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Essex Town tops Addison County for Little League Baseball state title

First championship since 1999, team will play in New England regional
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 10:07 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - For the first time in 22 years, the Essex Town All Stars are Little League State Champions following a 2-1 win over Addison County Saturday afternoon at Schifilliti Park in Burlington. With the title, Essex Town earns the right to represent Vermont at the New England Regionals in Bristol, Connecticut.

Bryce Barber did most of the heavy lifting for Essex Town. He struck out 11 while keeping Addison County off the board for the first five innings, and Barber also drove in both Essex runs with a towering opposite field blast in the third.

Addison County threatened in the bottom of the sixth in a game they needed to win to force a decisive championship game Sunday. Hits by Cam Castillo, Ryan Brouillard, and Stef Johnson drove in Addison County’s first run of the game and forced Barber off the mound.

By Michael McDougall came on in relief, retiring Bryce Phelps on a big slider. And with the bases loaded, Max Smith tracked down a looper off the bat of Mason Forand to seal the deal.

“I just was shaking the whole entire way there,” Smith said of the final out. “I just wanted to catch it so bad. I was thinking, it’s gonna go over my head, it’s not gonna go over my head.”

“Awesome, we’re gonna go to Bristol,” Barber added. “First time in 22 years. It’s just awesome.”

That tournament in Bristol runs August 8th through the 14th. In an interesting quirk, this Essex Town team might have the best chance of anyone in years to end Vermont’s wait for a first ever Little League World Series qualifier: the tournament will return with its typical 16 team field, but due to travel concerns related to COVID, there will be no international competition. Both finalists from the regional will claim a spot in Williamsport.

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