Remarkable run ends for Middleboro Little League with loss to Pennsyvlania

Aug 20, 2022

WILLIAMSPORT, PA — A dream season has come to an end for Middleboro Little League.

After an early stretch led by a first-inning Ayden Morris RBI and three innings of one-hit pitching from Gavin Gillpatrick, Middleboro lost its second game of the 2022 Little League World Series 7-3 against Hollidaysburg, Pa. The team has been eliminated from the World Series.

Before more than 16,000 fans under the lights at Howard J. Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pa., Middleboro faced a mostly pro-Hollidaysburg crowd. Opposing fans booed Middleboro in the fifth inning when Middleboro decided to intentionally walk a Pennsylvania player who hit a home run one inning earlier.

The outnumbered Middleboro crowd held its own: it broke out into loud “let’s go ‘Boro” chants on multiple occasions, as well as bringing signs and coming up with personalized chants, including “LUUUUUUKE” for third baseman Luke Buldoc.

Gillpatrick’s fielders took care of all but one ball put in play in the first three innings. Fly balls looked routine for Middleboro, including a blooper behind second base that Mike Marzelli backtracked to catch, without colliding with oncoming right fielder Reece Trottier.

Things looked shaky for Middleboro when Hollidaysburg scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Middleboro answered in the following half-inning. 

Jayden Murphy hit an RBI double that drove in Jacob Landers, who reached base after being hit by a pitch. Murphy took third base on the throw to home. A Mike Marzelli single drove Murphy home before the inning ended, cutting Hollidaysburg’s lead to 4-3.

Hollidaysburg extended its lead after Middleboro’s two-run fifth. A walk and an intentional walk put two runners on base. Then, a single, a fallen infield fly ball, and another single extended the Hollidaysburg lead to 7-3.

To end Hollidaysburg’s rally in the bottom of the fifth, a Middleboro diving catch led to a double play. Nathan Mello caught the ball while diving and fired it to shortstop Murphy, who threw it to catcher Jacob Landers to tag out the Hollidaysburg runner.

Middleboro had one more chance to score at least four runs in the top of sixth. Mello reached base on a walk. Bolduc sent him to third with a double. Murphy stepped up with one out and two runners in scoring position. He smacked the ball into centerfield, where the centerfielder overran the ball. Murphy legged out two extra bases and made it to third, driving in two runs to cut the deficit to two runs.

A “Let’s go ’Boro” chant broke out with the tying run at the plate, but a groundout to the pitcher ended the game and the season with a final score of 7-5, Hollidaysburg.