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Auburn stays alive in LLWS, belts Connecticut in rematch, 9-5
The Auburn Little League All-Stars avenged its opening-round loss to Connecticut tonight with a 9-5 win over the New England champion in a World Series elimination game at South Williamsport, Pa.
Auburn moves on to face powerhouse Southwest Regional champion Pearland, Texas, which is 2-0 in the series. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN.
Auburn got the most out of the middle of the batting order, with Isaiah Hatch, Dillon O’Grady and Casey Manning combining for 11-for-12 hitting with nine RBIs, eight runs, two doubles and two home runs.
Auburn jumped out early, mounting a two-out rally and scoring twice in the first inning with Manning driving in Hatch and O’Grady scoring on a wild pitch.
Connecticut responded by loading the bases off starter Manning in the bottom of the first before shortstop Hatch came through with a double play to get Auburn out of trouble.
Auburn added to its lead in the third with Hatch getting on base with a double and scoring on an O’Grady single. After stealing second base, O’Grady was driven in by a Manning double to put the team up 4-0.
Connecticut’s Nick Nardone put his team within one of Auburn in the bottom of the third, hitting a three run-run shot off reliever Hudson Byorick.
But Manning added to Auburn’s lead in the fifth inning with a two-run homer.
In its half of the fifth, Connecticut scored twice to cut the lead to 6-5 with Connor Daley driving in a run and Jack Quinn scoring on a wild pitch.
Auburn sealed the victory in the sixth with Hatch hitting a two-run home run and Manning driving in O’Grady to put the score at 9-5.
Hatch finished the game with 4-for-4 hitting, including a home run, two RBIs, four runs and three double plays. He also faced four batters in relief and struck out three. Manning was 4-for-4 from the dish with a home run and five RBIs and O’Grady added 3-for-4 hitting with three runs and an RBI.
Byorick was awarded the win for his two innings of work and Jack Quinn was tagged with the loss.
Auburn finished the game with 14 hits and had no errors. Connecticut had nine hits and committed two errors.
Both Manning and Hatch threw 20 pitches in the game and are available to pitch against Texas on Wednesday.