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CLCF 11s Beat Norton, Head to NE Regional Final

The CLCF 11-year-olds are playing in the championship game Thursday night.

The CLCF 11-year-olds are one win away from becoming the first Rhode Island team to win a New England Cal Ripken Regional Championship.

The team, known as the Cranston Crushers, beat host team Norton, Mass., in a 5-2 extra-inning thriller, said Steve Richard of CLCF.

Jamie Pacheco pitched 4 strong innings and Drew Spirito hit a 2-run homer. The defense was solid and third baseman Ryan Reinsant made several key putouts at third.

The Crushers came into the top of the seventh inning looking at the scoreboard knotted at two. Nevil Blanco hit a go-ahead 2-run double and David Egan drove in a third run to give CLCF the 5-2 lead. They kept Norton scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, securing their place in the final Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.

So far, the team has beaten Maine, Quincy, Mass. and now Norton in the regionals. This year they're 12-0 in tournament play, winning both the Rehoboth Summer Slam Tournament and the state Cal Ripken Championship before the NE Regionals. And that's an accomplishment, since they're playing against all-star teams from throughout New England.

At the Rehoboth Summer Slam Tournament this summer, they scored 77 runs over the six games they played in the 22-team tournament. Opponents scored just 7 runs against them.

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