BANGOR, Maine — Bangor’s Senior League All-Stars have struggled with the bats during District 3 tournament play, but their offensive breakout came at precisely the right time.
Coach Ron St. Pierre’s team erupted for 10 runs on 17 hits and punched its ticket to the Senior League World Series with a 10-6 victory over Old Town/Orono-Veazie in the District 3 final at Mansfield Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Bangor finished tournament play with a 4-0 record while Old Town/Orono-Veazie, which dropped its tourney opener before reaching the championship round, compiled a 3-2 mark.
The district title qualifies Bangor for the Senior League World Series, which begins at Mansfield Stadium on Aug. 16
Bangor set the tone offensively right off the bat, as Luke Hetterman doubled on the game’s second pitch. After a walk to Tyler Desjardins, Hetterman was thrown out trying to steal third with Desjardins stealing second.
With two outs, Joe Stanecivz blooped a double into shallow center that landed between two outfielders to score Desjardins while Josiah Hartley singled in a run one batter later to stake Bangor to a 2-0 lead.
Old Town got one back in the bottom of the first, as Phil Benoit singled and eventually came around on an error, but Bangor would add another run in the second and two more in the third before opening the floodgates with a five-run uprising in the fourth.
The big blow in the fourth came from pinch-hitter Adam King, who delivered after Hartley was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out, and smacked a 1-2 offering into the right-center field gap to clear the bases and give Bangor an 8-1 edge.
“We’ve been struggling with the bats a little bit, we’ve had seven strikeouts in each game and said we’ve got to put the bat on the ball,” said St. Pierre.
Jacques Larochelle, who led Bangor with four hits in four plate appearances and three runs driven in, including a two-run single to cap off the fourth, said early run production was going to be essential.
“We wanted to start out with a early lead and put them out of the game quickly. We wanted to score as many runs as early as possible,” Larochelle said.
The good news for Bangor was that turned out to be no problem, only Old Town still had plenty of fight left.
Coach Brad Goody’s club scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Dom Mowrer while Sean Kilpatrick was awarded home plate on a balk.
Old Town made things a little uncomfortable for Bangor in the bottom of the seventh, as Jake Stoddard’s two-run single brought them within four.
“We’ve been doing that all year, I think every game we’ve played in we’ve been down and battled back,” said Goody. “I think a lot of guys believed they were never out.”
But with men on first and third and two outs and the tying run in the on-deck circle, Bangor’s Jesse Wood, who pitched 3ª solid innings of relief to pick up the win, recorded a strikeout on three pitches to end it.
Bangor had plenty of chances to stretch its lead, but a baserunning mistake that led to a double play in the sixth killed a first-and-third, one-out rally.
“I was just hoping we wouldn’t make some wild mistake to give them the edge. And we sort of did,” said St. Pierre.
Benoit and Stoddard had two hits apiece while Benoit scored two runs for Old Town.