CRANSTON, R.I. —The Federal Little League 9-10 All-Stars rallied from a 6-0 deficit to force extra innings, but lost to New York 8-7 in seven innings to fall to 0-3 in the Mid-Atlantic pool of the Eastern Regional tournament on Wednesday.
With the loss, Federal was eliminated from contention for the Mid-Atlantic championship game. Federal will finish pool play against Pennsylvania on Thursday at 5 p.m.
“Two out of three games we’ve lost by one run. The boys are right there, they’re so close,” Federal manager Tim Kolb said. “I want them to come back (to Hagerstown) and be able to say, ‘We won a game,’ and I see no give-up in them. I don’t expect them to come out and lay down for anybody. They’re scrappers, they’re clawers, they’re going to do everything they can to try to win the game.”
New York opened the bottom of the seventh with a bloop single down the first-base line that was originally ruled foul by the first base umpire, before the home plate umpire overturned the call. The next hitter’s sacrifice bunt led to a throwing error that put runners on second and third. From there, two straight walks forced in the winning run.
“When the game is close, you allow the umpires to get involved, so that’s really tough,” Kolb said. “A ball that’s clearly foul and the home plate umpire feels the need to overturn the call, and it’s the same guy who made the call in the first game. ... But if we play our game, it’s not an issue.”
Federal lost to Delaware 1-0 on Sunday. In that game, Federal thought it scored the tying run in the sixth inning on a slide underneath the tag, but the runner was called out to end the game.
New York scored six runs on four hits, three walks and a passed ball in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead.
“They got the six in that one inning and they only scored one after that,” Kolb said. “We just gave up that big inning again, just like previous game, and when you do that, it’s just hard to get back into it. It’s the competition we’re facing. You might be able to (fall behind) in districts and come back, but when you do it here, it’s different.”
Federal cut the lead to 6-4 in the fourth. Toddie Stocks, Braden Kolb and Brayden Quirple each singled to load the bases. Ben Caldwell’s fielder’s choice grounder scored the first run, Quirple scored on a passed ball and RBI singles by Dylan Watson and Jaylend Williams capped the inning.
New York made it 7-4 in the fifth on a two-out walk, a passed ball and an RBI single.
Federal tied the game at 7 in the sixth. Stocks, Kolb, Quirple and Caldwell hit consecutive singles to cut the lead to 7-5 before Ian Selby’s two-run double knotted the score. Watson later singled, but pinch runner Kyle Corley was thrown out at home.
“My hat’s off to these boys, they fought back again so hard,” Tim Kolb said. “Garrett Kercheval came on in the third in relief and gave up the run in the fifth, but that was pretty much it. He was solid. We had multiple kids with three hits, but we left 12 men on base, and again, you can’t do that at this level and expect to win. You get those runners in scoring position, you’ve got to drive them in.”