BREWER, Maine — The Katahdin of Stacyville baseball team used a late-season loss last spring as a tool to refocus on its goals — and that led the Cougars to the Eastern Maine Class D championship.
After suffering its first loss of the 2009 season Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader against Deer Isle-Stonington at Heddericg Field, Katahdin is now hoping a similar postseason scenario is in the offing this year.
“When we lost to Ashland last year, we went back and worked harder in practice and refocused on what we wanted to do,” said Katahdin senior Josh Guiggey. “We always practice hard, but I’m sure [coach] Marty [McCarthy] will stress to us not to take anything for granted.”
Deer Isle-Stonington, itself a top-five team in the most recent Heal point ratings, went a long way toward confirming its status among the Eastern D leaders with its 5-4 victory over first-place Katahdin — which began the day as the lone remaining unbeaten team in Eastern Maine.
Guiggey, making his first pitching start of the spring, tossed a three-hit shutout in the second game as Katahdin rolled to a 13-0 victory that was halted after 4½ innings by the 10-run rule.
The righthander struck out four batters and walked no one while throwing just 64 pitches — 42 for strikes.
“When I went out on the mound for the first inning, I had a little temper,” said Guiggey. “I was pretty upset because we should have taken the first game.”
Guiggey was backed by plenty of early offense, as the first six Katahdin batters of the second game all scored during a rally fueled by three Deer Isle-Stonington errors and three walks, along with a two-run single up the middle by cleanup hitter Ethan Qualey.
The Cougars scored six more runs in the second inning, with RBI singles by Josh and Mark McGraw preceding a two-run single by Richard Qualey.
Andy Kay added an inside-the-park home run to deep center field leading off the third inning. He also singled and scored three runs for Katahdin, while Mickey Savage came off the bench to contribute a double to the Cougars’ seven-hit attack.
Joe Carter tripled for Deer Isle-Stonington, while Eben Powers added a double.
In the first game, Deer Isle-Stonington (8-4) spotted Katahdin a 1-0 first-inning lead but scored two runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth — on a three-run double by Powers — to stake starter Evan Rollins to a 5-1 lead.
Katahdin (9-1) rallied with a run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth, but Powers came on in relief to quell that rally.
Katahdin then threatened to tie the game in the seventh as Kay and Ethan Qualey each singled, and runners were on second and third with one out before Powers struck out the final two batters — the second strikeout coming as Kay was attempting to steal home.
“Rollins threw really well,” said Deer Isle-Stonington coach Darren Eaton. “He’s not going to overpower you, but he moves the ball around.
“Katahdin’s a good team, a very good offense, and I think the change of speeds kind of goofed them up a little bit and they weren’t ready to play.
“But I’ll take it.”
BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT
Katahdin pitcher Ethan Qualey beats Deer Isle-Stonington runner Deven Haskell to first base for an out in the second inning of the second game of a doubleheader in Brewer Saturday. Katahdin won the second game 13-0 after DI-S captured the first 5-4.