Caleb Barker of Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond looks for the call after tagging Christian Nunez of Media, Pa., to complete a double play in the first inning. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The game was teetering in the balance.

Even though it was only the first inning of Saturday’s Little League World Series elimination game between Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond and Media, Pennsylvania, the Maine players were rattled.

Aided by two Gray-NG errors, Media had already scored three runs with only one out and had runners on first and third.

Then, a pitch from Mason Amergian skipped past catcher Gage Rioux. The Media baserunner raced for home. Rioux snapped a quick throw to Amergian covering the plate and he put the tag on the runner for the second out.

Then he looked up, noticed the other baserunner trying to get all the way to third, and threw to shortstop Caleb Barker, who was covering third and slapped down the tag for the third out of the inning.

Gray-NG ran off to huge cheers from its fans, and responded by scoring twice in the bottom of the inning to get back in the game.


Although Gray-NG would lose the game, 5-3, giving up two runs in the top of the sixth inning, that one play in the first kept the game from slipping away early, like it had in Gray-NG’s 10-0 opening game loss to Seattle.

“That was a huge momentum changer,” said Rioux.

“That double play, home to third, that was the beginning,” said third baseman Anthony Piccone. “If we don’t get it, we walk off with our heads down. Then we fed off the crowd for the next three innings. We didn’t allow another run until the end.”

Amergian, who allowed only seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts, agreed it was pivotal in keeping Gray-NG alive.

“I laid down the tag and looked at third,” he said. “I knew the runner was on second. I knew with (his) baseball IQ he would be covering (third) and I just made a quick throw so he could lay down the tag. It got us going.”

Assistant coach Mike Amergian wasn’t surprised his boys made that play.


“For 12-, 11- and 10-year-olds they all have a high baseball IQ,” he said. “They all do. That’s why we’re here.”

The loss eliminated Gray-NG from the Little League World Series. The team is attempting to pull together an exhibition game against one of the international teams that has also been eliminated.

GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER and Media, Pennsylvania, teams became very close during the regional tournaments. Both the New England regional and the Mid-Atlantic regional were held in Bristol, Connecticut.

“They’re a great team,” said Mike Amergian. “We got to bunk with them and stay with them and watch them play in Connecticut. It was like a game against your buddies. I’m glad to see them move on and we’ll be cheering for them.”

MIKE AMERGIAN and Manager Brad Shelley swapped sides when they went out to the coach’s boxes on the first and third base lines.

Amergian moved into the third base line, normally where Shelley goes, and Shelley took place on the first base line.


“We just wanted to change it up,” said Amergian.

Visitors on Saturday walk through the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

ADAM THOMPSON CAUGHT the baseball bug back in 1986 when he opened a pack of Topps baseball cards and pulled out Lenny Dykstra (New York Mets) and Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd (Boston Red Sox) cards.

Those teams, of course, met in the 1986 World Series.

Now, at 44, he’s even more passionate about the sport. Thompson is the director of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, located at the top of the hill beyond Lamade Stadium on the Little League International complex.

It is a fascinating little museum with displays depicting the history of Little League baseball – including the first home plate used in a Little League World Series, uniforms of various teams over the years, a short film upon entering, old baseball equipment and many autographed balls – as well as providing interactive displays to keep the young fans active and interested.

“It’s a great setup, really well put together,” said Joe Barker, whose son Caleb plays for the Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond all-stars. “They have some great stuff for the kids and a lot of early gear. It’s really nice.”


Barker’s 10-year-old son, Austin, particularly liked the interactive game where a player gets timed running from home plate to first base.

“It’s really awesome,” he said.

Adam Thompson, director of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa., holds a Maine jersey from 1951, which featured players from Scarborough, Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Thompson hopes all the visitors feel that way. He and his staff have worked hard to put together the displays. They swap out items every three years unless something has special significance.

“I’ve always enjoyed baseball,” said Thompson, who lives close enough that he can ride his bike to the museum. “And I really like the history of it. The problem is, there’s just so much out there. And we’re not just covering the Little League World Series. We are covering Little League in general, which includes a lot of stuff, including softball.

“There’s history happening every day out there. And parents are often wanting to donate things to us. So we have become very selective in what we take.”

As you might imagine, the number of visitors to the museum increases dramatically during the Little League World Series. On a normal day in the spring, or early summer, Thompson said the museum might have 150 visitors. During the LLWS, that increases to 700 to 1,000.


“On a day like today (four games, beautiful weather), it will be a 1,000,” he said Saturday.

Thompson said it’s difficult to display everything he would like to. He would like to have a item representing every team playing in the LLWS, especially the U.S. teams, but often doesn’t have the time, or space, to put them on display.

A ball signed by the players and coaches from the Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond team is at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, PA. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

But if they have an item from a particular team – like the jersey from the 1951 Suburban Little League team that featured players from Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Scarborough and Falmouth – either he or someone from his staff will bring it out to show a visitor, as he did Saturday, while wearing a pair of blue latex gloves. Thompson also had a baseball signed by all the Gray-NG players.

“We try our best,” he said.

The Suburban team was the first Maine team to play in the Little League World Series. Others have been Augusta East in 1971, Westbrook in 2005 and now Gray-NG.

Thompson has been the director for 24 years and enjoys seeing former participants come back with their families. Just this week he had former players from Germany and Mexico in for visits.

“It’s nice having people come back,” he said, “and showing them pictures of when they were kids.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.