DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — High-octane offense hasn’t always been a given for the Foxcroft Academy baseball team this spring.
But high-quality pitching has been a constant in elevating the Ponies among the contending teams in Eastern Maine Class B, and it continued Thursday afternoon as junior righthander Ryan Rebar pitched a three-hit shutout to lift coach Mark Chevalier’s club to a 5-0 Senior Day victory over Old Town.
Foxcroft is now 7-5, while Old Town dips to 4-6.
Relying mostly on his fastball, Rebar struck out nine batters, walked no one and hit a batter while throwing 91 pitches, 60 for strikes.
“I pretty much have the same mentality every game, to come out and throw strikes,” said Rebar. who now has a 0.60 earned run average in 35 innings pitched this spring. “[Senior catcher] Cody [Coiley] did a heck of a job behind the plate, spotting me and giving me the signs. I just wanted to come out and play hard for the seniors.”
Rebar yielded only a second-inning single by Cameron Archer and a double and single by Old Town’s No. 9 hitter, Nathan Colannino, and no Coyote baserunner advanced beyond second base.
Foxcroft also backed Rebar with errorless defense.
“Ryan’s great to play behind,” said junior shortstop Caleb Richard. “He throws a lot of strikes and gets a lot of groundouts and a lot of strikeouts.”
Foxcroft collected 12 singles off Old Town righthander Gabe Melmed, who struck out three batters and walked just two — one intentionally — during a complete-game effort of his own.
“Some games we come to play and some games we don’t,” said Rebar of the Ponies’ offensive ups and downs. “But we’re working on that and hopefully we can win out the rest of the games this year, finish strong and carry the momentum over to the playoffs.”
Richard had three hits from the leadoff spot in the Ponies’ batting order, while Kaleb Smith rebounded from a recent slump to single twice from the ninth spot in the lineup and score both times he reached base.
“I’ve always been taught that the nine-hole is like a second leadoff slot, someone to get things going again,” said Smith, a junior first baseman. “I’ve been struggling lately, but that first hit gets your confidence up and then you’re ready to go.”
Rebar and Hunter Law each contributed two singles and an RBI.
Foxcroft took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Law and Rebar hit back-to-back one-out singles, with Law scoring on a groundout by Cameron Fadley and Coiley following with a single down the left-field line to drive home Rebar.
Smith hit a two-out single in the Foxcroft second, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on back-to-back singles by Richard and Law.
Foxcroft scratched out another run after two were out in the third to make it 4-0. Matt Chapman reached on an infield single to third base, stole second and scored on Shinsuke Mikame’s ground single down the third-base line.
Smith opened the Foxcroft fourth with a single to right, advanced to second on a single to left by Richard and scored on Rebar’s one-out single to center.
“I feel like we played great today,” said Richard. “We’ve been struggling at the plate lately, we haven’t scored a lot of runs, but we had the bats going today.”