WATERVILLE — The Brunswick 11U Cal Ripken team was hoping its storybook run would have a fitting finish.

Instead, Chelmsford, Mass. wrote a special ending of its own.

Chelmsford took the New England title, its first, at Purnell Wrigley Field Thursday with an 11-1 victory over Brunswick in five innings.

“It’s awesome. We have a special group of kids, they’ve been playing together since they were eight,” said Chelmsford coach Lou DiStasi, whose team broke open the game with a six-run fourth inning. “They’ve always competed, always done well, always come so close. They just hadn’t pushed it over the edge. And this year, we kept on finding a way to win.”

For Brunswick, a tournament run that started with a loss to Chelmsford in the opener but then included four straight wins finally came to a halt in the rematch.

“It was an honor to be here, and these kids deserved every bit of it,” said Brunswick coach Daykin Marini, whose team got a solo home run from Adrian Reyes. “Thirteen trips we made to Waterville over state tournament and this tournament, so we’ve been up here quite a bit. … Every kid has showed up ready to play baseball.”

Brunswick was hanging tough down 2-1 through three innings, but saw its hopes crippled in the fourth. Chelmsford’s Andrew Murray (walk), Will Colucci (single) and Ryan Higgins (walk) got on to load the bases with no outs, forcing Marini to bring in his infield. The plan worked at first, as Jack Kiggins hit a ball to first baseman Reyes, who threw home to get Murray, and seemed to come through again when Colby Kinney grounded to second. This time, however, the throw wasn’t handled, and Colucci scored to make it 3-1.

It was just the start. Matthew Bromberg drew a bases-loaded walk, and after an out, Will Morgan followed with an RBI single. Evan Kobrenski then drove in two with a single, and the last run came in on a Keegan Briere double to right, making the score 8-1.

“We know we have lots of bats, and we score lots of runs,” DiStasi said. “If we’re patient enough, eventually we’re just going to get to a pitcher, and it happened again today.”

Chelmsford ended matters officially in its next at-bat. After Higgins scored on a passed ball, Kinney drove a two-run homer over the left-field wall for the walk-off victory.

“It was pretty cool,” Kinney said. “It felt good. I just wanted to absolutely crush the ball.”

Brunswick had its chances to take control of the game early. In the first inning it loaded the bases, but a strikeout ended the threat. A pop-up ended the second with runners at first and second, and Brunswick also stranded runners in the third and fourth innings.

“We knew that we were going to have to earn every run that we got, and any baserunner, especially at second and third, that we left on was going to be a tough one,” coach Marini said. “Give credit to the pitcher, he pitched his heart out. He had our players guessing at the plate.”

That was Briere, who pitched all five innings while striking out five and allowing only one run despite Brunswick putting 10 on base.

“I just had to throw strikes,” he said. “We’ve got a good defense behind us to make plays.”

Chelmsford went up 1-0 in the first when Morgan reached on an error and scored on Murray’s single. Brunswick drew even in the third when Reyes, walked intentionally four times on Wednesday, drove a pitch over the wall in right-center field.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone,” Reyes said. “I really wanted to tie the game up so we could have a bigger chance to come back. Every time I hit a home run, I feel like the team gets fired up.”

Chelmsford took the lead for good in the bottom half when Nate Duggan had a bunt single and came around to score on the back end of a double steal. One inning later, Chelmsford removed any doubt.

“I couldn’t be happier for these kids,” DiStasi said. “First time this has ever happened for Chelmsford, so this is a milestone.”


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