BENNINGTON -- Down by three runs in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series against Brattleboro, Nate Coyne hit a ball off the top of the right field wall for a home run, pulling his team within a run.
Despite Coyne's heroics, Brattleboro held off a charging Bennington, 15-12, during a District 2 all-star game at the Bennington Little League field on Tuesday.
"I thought we had the momentum when that happened," said Bennington coach Trevor Coyne. "I knew we had to get to the top of the order, but we gave up too many runs in the sixth."
Brattleboro took a 10-3 lead in the top of the second inning after scoring eight runs on nine hits, including cleanup hitter Jeremy Rounds crushing a home run over a shed in left-center field.
But Bennington was not through by a long shot, as they got back three runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 10-6. Then after allowing another run in the top of the third, Bennington scored four times, capped off by Will Shea's two-run bomb deep to center field to make it 11-10.
"After the second, I told every kid to keep their heads up, we still have five innings left to hit," Coyne said. "We scored 17 runs in the last game, so I know they can hit. I knew it was going to be a slugfest, both teams can really hit the ball."
In the fourth with the score 11-10, Rounds -- who was 3-for-3 with three home runs and two walks -- blasted his longest shot of the day, a two-run dinger to up the lead to three.
"He was due to break out," said Coyne, who mentioned Rounds hit a home run in the second game of the series as well. "He's probably their best hitter, I just told them to not groove one and apparently they grooved three of them."
Coyne's homer got Bennington back to a 13-12 deficit, but Brattleboro added two more runs in the top of the sixth after Hunter Beebe blasted a double to right and Caleb Martin walked with the bases loaded.
Bennington had one last chance, but Rounds got three groundouts to end it.
"The effort was beautiful, but errors killed us today," Coyne said.
Bennington, after winning the first two games 5-3 and 17-10, still has a 2-1 lead in the series, and travel to Brattleboro on Thursday for Game 4.
The winner of the series travels north to Burlington for the state tournament and the winner of that heads to either Rhode Island or Connecticut for regional play.