BANGOR — Bangor High School junior lefthander Curtis Worcester turned in a six-inning masterpiece, and his teammates scored five unearned runs with two outs in the first inning, as the Rams advanced to the Eastern Maine Class A championship game with a 10-0, six-inning win over Edward Little of Auburn at Mansfield Stadium Saturday.
Worcester, now 3-0, tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks. He threw 53 strikes among his 69 pitches and allowed just three base runners, of which only one made it as far as second.
The Red Eddies hit just five balls out of the infield.
Second-seed Bangor, now 15-3, will face 18-1 and top-seeded Lewiston, winner of 13 straight, in Wednesday’s 5 p.m. Eastern Maine title game at Morton Field in Augusta.
Sixth-seed Edward Little finished up at 10-8.
Bangor avenged a 4-2 regular-season loss to the Red Eddies.
“My fastball got me through the game,” said Worcester. “I didn’t really have my curveball today. My fastball was tailing quite a bit and I worked in my change-up later in the game.”
Worcester threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 20 hitters he faced. He faced just two players over the minimum. He went to three-ball counts on just two hitters.
“That’s our approach. Throw strikes and get ahead in the count,” said Worcester.
“Curtis has had only had six three-ball counts over his last 20 innings,” pointed out Bangor coach Jeff Fahey.
“He wasn’t overpowering but he located his pitches well. He kept them on the outside corner [to righthanded batters],” said Edward Little junior pitcher Nate Blais, who absorbed the loss although all 10 Bangor runs off him were unearned. “He mixed his pitches up well.”
Blais also said Worcester was “just the third lefty we’ve seen all season.”
“He definitely threw a lot of strikes and he threw the ball by us. He didn’t throw crazy hard but his fastball had pretty good tail on it,” said EL catcher James Jackson.
Bangor catcher Dylan Morris said “we kept pounding them with the fastball and he also mixed in his changeup.
“They were aggressive with the bats. We kept it outside (to the righties) and then if they started leaning over the plate, we came inside.”
Righthanded Blais retired the first two hitters he faced in the first before Anthony Capuano started the decisive five-run rally by flairing a single into left center.
Dylan Morris was hit by a pitch and Joe Stanevicz took full advantage of a second chance after his foul pop-up was misplayed by Jackson when he ripped an 0-2 pitch into right for a run-scoring single.
“That ball was so high. But if I make the play, they don’t score five runs,” said Jackson.
Nic Cota followed with a long two-run triple over center fielder Cam Ivers’ head.
“It was a 3-1 pitch and I was looking for a fastball because I knew he didn’t want to walk me,” said Cota. “It right down the middle. It was my pitch.”
A throwing error by shortstop Josh Delong allowed the fourth run to score and Christian Corneil tripled off Ivers’ glove to deliver the fifth run.
Bangor added two more two-out runs in the fifth on Cota’s double, a wild pitch, a run-producing infield error and Jack Stacey’s RBI double.
Bangor scored three in the sixth — invoking the 10-run rule — on Capuano’s double, an outfield error, two walks and pinch-hitter Josiah Hartley’s two-run single.
Cota paced Bangor’s 10-hit attack with his triple and double. Capuano doubled and singled, giving him five hits in Bangor’s two playoff wins to date. Stanevicz singled twice.
Blais’s infield single to lead off the second inning and John Simpson’s soft fly-ball single to center with one out in the third were Edward Little’s only hits.
“(Worcester) threw a truckload of strikes and located his pitches exceptionally well,” said EL coach Scott Annear. “And you’ve got to give Bangor credit, they put the ball in play.”
Annear also said his team can’t make five errors in a playoff game and expect to win.