BANGOR — After going hitless during his first four at-bats Thursday, Sean O’Donnell just wanted one more chance — which seemed unlikely after the John Bapst of Bangor shortstop made his team’s final out of the sixth inning.
But his teammates rallied from a four-run deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, bringing O’Donnell back to the plate with two outs and the winning run in scoring position.
Two pitches later, any earlier futility was forgotten, as O’Donnell singled to left field to cap off a stunning rally that lifted the Crusaders a 6-5 Class B baseball victory over Hermon at the Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University.
“I really wanted to get a hit because I hadn’t got a hit all day,” said O’Donnell. “That would be the best time to get one, and I got a good pitch to hit and I got the hit.
“It was a fastball in the perfect spot.”
Hermon (5-2) took a 5-1 lead into the seventh, largely behind the pitching of righthander Cody Veilleux, who allowed just one unearned run on four hits with striking out nine batters and walking three before being lifted after throwing 112 pitches through 5 2-3 innings.
But John Bapst’s offense, which had stranded 10 baserunners over the first six innings, found new life in the seventh against Hermon reliever Greg Hamlin. Max Andrews reached on a fielder’s choice that produced the first out and Evan Pelkey then doubled to right. Nolan Webber followed with an RBI single to right, and Shawn Curran walked to load the bases.
Hamlin struck out the next batter before Pelkey scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.
Brandon Cyr then hit a routine grounder to second base for what could have been the final out of the game — but a throwing error allowed Webber and Curran to score and suddenly tie the game.
Josh Storgaard was hit by a pitch to advance Cyr to second base and bring up O’Donnell, who lined a 1-0 fastball into left field to drive home Cyr with the winning run.
“Sean’s been one of our top hitters all year,” said John Bapst coach Shane Graham. “When he went to the plate I told him ‘right now, forget about what you’ve done at the plate the whole game, just go up there and concentrate and hit like you’ve been hitting all year,’ and he came through big for us.”
Webber earned the pitching win with two innings of one-run relief, while Cyr and Chris Hammond each singled twice to pace 3-1 John Bapst’s nine-hit attack.
Tyler Fournier had three singles and four stolen bases for Hermon, while Kevin Frederick added a two-run third-inning single that extended the Hawks’ lead to 4-0.
After Cyr doubled, went to third on a two-out walk to Hammond and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third to close the gap to 4-1, Hermon regained a four-run cushion in the sixth as Veilleux walked, stole second and scored on Hamlin’s opposite-field double down the left-field line.
Hermon took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a walk to Reid McGinley, a single by Fournier and two wild pitches by Andrews, the John Bapst starter.