Tigers Win Little League Championship After Epic Game 2
The two-time Somerville Little League city champs played the Dodgers in a game that took two days and may have been the lengthiest game in the city's Little League history.
The Boston Closet Tigers, who recently walked away with their second straight championship season in Somerville Little League, played in what is believed to be the longest game in Somerville Little League history to earn the championship trophy.
The 10-inning game—long by Little League standards, where games are 6 innings—took place over the course of two nights, according to Sean Sullivan, the Tigers' manager, who explained that it got to be too late on June 19, so the umpires stopped play after the eighth inning and resumed play the next day.
This was game two of the best-of-three series, and the Tigers had lost game one, held June 18, to the Dodgers. When game two resumed on June 20, a Wednesday, the Tigers went into the bottom of the 10th inning with a three-run deficit.
"I told them"—the 10-, 11- and 12-year-old players on the team—"don't worry, don't get down," Sullivan said.
They didn't. Instead, they scored four runs in the bottom of the 10th to beat the Dodgers 16-15, evening the series at one game apiece.
Then, both teams had only a brief moment to relax before starting game three, which took place right after game two ended. The Tigers won game three 10-7 to walk away with the championship.
"The theme for the playoffs was composure," Sullivan said, and "everyone on the team had composure."
Sullivan said the kids were excited to win, and he believes they were able to pull off the improbably victory due to the philosophy he teaches them, which is to "try had, learn a lot and have fun."
Between games two and three, the Tigers had some fun by lining up on the field at Conway Park to do a little dancing, Sullivan said.
The Somerville Little League trophy dates back to 1952, Sullivan said, and every championship team since then has its name on a plaque. Sullivan allows each member of the team the opportunity to take the trophy home to show family and friends, and last year players took the trophy to Fenway Park and up to New Hampshire and Maine, he said. It will take another journey this year.
The Tigers play in the Somerville Little League "majors." In the "minors," for players who are 8, 9 and 10, the Red Sox won the championship this year.