BANGOR — Curtis Worcester expected to figure prominently in the pitching plans of the Bangor High School baseball team this year.
And while that didn’t happen immediately due to a concussion that sidelined the lefthander earlier in the season, his performance Thursday during his first start of the spring suggests that he could be a significant factor during the Rams’ stretch run to the playoffs.
Worcester scattered nine hits during a complete-game effort at Mansfield Stadium as Bangor edged Brewer 3-1 in a matchup of Class A rivals.
Control was the key to Worcester’s success. Not only did he not walk a batter, but he went to a three-ball count just twice in the contest — both in the first two innings.
“We were just trying to get ahead and pound the zone,” said Brewer catcher Dylan Morris. “Once Curtis gets ahead he’s a lot more confident like anybody would be, but he did a great job today getting ahead with his curveball. He did a great job of attacking the batters.”
Worcester struck out four batters while throwing 98 pitches, 75 for strikes, and he was backed by a defense that turned a double play and committed just one error.
“I had great fielders behind me and I knew they’d make plays,” said Worcester, “so I kept pounding the strike zone because I knew they had my back.”
Bangor (10-1) needed Worcester’s quality start to overcome Brewer sophomore Kyle Alexander, who yielded three runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts and four walks while working 5 2-3 innings in his first varsity start.
“He’s got a lot of confidence, and this was a good chance to give him a start,” said Brewer coach Dana Corey. “Bangor hadn’t seen him before and we’ve got another game [Friday], so I thought he’d be a good change-up to put out there. He threw his off-speed pitches well, he didn’t walk many people and got the ball in play, and we played good defense behind him.”
Bangor, which defeated Brewer 16-0 in their earlier meeting this year, broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Morris and Jacques Larochelle each walked before Joe Stanevicz — making his second at-bat of the game but just his fifth plate appearance of the season — grounded a single to right field to drive home Morris with the go-ahead run.
“My first at-bat [a strikeout] I was a little anxious, but my second at-bat I was more calm,” said Stanevicz. “The first pitch was a ball, and then I kind of expected an inside fastball and that’s what I got. It was in the perfect place, and I turned on it and hit it in the hole.”
Jack Stacey followed with a single up the middle to score Larochelle to give Bangor its two-run lead.
Alexander escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning with a strikeout and a 4-6-3 double play turned by second baseman Brandon Gendreau and shortstop Ryan Adams, but Bangor broke through for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Adam King drove home Seth Freudenberger with a one-out single to right field.
Brewer (5-6) tied the game in the top of the fifth on consecutive singles by Yuhi Sasaki, Adams and Gendreau.
Luke Hettermann had three singles to pace Bangor’s attack.
Adams also had three singles for Brewer, while Sasaki singled twice and Kyle McLain doubled.