BLUE HILL, Maine — It has been more than a month since the George Stevens Academy baseball team last lost, but time surely didn’t erase the memory of that most recent defeat.
The Eagles had a 16-3 loss at Bucksport on April 24 on their minds as they hosted the rematch with the Golden Bucks on Thursday afternoon — and vengeance was served in the form of a seven-run first inning that propelled coach Dan Kane’s club to a 10-3 victory.
“We’ve been talking the last couple of days in school about how we wanted to come out and really play a good game against Bucksport because they smacked us around the first time,” said GSA shortstop Nick Saunders, one of just two seniors in the Eagles’ starting lineup. “It was in the back of everybody’s heads.”
The win was the 12th straight for GSA since an 0-2 start, and given that Bucksport is one of the top-ranked teams in Eastern Maine Class B it should cement the Eagles’ status as the No. 1 team in Eastern C with postseason play on the horizon.
“We were pumped today,” said GSA senior righthander Peter Dickinson, who worked the first six innings to improve his record to 6-1. “We played absolutely terrible the first time against them, and we knew they were going to come to play again today because they’re the best in Class B and we’re the best in Class C, but we were ready to go get them.”
That was quite evident in the bottom of the first, when GSA sent 12 batters to the plate against Bucksport righthander Tim Nason and found success no matter the count.
Dickinson led off with a double to left-center on an 0-2 pitch, then Cameron Lawson singled on an 0-2 pitch. A wild pitch scored Dickinson before Saunders tripled home Lawson with a blast to right-center on yet another 0-2 pitch.
Saunders scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 before Tom Crowe walked, Nick Kane singled to right-center and Sam Eley walked to load the bases with one out.
Josh Gale grounded a two-run single to left, and Dickinson later had his second hit of the inning, an RBI single off Nason’s leg, before Lawson plated the final run with a fielder’s choice grounder.
“The past couple of games we’ve struggled with pitchers that aren’t as good as Tim, I think,” said Saunders. “He’s a good pitcher, so to jump on him at the beginning was a real boost for us.”
The rest was left to the hard-throwing Dickinson, who struggled at times but came up with the big pitch when he needed it to strand nine Bucksport baserunners.
He scattered seven hits while striking out seven, walking one and hitting two batters before being relieved by Saunders in the seventh.
“Peter didn’t have his best stuff, and his location wasn’t consistent with what he was doing out there, but he did a good job of pitching today,” said Kane. “He kept working enough ahead in the count that he could keep them honest. He was showing his curveball enough inside and outside so they had to think about that, and his velocity was still pretty good so he was throwing it by some people.”
Nason settled down after the opening inning, allowing just one earned run on five hits the rest of the way.
Dickinson, Saunders, Kane and Josh Gale each had two hits for George Stevens, while Kyle McGeechan and Cody Farrell each singled twice for 10-5 Bucksport.