Southpaw Sam Henrie threw a one-hitter and struck out 13 as Middleborough ended Vineyard hopes of reaching the Little League World Series with a 4-0 win last Friday in the deciding game of the Mass. District 7 final at Veira Park in Oak Bluffs.
The Islanders got good pitching from Jack Sayre and Liam Weiland, who scattered five hits, but the Vineyard bats had no answer for the dominant ‘Boro lefty.
Just a week before, the Vineyard 12-year-old all stars were in the post position to advance to the regionals, following three straight victories to start the tournament.
The Vineyard defeated Sandwich, 6-3, on June 27, East Bridgewater, 8-3, on June 29, and Middleborough, 6-5, on July 2.
M.V. stood as the only unbeaten team in the brackett and needed one more win against Middleborough in two possible attempts to clinch a spot in the regionals. With the one loss to the Vineyard, ‘Boro had their backs to the wall and had to win twice. They did exactly that.
Wednesday, July 11, the Orange and Black jumped out to a 4-1 lead against the pitching tandem of Aidan Aliberti and Jack Sayre. The Vineyard staged a sixth inning rally but lost, 4-3.
Having a home game for the rubber match seemed a good tonic to soothe the loss, but Sam Henrie never let the Vineyarders get started.