World Series bound!
Cody Hadden pitched a complete game and Milford Post 196 continued to swing the bats well when manager Cliff Bugyi’s team won the Northeast Region American Legion title with a 9-1 victory over Portland, Maine at Old Orchard Beach (Me.) on Monday afternoon.
Milford will leave from Maine on Wednesday morning and fly to Shelby, N.C. for the World Series, which begins on Friday.
For Post 196, it is a season of firsts as they notched state and regional titles for the only time in program history.
Hadden allowed six hits, a fourth-inning run, and the right-hander struck out four and walked four to win his second start in the regional.
He retired 16 straight batters before a single broke the streak with one out in the ninth.
Hadden then struck out two of the next three batters, as Milford won for the 12th straight time in postseason play.
Joe Zanghi hit his second home run in two games with a moon shot to left field that carried an estimated 361 feet over the 12-foot high fence in the bottom of the first inning.
Eddie Michaud, voted regional MVP, had singled with two out and scored ahead of the blast.
Shawn Cariglio, who finished the game with five RBIs, restarted the rally with a single.
Jake Saley and Christian Baglini tacked on base hits, with Baglini’s single to center plating Cariglio for a 3-0 lead.
Milford put another two-run rally together in the second.
This time it was Kyle Winters getting things started with a single.
Michaud, who led the regional in runs scored and played a stellar third base, worked Portand left-handed starter Nate Smith for a walk.
Zanghi singled to load the bases for Cariglio, who pulled a ball off Drew Ferrick’s glove at first and two runs scored.
Portland threatened with a pair of hits to open the third, but Hadden notched a key strikeout and Michaud began a 5-4-3 double play turned by Winters.
Tyler Flaherty doubled to open the Portland fourth. Ferrick singled and a one-out sacrifice fly by Felix delVecchio put the Maine champion on the board.
Hadden set down 14 more batters in a row and Milford added to its lead.
Saley walked and got around the bases on two grounders before scoring on a wild pitch for a 6-1 advantage.
Nick Pinto made a highlight-reel catch of Ferrick’s drive into right-center to end the sixth.
Cariglio tripled home three runs in the bottom of the eighth to complete the scoring.
Pinto led off with Milford’s 11th hit, a single, before being forced out at second by Sean Cameron.
Michaud reached on a two-out error and Zanghi was hit by a pitch to set the table for Cariglio.
Cariglio was 3-for-5 with the five RBIs and a run scored.
Zanghi went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Michaud was 2-for-4 and scored three times.
Baglini had an RBI and Cameron and Saley scored runs.