Brunswick’s Owen O’Leary throws the ball to first base against Andy Valley in the 11U Cal Ripken semifinals Wednesday at Purnell Field in Waterville. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

WATERVILLE – First, Nate Eggerling kept the Brunswick 11U team’s chances alive with his arm.

Then he helped win the game with his bat.

Eggerling tripled in the top of the ninth and scored on a groundout by Liam Scholl, then pitched a clean bottom of the ninth to lift Brunswick to a 6-5 victory over previously undefeated Andy Valley in the semifinals of the Cal Ripken New England regional tournament at Purnell Wrigley Field.

Brunswick will play Chelmsford, Mass., which beat Litchfield, N.H. 12-2, in the final today at 1 p.m.

“I couldn’t believe it, as soon as that final pitch went up, Christian McMaster with the nice throw to first,” said Eggerling, who induced a groundout to third to finish the game. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my fielders. We had good hitting, good fielding, good pitching. It was just awesome.”

Eggerling worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam with the winning run 60 feet away in the sixth, and then contributed his biggest hit in the ninth. With one out, he hit a sinking line drive to left field that hit the turf and rolled all the way to the wall, with Eggerling motoring full-steam into third.

“As soon as that ball dropped, I knew that I was going to third no matter what,” he said.

Andy Valley walked cleanup hitter Adrian Reyes intentionally, and Scholl (three RBIs) chopped the first pitch he saw down the first-base line. It was just enough to score Eggerling, who made sure the run stood up with a strikeout, flyout and the groundout to third in the bottom half.

“I trusted my team to get me home, and that’s what they did,” Eggerling said.

Brunswick’s hopes were in danger in the sixth, when Andy Valley’s Connor Deprey singled, Cam Pulkkinen reached on an error and Braydon Murch (five intentional walks) was given a free pass.

Brunswick’s Elliot Tower fouls the ball off his face in the 11U Cal Ripken semifinals Wednesday at Purnell Field in Waterville. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Eggerling, however, wasn’t rattled, inducing a pop-up to the mound and then striking out the next batter to evade the walk-off loss and keep the score tied at 5.

“I knew that, whenever we’re down and it’s not looking good, just throw strikes and you’ll get out of it,” said Eggerling, who struck out seven in 4.1 innings of relief.

Andy Valley took a 2-0 lead in the first when Pulkkinen and Dustin Farrington picked up RBI singles. Brunswick tied the game in the second, with Ethan Patterson (hit by pitch) and Owen O’Leary (walk) getting on and coming around to score on a stolen base and Allan Swain sacrifice fly, respectively.

Brunswick took its first lead at 4-2 in the third when Eggerling reached on an error, Reyes was intentionally walked and Scholl came through with a two-out, two-run single to right. The lead didn’t last long; Murch walked and Jackson Stack reached on an error, and Brady Delamater’s groundout to second and a wild pitch brought in the two runs.

The teams also exchanged runs in the fifth. Eggerling singled and scored on Patterson’s single to put Brunswick up 5-4, but Andy Valley knotted the score again when Murch walked and eventually came in on Dylan Truman’s single.


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