A sun-soaked Championship Day proved to be the perfect setting for the rubber match between the Orioles and Mets in Hamilton-Wenham Little League’s Minor League.
It had the makings of a pitching battle for the ages when Billy Whelan took the mound for the Orioles and Michael Moynihan for the Mets. In the first two innings, both teams were able to load the bases but were unable to capitalize with runs.
However, the crowd at Cheeseman Field was not to be disappointed. The Orioles came out of the gate with a double by Billy Whelan and a single by Joshua Elliot. After loading the bases in the first two innings, the Orioles were unable to score a run.
The Mets began their scoring drive with a line drive single by Thomas Kain and clever base running by Will Frain, Casey Cristoforo and Dimitri Lara. It looked like the Mets were poised to take the lead.
Fortunately for the Orioles, the Mets left the bases loaded when Billy Whelan notched three strikeouts in a row to end the inning. The Orioles came out fast in the third on a double by Eli Leonard and a run scoring single by Caleb Christian.
The Orioles repeated a one run fourth inning off the hits of Connor Alberry, Ethan Joyal and Callum Hunt.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with Everett Wonson notching two strike-outs, the Mets came alive when Michael Moynihan made it to third base on two steals and Dominec Brown was able to run out an infield grounder, which allowed Michael Moynihan to score.
The Orioles were unable to counter due to fabulous pitching by Will Frain.
With the support of their fans, the Mets climbed back into the game in the fifth inning when Joshua Tripp’s sacrifice fly allowed Evan Potorski to score. In the top of the sixth Casey Cristoforo took to the hill and, after allowing one base hit to Charlie Applegate, Cristoforo quickly produced three strikeouts.
The Mets where unable to close out the game in the bottom of the sixth, so the game was forced into extra innings. Casey Cristoforo again shut down the Orioles in the top of the seventh.
The Mets fans were sensing victory in the bottom of the seventh when Michael Moynihan made it to third after a base hit and two steals. The stalemate was shattered when Casey Cristoforo hit a walk off double that scored Michael Moynihan for the game-winning run.
Final score: Mets, 3; Orioles, 2.