WESTPORT, Conn. – Max Popken slugged a two-run home run in the first inning, and Harry Azadian and Chad Knight combined on a four-hitter Thursday as the Westport Little League 12-and-under All-Stars defeated Maine, 3-0, in the New England Regional.
Westport will play Rhode Island, a 5-2 winner over Vermont, in Saturday’s New England championship game at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN. The winner advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Westport continued its amazing summer run, improving its winning streak to 17 straight in the All-Star competition.
Westport got the only runs it needed two batters into the game. After Chris Drbal singled, Popken smacked a line drive over the fence into left field. Drbal’s fielder's choice scored Ricky Offenberg with Westport’s third run in the second inning.
Azadian struck out seven before tiring in the fifth. With runners on first and third, Knight got the final out to preserve the lead and then pitched a flawless sixth inning.
But Westport managed just five hits as it had its lowest offensive production of the tournament.
Westport, which beat Maine on Sunday, did not play Rhode Island during pool play. Rhode Island’s team, from Lincoln, is 4-1 in the New England Regional. The win over Vermont avenged its only previous tournament loss.