SEARSPORT, Maine — The Brewer Falcons moved a step closer to earning one of the top two spots and a bye into the Zone 1 American Legion Tournament Tuesday night behind the long ball and the clutch pitching of Chase Daniels and Pat McEwen.
Tyler French belted his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second inning, and Steve Klenowski added a solo homer to back the combined eight-hit pitching of Daniels and McEwen as Brewer beat Steamboat Petroleum of Waldo 4-1.
Zone 1 leader Brewer improved to 13-3 while Steamboat Petroleum fell to 12-5.
Daniels, now 3-0, allowed a first-inning homer to Nate Adams, but pitched out of a number of jams until McEwen got the final two outs with two on base in the seventh.
McEwen struck out the first hitter and induced a popup for his second save.
Daniels and McEwen stranded 11 runners and held Waldo County hitless (0-for-6) with runners in scoring position.
“I tend to get into trouble but I get out of it somehow,” said righthander Daniels, who featured a live fastball and a good curve.
He struck out five and walked three while throwing 109 pitches, 66 for strikes.
“I used my fastball most of the time but I used my curveball more toward the end of the game,” said Daniels. “I threw my changeup a couple of times [in clutch situations] and got ground balls.”
“His fastball wasn’t overpowering but his curve was pretty nice and he kept it low. He had a lot of us chasing it in the dirt,” said Steamboat Petroleum cleanup hitter Ethan McHatten, who had two singles.
“He had a good fastball and he didn’t lose any of his concentration,” said Adams. “We didn’t get any timely hits.”
Adams, who had an outstanding freshman season at Husson University this past spring with a team-high seven wins (7-2) and a team-low 3.26 earned run average among pitchers with more than seven innings, pitched well in defeat.
He allowed 10 hits and four runs with nine strikeouts and four walks over seven innings.
“My arm felt great tonight but I couldn’t locate as well as I wanted to and Brewer capitalized. You have to give it to them,” said Adams, who threw 126 pitches, 81 for strikes.
Blake Birmingham reached him for a two-out double in the second and French followed with a two-run homer off a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence.
“He threw me a fastball inside and I just turned on it,” said French. “It was a little up and I thought if I got under it, I might get a nice base hit or something.”
“That was supposed to be on the outside corner. That shows how much I missed on my location. It was a pretty high pitch and he got the barrel of the bat on it. I was impressed,” said Adams.
Brewer scored another two-out run in the third on a walk, Klenowski’s base hit and Greg Higgins’ RBI line-drive single.
“That was down and away and he shot it right up the middle. That was a good piece of hitting by Higgins,” said Adams.
“We’ve done a great job with our two-out hitting this year,” said Brewer coach Chris Morris.
Klenowski made it 4-1 in the fifth with his homer to center.
“It was a fastball right over the plate,” said Klenowski.
“That was supposed to be on a corner,” said Adams.
Klenowski and French had two hits each for Brewer while Adams had two singles to go with his fourth homer of the season and McHatten had his two singles for Waldo County.