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Rain Halts Paramus' Little League Bid

No word yet on when game will be completed; weather forecast shows rain for hours to come

BRISTOL, Conn. -- A steady rain continued to deluge Breen Field, the site of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament, where the Paramus Little Leaguers are striving to qualify for the Little League World Series, which begins Saturday in Williamsport, Pa.

Their game against Keystone Little League of Clinton County, Pa., began in the pouring rain, but after three complete innings of scoreless baseball, Eastern Region administrators elected to pull the team off the field and cover it with a tarp. Two hours later, the rain hadn't stopped.

Fans were milling around the A. Bartlett Giamatti Leadership and Training Complex, wondering how the game would be played. The weather forecast is dismal for the next 24 hours and beyond.

Administrators are desperate to get the game in so pairings for the World Series can be finalized and the ace pitcher for the team that eventually advances will be eligible Saturday. Little League imposes rather stringent rules on how many pitches a player can throw and how long he must rest until he can throw again.

As of 3 p.m., administrators hadn’t made any announcements about when or how the game would be completed. 

Paramus pitcher Hiro Mizutani hurled three hitless innings against the Pennsylvania state champions, who won all five of their games here. He walked one and struck out five, facing just one batter over the minimum. 

Pennsylvania pitcher Alex Garbrick has allowed four hits but escaped trouble in the second inning, thanks to two sterling defensive plays by centerfielder Tyler McCloskey. 

Conor Heim led off the inning with a swinging bunt that stuck in the muck in front of home plate. Dan Criscione followed with an infield single into the hole between shortstop and third base. Jimmy Criscione ripped a shot toward the gap in left center, but McCloskey tracked it down and the runners held at first and second. 

James Rendine, the defensive hero in Paramus’s semifinal conquest of Delaware on Friday, slashed a single to right center. McCloskey gunned down Heim, trying to score for the second out. Mizutani bounced into a fielder’s choice to end the threat. 

Paramus also put runners on first and second with two out in the third on a single by Nick DeNigris and a walk to Gavin Niland, but Garbrick struck out Heim. 

Jimmy Criscione turned in a brilliant defensive play behind Mizutani with one out and a runner on first in the second inning. Wyatt Koch sent a long fly into the gap and the Paramus centerfielder made a sprawling catch despite the elements.

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