Waterford living (at) large after winning Babe Ruth 13 states
Norwalk - How to win a state title, as performed by the Waterford Babe Ruth 13-year-old baseball team:
• Lose your district final.
• Be awarded one of two at-large berths in order to fill out the state tournament bracket.
• Win two of your three games in pool play.
• Avenge your district loss in the semifinals.
• Spot your championship opponent a two-run lead. Twice.
Max Adams allowed just one earned run and Trevor Yeomans hit a game-winning RBI single and scored as Waterford rallied to beat Pomperaug, 4-3, in Sunday's state championship final.
"When you get a second chance, you've got to go with it," Yeomans said.
Waterford advanced to the New England regionals at High Meadow Field in Newtown. It plays the Western Massachusetts champion on Saturday at 7 p.m.
It's summer, thus a Waterford baseball team must win a state title.
"When we were 9 and 10 (years old), we went all the way to the New Englands and won that, so hopefully we can do that again," Yeomans said. "Our motto is shock the world."
Defense had been Waterford's strong suit during the District 6 tournament, but it struggled offensively. East Lyme beat it, 6-2, in the district final.
Waterford beat East Lyme, 4-2, on Saturday.
Waterford managed just three hits on Sunday, but it was enough to get the job done.
"When we were in districts, we didn't have good at bats," Waterford manager Dan Santos said. "We were swinging at the first pitch. We were swinging at the pitcher's pitch. We really tried to drive (being more disciplined) into our player's heads and they did it."
Pomperaug took early leads of 2-0 and 3-1 when Waterford used some timely hits and good fortune to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
Yeomans walked with one out in the inning, stole second with two outs, and scored when Noah Speller reached on an error.
Peter Turello followed with a single that led to an error, scoring Speller and tying the game at 3.
Liam Spellman reached second base on a one-out error in the fourth inning. He went to third on Bobby Silva's fielder's choice and scored on Yeoman's single to give Waterford the lead.
"The previous games in the tournament, we hit early in the game," Santos said. "We won 11-6 (over District 7 champion North Haven) and 15-5 (against host Norwalk), so we were used to being up in the game.
"Today we had to come from behind and they worked their tails off and got the job done."
Adams scattered seven hits and Dylan Bosco doubled and scored on Drew Rocchetti's fielder's choice in the second inning.
Waterford had to get out of one last jam to win the title as Kyle Moser walked with one out, and pinch runner Chris Lang advanced to third base on two passed balls.
Mario Lambiase hit a line drive to Waterford centerfielder Turello for the second out.
Ryan Loiselle walked to put runners at the corner, but Adams got Jack Mesina to pop out to third baseman Bosco to end the game.
"We couldn't make it easy," Santos said. "I'm sitting there thinking, 'this isn't going to happen', but they pulled it out. Max pitched unbelievably today, and we chipped in offensively. We did what we had to do."
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