BREWER, Maine — Adam King has struggled to find his offensive groove for the Bangor High School baseball team this spring — with just one hit in his team’s first nine games.
But the junior third baseman delivered when his team needed it most Friday night, grounding a two-run single up the middle in the top of the fifth to give the Rams the lead for good as Bangor remained undefeated with a 10-6 victory at Heddericg Field.
“Adam’s average has been poor, but he’s really hit the ball pretty hard all through preseason and right up until the last two games,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey, whose club is now 10-0 and remains atop the Eastern Maine Class A standings.
“Tonight I was torn between whether to DH for him or [starting pitcher Kyle] Savage, but I just had a feeling that this would be a time for him to break out. Hopefully this gets him jump-started.”
Third-ranked Brewer (6-3) had rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead on a bases-loaded infield hit by Jordan Richards in the bottom of the fourth.
But in a game during which the teams combined for just 13 hits but drew 18 walks, Bangor used four walks to set up a decisive six-run rally in the top of the fifth.
Brewer starter Pat McEwen looked like he might escape the inning unharmed with two strikeouts after a leadoff walk to Lonnie Hackett.
But back-to-back walks to Devin Lyshon and Nate Lewis loaded the bases before Jacques Larochelle walked on a 3-2 pitch to force home the tying run.
That brought up King, who was just 1 for 21 at the plate for the season.
He fell behind in the count 0-2, but then went with the next pitch and punched the ball through the infield to drive home pinch runner Luke Hetterman and Lewis to restore Bangor to the lead.
“I was a little nervous because he struck me out once before,” said King. “I knew that on anything close I had to rip at it, and that low fastball came and I just hit it up the middle.”
Dylan Morris followed King’s hit by pulling a two-run double to left before Jack Stacey singled home the final run of the inning to give Bangor a sudden 10-5 cushion.
“I think the pitchers were doing a pretty good job of trying to keep it a high-scoring game,” said Brewer coach Dana Corey, “but it was just a question of who was going to put the ball in play when and take advantage of situational hitting. You’ve got to be able to put the ball in play at cer-tain times, but there were times when we didn’t do it and times when they came through.”
The Rams preserved that lead with solid defense — turning double plays to end both the fifth and sixth innings — and with lefthander Joe Stanevicz pitching four innings of three-hit, two-run relief to improve his record to 4-0.
“We hadn’t been behind like that all year,” said Fahey, “but we chipped away and got six runs after two outs, and then we played some pretty good defense.”
Bangor scored two runs in each of the first two innings, with Lyshon lining a two-out, two-run homer to left in the first and Hackett grounding a two-run single to center in the second.
But Brewer rallied to tie the game in the third, with Eric White driving an RBI double to the left field fence and Nick Moore hitting a three-run double down the left field line.
White finished the night reaching base in all four of his plate appearances with two hits and two walks, while Richards also singled twice for the Witches.
Morris doubled and singled to pace Bangor’s seven-hit attack.