BANGOR — The Brewer Witches rallied late, but were unable to complete the comeback as the Lewiston Blue Devils held on for a 5-4 high school baseball victory at Husson University’s Winkin Complex Friday.
Brewer had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning against Lewiston pitcher Corbin Hyde after a walk and two singles, but Hyde buckled down to get a strikeout followed by an inning-ending double play to escape the jam.
Brewer got within one in the seventh when Matt Morrow scored on a Nick Moore double. Moore moved to third on a passed ball, but was stranded after a strikeout and groundout.
The loss drops Brewer to 3-5, while Lewiston improves to 7-3.
“This was the first win we actually had to fight for at the end,” Lewiston’s Luke Cote said.
Lewiston coach Todd Cifelli was confident in his team after running into the late-inning jams. “We’re lucky some of our players have played in big spots before,” Cifelli said.
Lewiston’s defense stranded five of six baserunners in the final two innings to secure the victory.
“It got white-knuckled at the end but we’ve been in some big spots before and were fortunate to get the win.” Cifelli added.
Lewiston’s Cote started the game and gave up three runs over five innings, but saved the day with his bat and glove. Cote had two hits, including a triple to lead off the fifth and scored on a Shawn Ricker sacrifice fly to give Lewiston a 4-3 lead.
Cote moved to shortstop after walking the first batter in the sixth and helped start the double play to kill Brewer’s scoring chance. Cote credited extra practice for his ability to turn the double play in such a key spot.
“We stayed after practice yesterday working on double plays for about 30 minutes and it worked,” Cote said
Lewiston’s Hyde added a key insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single to put the Blue Devils up 5-3.
The Lewiston offense started the game off strong with a two run first inning after Matt Bowen two-run single. Brewer answered in the second, sending eight men to the plate and tying the game 2-2. Tony Bissell hit a single to drive in the first run for the Witches. Yuhi Sasaki beat out an infield single to score the second run.
John Collins’ RBI single in third put the Witches ahead 3-2.
Blue Devils’ catcher Alex Small made it 3-3 with an RBI double in the fourth, bringing Eric Soucy around from second to score.
Cote, Corbin, and Bowen had two hits apiece to lead the Blue Devil attack. Bissell led Brewer with three hits, while Morrow and Moore each collected two in the loss.
Cifelli praised his defense for coming up big when it needed to.
“Today was one of our first games that our defense lead us to get over the top,” said Cifelli.
The defensive spark helped the Blue Devils win their third in a row after dropping three games last week.
For Brewer, coach Dana Corey was not discouraged by his team’s loss, but saw the game as a building block.
“Looking at us, we competed today.” said Corey, “We’re 3-5 right now, but I don’t think we are a 3-5 team.”
Corey’s team matched Lewiston over the first five innings, but squandered opportunities late with a lack of timely hitting. Still, Corey was pleased with his offense’s execution and production against a great opponent.
“You put 11 hits up on the board against Lewiston and you’re doing a pretty good job,” he said.