BRISTOL, Conn. — Thankfully for Lincoln Little League, Brandon Lee is just one player.
The No. 3 hitter in Newton South East’s lineup certainly did some damage Sunday, slugging two home runs with four RBI and two runs scored. Collectively, Lincoln was able to overcome the Herculean effort and knock off the Massachusetts representative. 14-8, in the second game round-robin play of the Little League New England Regional Tournament.
Both squads ended up spraying the ball all over Leon J. Breen Field, tallying 22 runs and 25 hits, including 10 extra base hits.
Relief pitchers got their fill of innings during the game, with the opposing managers using eight pitchers in total.
Lincoln LL starter Dominic Cunha gutted his way through five tough innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) and three home runs. Considering that Newton South East needed five pitchers to get through this one, the fact Cunha (six strikeouts) was able to hang tough may have helped preserve Lincoln’s pitching staff for future New England encounters.
Lincoln scored in three innings – six runs in the first, five in the fourth and three in the sixth. The team’s first-run outburst was made possible thanks to a two-run double by Blake Zaniol, a two-run home run by Cunha, a sacrifice fly by Braedon Carney, and an RBI single by Connor Benbenek.
Newton South East starting pitcher Jackson Danforth was pulled after the first.
After pushing across three runs in the bottom of the third, Newton South East LL faced just a 6-4 deficit. A three-run home run by Lees fueled Massachusetts’ comeback bid. Finally, Cunha got Ben Genser to fly out to end the threat.
Lincoln added five more runs in the top of the fourth. The inning looked promising, as Kyle Marrapese singled, plating Aaron DeSousa to kick things off.
That was followed up by Benbenek’s single, bringing home David Bordieri.
For good measure, Lincoln tacked on another three runs in the sixth. Benbenek doubled, scoring Marrapese to start the inning. That was followed up by Carney’s double, plating Benbenek, who finished 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Marrapese finished 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs while Cunha went 3-for-4 with three runs driven in.
Lincoln will look to make it 3-for-3 in the win column when it takes on Vermont’s South Burlington Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock.