BANGOR — The Bangor High School baseball team withstood both the elements and the opposition Thursday in rolling to a season-opening 19-7, five-inning victory over Lawrence of Fairfield.
Seth Freudenberger had four of the Rams’ 19 hits, while Christian Corneil and Adam King each drove home four runs as Bangor built an 18-0 lead through three innings on a windy, chilly afternoon at Mansfield Stadium.
“I definitely think that when we step up to the plate, we’re all really confident and we have the ability to put the ball in play,” said Freudenberger, who had three singles and a double. “I think one through nine I wouldn’t want to pitch against any of us.”
The offensive onslaught, complemented by the pitching of senior lefthander Joe Stanevicz, enabled 11th-year Bangor head coach Jeff Fahey to earn his 150th career victory.
“I thought considering the weather conditions and really not being out that much that we swung the bats really well,” said Fahey, now 150-34 with the Rams entering Friday’s 1 p.m. game at Brewer. “We had some balls that dropped in because of the wind, but we also hit some shots.”
Stanevicz, who returns as the ace of the Bangor pitching staff after compiling an 8-0 record last spring, had to sit through back-to-back innings when his teammates batted around while scoring six runs in the bottom of the second and 11 more runs in the third. Yet he limited Lawrence to two hits while striking out eight batters in 3 1/3 innings before being lifted after issuing four fourth-inning walks.
“Joe was right around the plate,” said Fahey. “I thought he threw pretty well. The first couple of innings even their better hitters were behind him. When he gets the strike called at the knees, he’s very tough.”
Bangor took a 1-0 lead in the first when leadoff batter Luke Hettermann attacked the first pitch he saw and doubled to center, then stole third before scoring on a throwing error.
The Rams sent 11 batters to the plate in the second, an uprising that featured Corneil’s three-run double to deep straightaway center field on an 0-1 changeup from Lawrence starter Shawn Russell.
“Ever since baseball season started, coach has told us to be aggressive and to rip at the first good pitch you see,” said Corneil. “That’s what he told me when I came up with the bases loaded, that [Russell] was going to walk Luke [Hettermann], so when I got up there to take a hack at the first good pitch. That’s what I did and I was able to put a good swing on it.”
Bangor exploded for 11 more runs on nine hits an inning later, as King had a pair of two-run singles to go with a two-run single by Jacques Larochelle, an RBI double by Corneil and run-scoring singles by Hettermann, Bobby Winchell and Anthony Capuano.
Corneil finished the day with two doubles and a single, while Dylan Morris tripled and singled, Hettermann doubled and singled, and Larochelle singled twice with three RBIs.
“Once the weather starts heating up, we’re going to start swinging the bats well,” said Corneil, “and to do it on day one with the weather the way it was is a good sign.”
Lawrence scored all its runs in the fourth inning, with Matt Woodbury hitting a two-run double to left-center, Jordan Perkins adding a two-run single and Blair Blaisdell and Josh Doolan each singling home one run.