Rye beats Salem; NH Little League finals all even
Max Malila makes his way around the bases after hitting a home run in the first inning of thier Little League matchup against Salem on Sunday evening. (Bruce Preston / Union Leader)
MANCHESTER — The Rye 11- and 12-year-old Little League all-stars made the most of their hits Sunday night.
Rye was held to two hits in Game 2 of the state finals, but both were solo home runs as Rye extended its season with a 2-1 triumph over Salem.
Salem won the first game of the best-of-three series 8-4 Saturday. The deciding game will be played Tuesday night (5:45) at Manchester Central Little League's Sam Harris Field.
"We haven't been hitting the ball well lately," Rye coach Ron King said. "I can't explain it, but tonight it was enough."
Starting pitcher Dylan Chase delivered the decisive blow when he hit a solo home run that handed Rye a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. Rye's other home run came from shortstop Max Malila in the top of the first.
Chase pitched a complete game. He allowed five hits and struck out 10.
"Dylan has been a developing pitcher all season and tonight he found his groove," King said. "If we can keep the kids loose and keep their heads in baseball I think (Tuesday night) will be a good game."
Salem loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the fourth, but failed to score. Chase recorded the first two outs on strikeouts, and then got Max Morasse to fly out to deep center for the final out.
"This was a tough one," Salem coach Dean Borrelli said. "Their pitcher did a great job. We had our opportunities, but hats off to their kid. He made his pitches when he had to."
Salem's lone run came on a solo home run by catcher Nick Robertson in the bottom of the first. Jake Delaney, Mike Borrelli, Andrew Shumski and John Olivio had Salem's other hits, all of which were singles.
"These guys will bounce back," Dean Borrelli said. "We'll be ready when we come back here Tuesday."
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