BANGOR, Maine — Jeff Fahey saw it coming, then Curtis Worcester went out and delivered — not just the no-hitter his coach had predicted, but a six-inning perfect game as the Bangor baseball team defeated Skowhegan 10-0 at Mansfield Stadium on Wednesday.
The senior lefthander, bound for the University of Southern Maine in the fall, had seven strikeouts and threw just 63 pitches — 49 for strikes.
And not only did Worcester not face a three-ball count, he reached a two-ball count on just four batters as he helped 14-1 Bangor avenge its only loss of the spring, a 3-2 decision at Skowhegan last Thursday.
“The kid was lights out,” said Skowhegan coach Rick York, whose team falls to 6-9. “The curveball was breaking off the table, the fastball had high velocity and he was spotting it well, and I think [the loss] last week probably was a little on his mind.
“He took it personally and came out and just dealt it to us.”
Worcester (6-0) relied on his fastball early in the contest before he and senior catcher Wyatt Frost turned more to off-speed pitches in the later innings.
“We approached it like always, we want to attack with the fastball until they hit it and then we worry about mixing it up after that,” said Worcester. “I was able to go through the order once without throwing the curveball, but having my curveball as good as it was today was a bonus.”
The no-hitter was the second by a Bangor pitcher in nine days. Junior righthander Greg Duff did not allow a hit in the Rams’ 3-0 win over Hampden Academy on May 15.
“I turned to [assistant coach] David [Morris] in the second or third inning and said, ‘He’s not going to give up a hit,’” said Fahey, Bangor’s 11th-year head coach. “I don’t know how Greg’s going to one-up him now unless he goes seven innings perfect, but it’s pretty neat to have two no-hitters in one season.”
Worcester admitted that for much of the game he had more than mere victory on his mind as he pursued his first career no-hitter or perfect game.
“Especially since Greg threw his no-hitter I like to think about it every inning,” said Worcester. “It came into my head but I didn’t let it take over, but by the fifth inning it was pretty loud in my head.”
Worcester was backed by a defense led by right fielder Parker Sanderson, who made five putouts in the first four innings, including a running catch of a foul fly hit by Henry Ametti in the third inning.
Second baseman Bobby Winchell caught a hard-hit liner right at him by Kam Nelson in the fifth inning, then made a good read on a high chopper hit by Chase McKenney to make the final out of the Skowhegan sixth. And Christian Corneil tracked down perhaps the hardest-hit ball by the Indians, a fly to straightaway center field by McKenney in the top of the third.
Sophomore designated hitter Brendan Moore paced Bangor’s 11-hit attack, driving in four runs with a three-run double and an RBI single.
Carl Farnham also doubled and singled for the Rams, while Frost singled twice and scored three runs and Hunter Boyce also singled twice.
Bangor broke on top in the bottom of the first as Frost singled and scored when Corneil tripled to center.
Farnham led off the Bangor third with an opposite-field double to right and scored when Frost followed with an opposite-field single to left. Moore singled to right-center with two outs to drive home Frost for a 3-0 lead.
The Rams sent 11 batters to the plate in the fifth to score six runs, a rally that featured Moore’s three-run double down the left-field line.
“Our hitting coach, coach Dave Morris, has been telling us all year to keep our front side in when we see that curveball coming and keep our weight back,” said Moore. “I kept my hands in and just turned on it and pulled it down the line. It was probably one of the few times I’ve gone to left field, but I felt like I got all of it.”
Boyce and Farnham added RBI singles later in the inning as Bangor extended its lead to 9-0.
Corneil reached on an error to open the Bangor sixth, went to third on a single to center by Nick Ashey and scored the game-ending run when Brian Rouleau popped a single to right-center.