BANGOR, Maine — Baseball games between Bangor and Brewer, whether during the high school season or the summer schedule, come in all varieties.
Their first meeting of the American Legion Zone 1 season was a pitchers’ duel, with Brewer righthander Pat McEwen scattering four hits over 6ª innings to lead the Falcons to a 3-1 victory over the Comrades at Mansfield Stadium on Thursday night.
“I just let the defense do the work,” said McEwen, whose teammates did not commit an error in the field. “I just wanted to throw strikes.”
Brewer is now 3-0, while Bangor is 0-1.
McEwen yielded a leadoff single to Cody McInnis in the top of the first inning, then held Bangor hitless until Jordan Clarke’s leadoff double in the seventh.
After Clarke reached base, pinch-runner Christian Corneil came around to score on a pinch single by Devin Lyshon. Bangor subsequently put runners on second and third with two outs before Chase Daniels came on in relief to get McInnis to fly to center to end the game.
McEwen finished with eight strikeouts and four walks during a 110-pitch performance.
“Pat just attacked them,” said Brewer coach Chris Morris. “That’s the thing I discussed with him before the game, that they had good hitters and this was going to be a great challenge for him, and he went out and threw a great baseball game.”
McEwen needed to be at his best because Bangor got a similar effort from righthander John Cox.
Pitching for the first time since last Fourth of July weekend, the 2008 Bangor High School graduate allowed just four singles over six innings while striking out six and walking three before giving way to Ian Edwards in the seventh.
Like McEwen, Cox pitched on the corners throughout his 85-pitch outing.
“John’s pitched one game in two years, and for him to come out and pitch the way he did he should be proud,” said Bangor coach Fred Lower. “It wasn’t like they were hitting him hard, he had command of his pitches and threw very well.
“He kept us in a close game, we had our chances and we put ourselves in position to at least tie the game.”
Caleb Smith struck the decisive blow in this contest, a bloop opposite-field single to left with two outs in the top of the fifth that drove home two runs to give Brewer the lead.
Greg Higgins opened the inning with a single to left, and pinch-runner Kyle McGeechan stole second before Brandon Gendreau and Tyler French drew back-to-back one-out walks to load the bases.
Cox then recorded his second strikeout of the inning before Smith hit his blooper to shallow left about 15 feet inside fair territory.
“It was just a borderline outside pitch, and I figured I’d be aggressive and try to put it in play,” said Smith, who just completed his freshman year at Erskine College in Due West, S.C. “It just fell in for me. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t but it worked out well tonight.”
Daniels then singled to left to drive home French with the Falcons’ third run of the inning.