June 18, 2018
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Bangor rallies past Hampden


BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor baseball team used both the long ball and small ball as catalysts for a five-run sixth-inning rally that lifted the unbeaten Rams to a 7-5 victory over Hampden Academy at Mansfield Stadium on Friday.

The long ball was a one-out home run by Lonnie Hackett that gave coach Jeff Fahey’s club hope after Hampden had taken a 5-2 lead with three runs in the top of the inning.

Hackett drove a high 1-2 fastball from Hampden righthander Shawn Smith on a line over the left-field fence to jump-start a Bangor offense that had been frustrated an inning earlier — coming up empty after loading the bases with one out.

“I fell behind on the count early, but [Smith] threw me a good pitch,” said Hackett. “I didn’t think it was going out, but it just kept carrying.”

Alan Reese, the No. 9 hitter in the Bangor order, then bunted down the third-base line for a single on the next pitch.

“Coach had told me earlier if the third baseman was playing back to put the bunt down, so that’s what I did,” said Reese.

Cody McInnis singled to right to advance Reese to third, and McInnis stole second before Ryan Larochelle tied the game with a two-run single off the glove of drawn-in Hampden first baseman Josh Tardiff.

Larochelle reached second on the play, then scored the go-ahead run when Nate Lewis pulled a single to right. Lewis stole second, went to third on a fly-out by Devin Lyshon before scoring an insurance run when Jordan Clarke doubled to left-center — Bangor’s sixth hit of the inning.

“We’d hit the ball well all game and had stranded at least seven or eight guys before the bottom of the sixth,” said Larochelle. “We were just looking to tack on one at a time because we know we can score runs, and Lon started it off with a huge hit for us.”

Hampden (0-5) put runners on second and third with two out in the seventh against Bangor reliever Zane Gray, but the lefthander earned the pitching win with a game-ending strikeout of Cody Miller.

Bangor (5-0) finished with 14 hits, including a home run and two singles by Hackett, a double and two singles by Lewis and three singles by Larochelle.

Smith contributed a double and two singles to Hampden’s 10-hit attack. Tardiff and Nolan Turner each added a double and a single, while Cooper Plaisted singled twice.

Hampden took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI infield hit by Tardiff, but Bangor scored twice in the bottom of the inning. McInnis singled to left, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Larochelle. Lyshon followed with a two-out single and scored on an outfield error after Kyle Savage singled to left.

Hampden tied the game in the third, as Turner hit a one-out double to left and scored on Smith’s two-out, two-strike ground single up the middle.

Bangor threatened to regain the lead in the fifth after loading the bases on singles by McInnis and Lewis and a walk to Lyshon, but Smith struck out Savage and got Jacques Larochelle to fly to left to end the inning.

Back-to-back doubles by Smith and Tardiff gave Hampden the lead in the top of the sixth, and after Miller was hit by a pitch Plaisted added a two-out, two-run pop single to give the Broncos a 5-2 lead.

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