CRANSTON, R.I. —The Federal Little League 9-10 All-Stars fell to 0-2 at the Eastern Regional on Tuesday, falling to New Jersey 16-7 in a Mid-Atlantic pool play game.
Federal, which lost 1-0 to Delaware on Sunday, has two more pool-play games left, against New York at 2 p.m. Wednesday and Pennsylvania at 5 p.m. Thursday. Federal must finish in the top two in the Mid-Atlantic pool to continue on.
“If we win our next two, we will be in good shape,” Federal manager Tim Kolb said. “We have to win our next two, no doubt about it, and keep our runs allowed to a minimum, but we’re still very much in this. They are nowhere near done, they still want this and they still believe in themselves.”
Federal took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first against New Jersey. Toddie Stocks led off with a single, Ben Caldwell hit a two-out double and Ian Selby ripped a two-run double to the fence in center.
But New Jersey answered with 11 runs in the bottom half. Brayden Quirple retired the first hitter on a groundout, but New Jersey went on to mash Federal with nine hits and got help from three walks. Eight of New Jersey’s 11 runs in the inning scored after two were out, as Federal could not get out of the frame.
“It seemed like we had two outs forever and we just couldn’t get that third one,” Kolb said. “We were in the hole and we just couldn’t dig ourselves out, it was too big a hole. That’s been our thing, getting on top of teams early and playing from ahead. Once they got us in a hole, it was hard to dig out.”
Federal rallied for five runs in the top of the fourth to briefly make a game of it at 11-7. Stocks hit a one-out double and walks to Braden Kolb and Quirple loaded the bases. Caldwell hit an RBI single before Selby unloaded a grand slam to center. Federal reloaded the bases but failed to get closer.
“These boys, and I can say this without hesitating, they never gave up and they never stopped having fun today, even when down nine after the first inning,” Tim Kolb said. “The smiles never left their faces and they were singing and dancing in the dugout, and they continued to fight.”
New Jersey answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and three in the fifth to pull away again. A walk, two singles and an RBI groundout gave New Jersey a 13-7 lead after four. New Jersey opened the fifth with four straight singles — including a two-run knock — before a final RBI single closed the scoring.