AUGUSTA, Maine — Lefthander Corbin Hyde escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the ninth inning with two game-ending strikeouts as Gayton Post of Lewiston eliminated Bangor 8-7 on Saturday at the state American Legion baseball tournament.
The win advanced Zone 3 champion Gayton Post (24-1) to a noon game Sunday against Brewer, a 12-11 winner over Augusta in Saturday’s late game.
Bangor, the Zone 1 runner-up, ends its season with a 22-8 record.
Bangor had rallied from a 7-2 third-inning deficit behind the relief pitching of righthander Greg Duff, who allowed one run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings.
“It’s just the kind of kid he is, he’s a great kid with strong character,” said Bangor coach Dave Morris of Duff, who was coming back one day after allowed a two-run homer to Jason Burns in the ninth inning of Friday’s winners’ bracket loss to Augusta. “In his situation, to put us in a position to win this game, I can’t say enough about him. After (Friday), how many kids are going to come back the next day and pitch like he did today. His performance speaks for itself, I’m not quite sure I have the words to really describe it other than it was a gutsy, gutsy performance by a solid individual.”
Bangor scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and then closed within 8-7 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Duff was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Nic Cota had an RBI groundout and Dylan Morris singled home a run.
Cota led off the Bangor ninth with a single to center off Joe Sullivan, bringing on Hyde as the fourth Gayton pitcher.
Hyde hit Morris, then struck out Christian Corneil before Joe Stanevicz flared a single to left to load the bases with one out.
But Hyde regrouped and struck out Jesse Wood and Jack Stacey to end the game and keep Gayton’s hopes of a second straight state championship alive.
“After I beaned the first guy I was a little nervous,” said Hyde, “but I just used the breathing technique coach (Todd) Cifelli’s brother Chris taught us in high school, and that settled me down and I started throwing strikes and doing what I usually do.”
Hyde also had two of Gayton’s 12 hits, including a two-run home run that highlighted his team’s six-run second-inning uprising. Luke Cote, Jeff Keene and Trey Ouellette each added two hits.
Stanevicz had three singles for Bangor, while Morris doubled, singled and hit a sacrifice fly to total three RBIs. Cota also doubled and singled for the Comrades, while Stacey singled twice and Wood and Cody McInnis each scored two runs.
Gayton Post 061 010 000—-8—12—1
Bangor 200 113 000—-7—11—2
Bowen, Ricker (6), Sullivan (7), C. Hyde (9) and M. Hyde; Stanevicz, Laplante (3), Duff (3), Worcester (9) and Morris