SACO – All of the momentum the Elliot Ave. Little League 11-year-old All-Star team built up going into Wednesday’s semifinal matchup with host Saco came to a screeching halt just seven minutes into the game.

In the bottom of the first, after Saco starter Alex Tsomides set down the first three Elliot hitters in order, the hosts pounded out three consecutive doubles and never looked back, scoring 10 runs in the opening inning as they cruised to an 11-0 win in four innings in the 11-year-old State Little League Tournament.

“They’re a strong team,” Elliot coach Luke Bourassa said. “They had great pitching, and they put a bat on the ball. We put a bat on the ball, too, just not as solid as they did.”

Tsomides and two other Saco hurlers – Ryder Kenney and Nate Zinck – combined to throw a perfect four innings in the win.

“All three of them threw heat,” Bourassa said.

“We have every single pitcher available for (the final), too,” Saco coach Sean Rutherford said after each of the three threw fewer than 20 pitches. New Little League pitch count rules prohibit a player who throws more than 20 pitches from taking the mound again the following day.

Saco will face Falmouth in the final game today.

The Saco squad started hitting from the get-go. Kenney slapped a double to the fence, and Evan Wright and Tsomides followed in kind, scoring Kenney and Wright.

That’s when things got a bit wild. A strikeout and a walk later, Elliot got a second out, and appeared to be on damage control.

But Matt Rutherford reached on an error by the Elliot shortstop, and Drew Gelinas poked a line drive to left field that deflected off of the Elliot fielder’s glove after he appeared to be in position to make the catch. Those batters, and the next four, all scored to stake Saco to a 10-0 lead.

“It should have been 2-0 after the first inning, that’s the bottom line,” Bourassa said. “They’re 11 years old, they’ll learn from their mistakes.”

Alex Fallon scampered home on an error in the third to complete the scoring. The Saco pitchers combined for six strikeouts, including three in the top of the fourth to close out the game.

Despite the loss, Bourassa is encouraged by his team’s showing. The squad went 3-0 in pool play, and the 12-and-under All-Star team, which also advanced to its state tournament, had a couple of 11-year-olds on it, too.

“This is good exposure,” Bourassa said. “Next year, we’ll have a good team.”

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