HAVERHILL, Mass. — The Junior Swamp Bats 14U team won another title Saturday, beating the champions from Massachusetts and Maine to claim the New Balance Select New England Regional title at Haverhill Stadium in Haverhill, Mass.
The team is now 22-4-1 and has won 13 straight games. Included in that streak is a 3-0 run to the Bobcats Invitational that qualified them for the USABL World Series, July 27-28, in Toms River, N.J., and a 4-0 weekend last week to claim the NB Select New Hampshire championship.
“Over the last couple weekends, kids have come through in some clutch moments,” said John Luopa, the 14U Junior Swamp Bats coach. “That’s why we’ve been so successful.
“The kids have gotten better throughout the year,” he continued.
Their latest wins Saturday were 2-1 in eight innings over Massachusetts champion Antonelli Baseball in the semifinals and a 9-2 win over the Coastal Maine Storm in the championship game.
The JSB bunched six runs over the second and third innings against the Storm and then rode the combined pitching of Chance Derosier and Koby Kidney to the title. Kidney pitched no-hit ball over the final three innings.
Flynn Dennis drove in three runs and had one of the teams’ seven hits.
To get to the title game, the JSB needed to rally from an early deficit against Antonelli. They were trailing 1-0 before tying the game with one run in the fifth and scoring the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth when Braeden Dion reached on an error, went to second on a walk to Derosier, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Alex Cocklin’s one-out ground ball to short.
Dion and Solis Bergquist combined to hold Antonelli to seven hits, walking two and striking out seven.
The team will now take a break over the next few months, with kids participating in their local Little League and Babe Ruth leagues, before coming back together before the World Series at the end of July.