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Maine's time in Little League World Series comes to an end

Despite their loss in Williamsport on Saturday, the players' hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed by Mainers.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Maine's All-Star team from Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond lost 5-3 to Pennsylvania in an elimination game Saturday, bringing their run in the Little League World Series to an end.

More than 22,000 people were on hand at Howard J. Lamade Stadium for the Maine vs. Pennsylvania game Saturday afternoon. Many Mainers were there, too, with Gray, Maine being a whopping 503 miles away from Williamsport.

Pennsylvania got off to a fast start, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. A good double-play by Maine prevented any further scoring, and Gage Rioux led off the bottom of the first with a triple as Maine went on to score two runs that inning.

It was scoreless until the fourth inning when Mason Amergian drove in a run to tie the game at 3. Amergian pitched all six innings for Maine and tallied five strikeouts.

The score remained knotted at 3 heading into the sixth and final inning. Pennsylvania was able to tack on two runs after some close calls at home plate to take a 5-3 lead.

Maine needed two runs to extend the game in the bottom of the sixth. Benjamin Gilmore was hit by a pitch but was caught stealing. Maine couldn't score and the game ended with a final score of 5-3.

Coach Mike Amergian said he's proud of his team for what they've accomplished this summer. Gray-New Gloucester/Raymond Little League never advanced out of the local district tournament before this year. 

“The support we’ve gotten from New England, Maine, is just all you can ask for when you get to this level. It’s nice to see the whole [community] get behind you, get behind these boys and [let us] do it right and send them on their way and let these boys have the time of their life and I’m pretty sure they have," he said.

The boys will now be able to experience the Little League World Series as fans as they plan to attend the Major League Baseball game in town Sunday. The team might face off against a team from the international bracket in a "friendly" scrimmage.

Regardless of Saturday's result, it was a historic summer for the boys from Maine as they became just the fourth team, and the first in 18 years, to play at the Little League World Series.

Amergian said the younger siblings of this team look up to these players and this summer's success is sure to have a lasting impact on the local baseball community.

Despite their loss in Williamsport on Saturday, the players' hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed by Mainers.

The Plourde family made the trip down at 4 a.m. Thursday to catch Maine's first game against Washington. They planned this trip well before they knew the local team would be in the field.

“My mom and dad have watched the Little League World Series forever, and my dad passed away this year and it’s on my mom’s bucket list, so I said, let’s do it," Tiffany Glidden-Plourde, from China, Maine, said. 

The family has been in Williamsport all week and Matthew Plourde said the best game he watched was the last one.

“We ended up right in the family section during the Maine game so that was the best part I think," he said. “We don’t get this opportunity often coming from Maine.”

He's right. Maine has only been represented at the tournament four times in the last 72 years.

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