BANGOR — The Bangor baseball team was unbeaten and untested entering Friday’s encounter with Brunswick at Mansfield Stadium, having outscored its first six opponents this spring by an average of 11 runs per game.
The Rams are still unbeaten, but they’re untested no more after outlasting the Dragons 4-3 on Seth Freudenberger’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
That marked Bangor’s only lead against a Brunswick team that began the day ranked one place behind the second-seeded Rams in the Eastern Maine Class A standings.
And the Dragons lived up to that ranking, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning and then snapping a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the sixth.
But coach Jeff Fahey’s Bangor club showed resilience in the face of Brunswick’s upset bid, and when the Dragons finally made mistakes after six innings of error-free play, the Rams capitalized.
Luke Hetterman reached on an outfield error with one out in the seventh, stole second and went to third on Christian Corneil’s single to center. Corneil took off for second base on the next pitch, and Brunswick reliever Shane Lizotte was called for a balk, enabling Hetterman to score the tying run.
Bangor lefthander Joe Stanevicz stranded a runner on third base in the top of the eighth, then the Rams loaded the bases on walks to Anthony Capuano and Jacques Larochelle around a Dylan Morris bunt single on a sacrifice attempt with nobody out in the bottom of the inning.
That brought up Freudenberger, who already had two hits in the game. The senior second baseman jumped on Lizotte’s first pitch and grounded the ball sharply through the shortstop hole of Brunswick’s drawn-in infield, enabling pinch-runner Jacob Searles to score and give Bangor its most satisfying win of the season.
“Whenever they bring the infield in I just try to hit the ball hard,” said Freudenberger. “As long as it’s not right at someone, most of the time you’ll be all right. With the bases loaded he had to come right at me and he threw a first-pitch fastball and I tried to get a good piece of it.”
The win extended Bangor’s regular-season winning streak to 23 games but was the closest call of that run.
“I think we needed this to be honest,” said Bangor senior shortstop Jack Stacey, whose two-run double on a first-pitch fastball with one out in the bottom of the second delivered the Rams’ only runs until the seventh. “It was like a gut check for us, and it let us know that we have to keep our heads up and that anything can happen on a given day.”
Left fielder Garrett Erb plated all of Brunswick’s runs with a two-run double in the first inning and an RBI single in the sixth.
Alex Emery added two singles for 5-3 Brunswick, but Stanevicz was able to keep the Dragons largely in check after their early uprising and finished a 110-pitch complete-game performance by allowing two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
“We preach hitting your spots and getting outs, and I missed some spots in the first inning and they made me pay for it,” said Stanevicz, now 4-0. “They’re a good hitting team, but we came back with some big plays and I settled down, and when I settle down I feel like I’m dominant. I relaxed more and my teammates behind me played a heck of a game.”
Adam King doubled and singled for Bangor, while Morris singled twice.