BERWICK — One more.

Just one more win stands in the way between the Ararat 12U Cal Ripken All-Stars and a trip to the 2021 Cal Ripken World Series in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ararat rolled past West Hartford 13-3 in a New England regional semifinal game Thursday to reach the championship game Friday.

A victory in the final would send this resilient squad to the Series.

Jacob Morrell of Ararat reaches out to make contact during a 12U New England regional tournament game on Thursday against West Hartford at Memorial Field in Berwick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We’re really feeling good about ourselves and where we stand after that performance,” said Ararat head coach Jon Hiltz, whose team improved to 4-0 at the regional tournament. “Now we have to turn our focus to (Friday). There’s still a goal at hand and we know that we’re going to have to earn a victory tomorrow (Friday), regardless of our opponent.”

Ararat will face either host Noble or Concord-Carlisle (Massachusetts) on Friday.

With several games packed into the 6-day long tournament, managing pitch counts and tinkering with lineups became the norm. Hiltz said he and his staff spent considerable time managing those factors.

“There’s a lot of time spent around the fire pit talking about decisions like that,” said Hiltz, referring mainly to navigating pitch counts. “The underlying theme is to win the game in front of you.”

In a win-or-go-home game Thursday, it was clear Hiltz was taking no chances. He turned to hard-throwing right-hander Colby MacFawn to start the game. After a clean first inning, MacFawn ran into some trouble in the second, forcing Hiltz to turn to Will Davis.

Colby MacFawn of Ararat delivers a pitch during a 12U New England regional tournament game against West Hartford on Thursday at Memorial Field in Berwick. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The decision proved successful, as Davis shut down the West Hartford lineup from the third inning on.

“We’re a really deep team,” said Ararat’s Tyler Thibeault, who was named the team’s player of the game. “Our pitching is deep, our fielding is deep, and our lineup is definitely deep as it showed today.”

Thibeault smashed a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it a 13-3 game and trigger the 10-run rule.

“That felt really good off the bat,” he said. “It feels really good to help your team, especially in a game like this one.”

Ararat got going early and didn’t look back. It batted around the order in the first inning, bringing 11 batters to the plate for five runs on four hits and two sacrifice flies.

After West Hartford scored three in the second, Davis took care of the remainder of the game.

“They handle the pressure very well,” said Hiltz. “Scoring those five runs in the first inning took the pressure off us and put it on them (West Hartford). We’ve been fortunate to get in those situations a couple of times throughout this tournament.”

Ararat blew the game open in the fourth, scoring six runs to increase its lead to a comfortable eight runs. Jacob Morrell (two-run single) and Trevor Adams (home run) did most of the damage.

West Hartford starting catcher Dylan Siriano was named its team player of the game.

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