LEE, Maine — Andy Kay couldn’t be much more aptly named.
Katahdin’s senior pitcher continued his dominant 2009 season by making quick work of Lee Academy’s lineup Wednesday, allowing just one hit while striking out 11 batters and walking one en route to a five-inning, 10-0 victory on a bright, balmy afternoon at Linscott Field.
“It’s the same as he’s been all year. He’s dominant,” said third-year Katahdin coach Marty McCarthy, whose Cougars from Stacyville finish the regular season 12-2. “It’s pretty easy to stand over there and coach. He’s coming with a lot more heat this year than last year, so we haven’t really had to have him use his curve. He’s had great location and only walked a batter or two a game.”
Kay (threw 43 of 59 pitches for strikes (73 percent), had three 1-2-3 innings, and struck out the side twice.
“He played on our Legion team last summer, so I’ve seen him a lot. He was our ace, so we knew it would be a tough haul,” said Randy Harris, coach of the 7-9 Pandas. “He’s as good as there is around this area, regardless of class, the last several years..”
Kay, now 7-0, pitched a no-hitter against the Pandas in their first meeting this season.
“My fastball was good. I got really good velocity off this mound. I really didn’t have to use my curveball much,” said Kay. “And I haven’t really thrown my change yet.”
Kay had more than enough offense to back him up and much of it was self-supplied.
After walking in his first two at-bats, Kay stung a 1-0 offering to center for a two-run single with one out in the fourth to break open a tight game and make it 5-0.
In the fifth, Kay jumped on the first pitch he saw and roped it to right-center for another one-out, two-run single to make it 9-0.
“I got a fastball both times. I was just trying to be patient and wait for one,” said Kay.
Patience was the key for almost all of Katahdin’s hitters Wednesday, according to McCarthy.
“If someone hits the ball solid, it seems to snowball from there,” McCarthy said. “The biggest thing is we’re being patient and going deep into counts.”
And deep over the fence. Andrew Hawkins belted a 1-1 fastball over the fence in center to make it 2-0 in the fourth and Mook McGraw followed with another, almost in the same place, for a second straight 310-foot solo shot.
The Cougars looked like a veteran club as they committed no errors and played above-average defense. Lee, however, showed its youth with three errors leading to four unearned runs.
“We started four sophomores and a freshman today, so it’s a young club against a team with nine seniors, and at times it showed today,” Harris said.
Katahdin had eight hits, but only Kay had more than one as the Cougars hit up and down the lineup.
“Early on, we had to ride some of our hot hitters, but now we’re all chipping in and that makes it easy as a pitcher when your team’s getting a lot of runs early,” Kay said.
Lee’s lone hit came courtesy of a swinging bunt down the third-base line by Tim Worster in the third inning.