The Essex 10-11 Little League team made it to the state championship in St. Albans before losing to Brattleboro 22-7 on July 22.
Essex was dominant in their road to the championship, first shutting out St. Albans 19-0, then beating Missisquoi 5-1 and defeating St. Albans again in the district championship 16-2.
Carrying this momentum into first game of the state tournament, Essex beat Burlington American 11-1 behind an impressive pitching performance from Andrew Goodrich.
Matthew Correria and Eli Bostwick took the mound in the first of what would be three games against Brattleboro. After falling behind four runs in the first inning, Essex found themselves in a tied ball game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth.
Goodrich stepped to the plate, working his way into a full count before hitting a walk-off single to win the game.
Essex lost the next game against Brattleboro on July 21, setting up a final, winner-take-all showdown the next night.
Down 2-0 in the second, Matt Safer smacked a three-run homer to put Essex up 3-2. A few untimely errors would allow Brattleboro to get back in the lead, which they maintained thanks to a timely offensive onslaught on their way to capturing the state championship.
“Brattleboro was a fun team to play; tough competitors, great coaching staff, gracious winners and all around good sports,” said Essex coach Dave Bostwick.