Augusta came close to breaking up the shutout in the seventh with two on and two outs, but left-fielder Connor Bailo made a nice running catch on a deep fly ball by Chasse to end the game.


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