BANGOR, Maine — Neither an archrival nor lightning could deny the Bangor High School baseball team a successful debut to its 2010 season.
Coach Jeff Fahey’s Rams combined 11 hits, errorless defense and five-innings of three-hit pitching by lefthander Joe Stanevicz to cruise past Brewer 9-4 at Mansfield Stadium on Wednesday.
“Everybody showed up to play today,” said Bangor shortstop Cody McInnis.
Nate Lewis led Bangor with a triple, two singles and a walk — with all the hits coming on two-strike counts.
“When I have two strikes on me, I just know if anything is close I’m going to be swinging,” said the senior outfielder. “But I don’t change anything with my swing, I just hit the ball.”
Dylan Morris and Jack Stacey each had two hits for Bangor, while Kyle Savage hit a two-run triple to right-center that keyed a four-run rally by the Rams in the fifth— just before the game was halted by a 1-hour, 8-minute lightning delay.
Bangor also put small-ball tactics to good use, stealing six bases in seven attempts and getting sacrifice bunts by Savage and Stacey as well as a successful suicide squeeze single by Stacey.
“We’re solid all the way through the lineup and our defense is phenomenal, so if our pitchers throw strikes we’re going to win,” said Lewis.
Stanevicz, a junior making his varsity debut, held Brewer to two runs on two hits through four innings, then escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the fifth by striking out Blake Birmingham and getting Yuhi Sasaki to ground to McInnis for a 6-3 double play.
“We have a really great defense so I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to do with this guy or that guy,” said Stanvicz. “I can just throw it because I know the defense will make the plays behind me.”
Stanevicz yielded three runs on three hits with four strikeouts and four walks before giving way to Jesse Wood after the lightning delay.
“Joe’s a guy who when he’s feeling confident can beat anyone, so we really focused on keeping his confidence up,” said McInnis, “Especially when they got a couple of guys on, we told him to bear down and focus, and he did. He was clutch.”
Brewer reached Stanevicz for a 2-0 lead on a two-out, two-run double to left-center by Colby Small in the second inning.
Bangor countered with three runs off Brewer ace Pat McEwen in the bottom of the inning.
Lewis blasted an 0-2 pitch to deep right for a leadoff triple and scored on Jacques Larochelle’s sacrifice fly. Savage drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on Stacey’s infield single. Savage scored the tying run on a throwing error as Bangor was attempting a delayed double steal, and Lonnie Hackett served an RBI single to right to drive home Stacey.
Bangor made it 4-2 in the fourth as Stanevicz singled, reached third on bunts by Savage and Stacey and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hackett.
Savage’s triple and Stacey’s squeeze bunt capped off the fifth-inning rally that pushed Bangor’s lead to 8-2.
Brewer cut the gap to 8-4 in the sixth. A walk and two hit batsmen loaded the bases before Jordan Richards plated a run with an infield hit and White had an RBI fielder’s choice.
Morris singled to right to open the Bangor sixth, and pinch-runner Christian Corneil stole second and scored on Lewis’ single to right.