BANGOR, Maine — Nate Adams answered the call of duty with both the bat and glove for Steamboat Petroleum of Waldo County Thursday afternoon.
Adams, who just finished his freshman campaign at Husson University, put on a show on his home diamond, sparking a five-run sixth-inning rally with a two-run homer while pitching solidly in relief as fourth-ranked Steamboat defeated No. 5 Trenton 7-4 in a Zone 1 play-in at the Winkin Complex.
No. 3 Bangor knocked off city rival Motor City 14-6 in the second game of the doubleheader.
The Comrades take on second-seeded Hampden today at 4 p.m. while Steamboat meets No. 1 Brewer at 7 p.m. in the first day of the four-team, double-elimination tourney.
In the first game, Steamboat was stymied early by Trenton righthander Peter Dickinson while it fell behind in the first inning.
The Acadians jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a walk, single and two-run single to center by Collin Ciomei.
While his teammates struggled at the plate, Steamboat starter Evan Kingsbury kept his team in striking distance, allowing just one more run the rest of the way.
Steamboat finally reached Dickinson in the fifth. Josiah Brazier laced a one-out single before Adams cranked a 1-0 fastball well beyond the left-field fence to bring his team within a run.
“It was a fastball, I think it was left over the plate,” said Adams. “I was gearing up, just trying to read it out of his hand, I figured if I get a good pitch I’d try to turn on it.”
That set the table for the rest of Steamboat’s offense, as it scored three more runs — all coming with two outs — on an RBI single by Gabe Blodgett and a two-run double off the fence in left by Cody Ward.
Kingsbury and Adams assumed command after that, as Kingsbury started the game and pitched into the fifth before Adams, who started the game in right field, finished off that inning.
Kingsbury came back on in the sixth while Adams went back to right, and Adams re-entered in the seventh and wound up earning the victory.
“Coach told me if it came down to it that I’d come in in relief, I might have to come in and pitch and go back to right field and come in and pitch again,” he said. “I had to keep my concentration out in the field and with pitching.”
Trenton got back within a run in the seventh on Garrett Kaspala’s RBI single, but Steamboat scored single runs in the seventh and eighth.
“It was a great team win for us, really,” said Adams, who kept the Acadians at bay with a strong fastball and good breaking pitches.
In the second game, coach Fred Lower’s Bangor Comrades scored early and often and got solid pitching performances by a pair of young lefthanders.
After trailing 2-0 after the top of the first, Bangor parlayed two walks, two hit batsmen and two-run singles from Shane Walton and Jordan Clarke into a five-run uprising.
That allowed starter Joe Stanevicz and Curtis Worcester, who relieved him in the fifth, to make quality pitches against a Motor City lineup that has struggled with southpaws.
“They were scoring runs and we were not hitting the ball at all,” said Motor City coach Darrell Plourde. “Our kids don’t hit lefties well.”
On the contrary, the Comrades hit the ball all over the place and worked 10 walks.
“We’ve been talking to the kids for the last month or so just to have quality at-bats, really talking about what a quality at-bat is,” said Lower.
Motor City did stay close throughout the middle innings, pushing across a fourth-inning run to make it a 5-3 ballgame, but Bangor scored three times apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to slam the door.
Lonnie Hackett sparked the fifth-inning rally with a sharp two-run single to left while Nate Lewis blasted a run-scoring triple to left-center in the sixth.
Stanevicz, who just completed his sophomore year at Bangor, pitched four solid innings while Worcester, who will be a sophomore in the fall, was effective in relief to pick up the victory.
“For [Stanevicz] to come in on this stage and pitch well and for Curtis to come in in relief and not have to go to any of our other pitchers, that was key for us,” said Lower.
Shane Walton and Clarke each had three RBIs for Bangor.
Charlie Merritt plated two runs with a triple for Motor City while Nick Pooler added an RBI single.
Trenton (11-10) 200 010 100 — 4 7 3
Steamboat (15-6) 000 005 11x — 7 9 1
Dickinson, Carlin (7) and Crowley, Young (7); Kingsbury, Adams (5), Kingsbury (6), Adams (7) and Ashey
Motor City (10-11) 200 100 030 — 6 8 2
Bangor (16-5) 500 033 12x — 14 11 1
Healey, Hammond (2), Theriault (7) and Smith; Stanecivz, Worcester (5) and Morris, King (9)