AUBURN — Edward Little is used to Mother Nature forcing it to move its early-season home games to its home away from home, the Auburn Suburban Little League complex.
The Red Eddies could get used to winning against the KVAC’s toughest competition, too.
Nate Blais rapped two doubles and drove in five runs as EL opened its season with a 7-3 win over Cony of Augusta on a windy and, briefly, snowy Thursday.
“It was great to start the year with a win against a strong ball club,” EL coach Scott Annear said. “We lost three times to them last year, so it was a pretty big deal.”
Luc Farrago scattered 11 hits and three walks over seven innings to get the complete game win. Farrago fanned six, but the key, Annear said, was keeping the Rams’ leadoff hitters off the bases in all but two innings.
“Luc did a great job with runners in scoring position, and the other part he did well was getting their leadoff guys out to start out,” Annear said. “He’s a bulldog and he is a pitcher. He has good stuff. I think most people would say that. But he has the mental aspect of pitching, too.”
Cony touched Farrago for single runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. EL stormed back with three in the fifth. Cam Ivers scored on a wild pitch by Rams reliever Tyler Lewis to cut the lead in half. After two walks, Blais ripped a two-out, two-run double to put the Eddies in front for good, 3-2.
Blais struck again in the sixth, this time with the bases loaded. James Jackson added an RBI single to make it 7-3.
“We took advantage of walks, and then guys like JJ and Blais drove guys home,” Annear said. “(Getting the three runs in the fifth) I think was a relief for them to say, ‘Hey, we can get on the board against these guys.’”
Both outfields performed well in the windy conditions, handling all of their chances. EL had the only error of the game.
Blais, Jackson and Ivers finished with two hits apiece for the Eddies. Nick Lucas stroked four hits to lead the Rams.
EL returns to action at 1 p.m. Friday against Oxford Hills. Due to unplayable conditions at Oxford Hills’ Gouin complex, the game has been moved to Auburn Suburban.