BANGOR, Maine — Before this spring Wyatt Frost had never hit second in a batting order, a spot usually reserved for a player willing to advance baserunners via a sacrifice bunt or a grounder to the right side of the infield.
The senior catcher is enjoying his new perch in the Bangor High School batting order, but he’s using a different tactic to achieve the desired results — moving the runners two bases at a time.
Frost doubled twice for the second straight game Thursday, with his three RBIs supporting six innings of five-hit pitching by senior lefthander Curtis Worcester as Bangor remained unbeaten with a 9-1 victory over Hampden Academy at Mansfield Stadium.
“Batting second it’s important to get on base, put the ball in play as much as can and let the people behind me bat me in,” said Frost. “I came out today feeling really good at the plate.”
Frost hit an RBI double to left-center to give Bangor an immediate lead after Carl Farnham led off the bottom of the first with a single to left off Hampden starter Logan Poirier.
He then followed a two-run single by Farnham with a two-run double to center to highlight a seven-run rally in the bottom of the second.
Bangor had 10 hits in the game, including two by each of the first four hitters in the lineup — Farnham, Frost, Christian Corneil and Cody Savage.
“We were seeing the ball really well at the start of the game,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey, whose team has outscored its opponents 44-4 during a 6-0 start that has left the Rams as the lone remaining undefeated team in Eastern Maine Class A.
“We really attacked the ball; I think it was the fourth inning before we hit a ball softly.”
Worcester improved his record to 3-0 by striking out eight batters and walking two while throwing 85 pitches before giving way to junior Jake Birmingham, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
“I felt good early,” said Worcester, who has allowed just two earned runs and 11 hits while striking out 28 batters over 19⅓ innings in four overall appearances.
Worcester induced Hampden batters to hit nine ground balls that produced 10 outs, including a 5-4-3 seventh-inning double play featuring third baseman Hunter Boyce and second baseman Sam Stanhope.
“I didn’t have everything going,” said Worcester, “but the defense was sharp behind me.”
Hampden (3-2) scored its run in the top of the third as Logan Steward hit a leadoff single to right, moved to second on a groundout by Nick Rodgerson and scored on Matt Palmer’s double to left-center.
By that time Bangor had built a 9-0 lead with two runs in the first and a seven-run barrage an inning later.
After his opposite-field RBI double to left-center in the first, Frost went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Corneil to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
Stanhope was hit by a pitch with one out in the second, and the bases became loaded when Boyce singled to right and Parker Sanderson walked.
Farnham singled to right-center to plate Stanhope and Boyce, and Frost doubled on an 0-2 pitch to drive home Sanderson and Farnham and give Bangor a 6-0 edge.
“We put Wyatt second in the order because he hits left handed and he can bunt when Carl gets on base,” said Fahey, “and he’s hit so well we’ve just left him there.”
Corneil followed with a single to right for his second RBI in as many innings, then beat the throw to second base on a fielder’s choice grounder by Savage. Corneil went to third on a flyout by Brendan Moore and scored on a wild pitch before Bryan Rouleau singled home Savage with the final run of the uprising.
Poirier then settled down and held Bangor scoreless for the next three innings before Palmer came on to work a scoreless sixth.
“I liked the outcome, but I wasn’t pleased with the way we finished,” said Fahey. “(Poirier) did a good job of making adjustments, he concentrated on throwing low strikes, and we didn’t adjust to that.”
Batting leadoff for the Broncos, Steward reached base in all four of his plate appearances on a single, two walks and on Bangor’s lone error of the game.
Steward was batting leadoff in place of Cooper Antone, Hampden’s regular starting catcher who was sidelined by illness.
Palmer had a single to go with his double, while Poirier also doubled for the Broncos.