BANGOR, Maine — Just when it seems like the Bangor American Legion baseball players are down for the count, they find a spark to rally their club and claim victory.
The case was no different for the Comrades in Monday night’s 3-1 victory over Motor City at Mansfield Stadium, as the Comrades came up with all three of their runs in the bottom of the sixth in a showdown between Zone 1’s two best teams.
“We have been playing this way all year long,” said Bangor coach Dave Morris. “Our kids believe in ourselves and each other, and when you get into that clutch situation you just hope things work out.”
Through the first four innings, it was a pitchers duel between Bangor’s Curtis Worcester and Motor City’s Casey Estes. Both pitchers went into the fifth inning having let just two runners advance past second base, due in large part to a great defensive effort on both sides.
Worcester struggled a bit in the fifth as Gabe Melmed’s RBI single brought home Shawn Curran, making it 1-0 Motor City.
With the Comrades running out of chances and the offense not finding success against Estes, a spark was needed to get the team going once again.
That spark came in the sixth when Carl Farnham, who made an error that led to Motor City’s run, beat out a passed ball after striking out to get Bangor a baserunner. After Christian Corneil’s single advanced him to second, Farnham came around to score on Dylan Morris’ RBI single to make it 1-1.
“After those errors I was bummed out and thought I was letting the team down a little bit,” said Farnham. “I swung at a bad pitch that got away and I knew that I was going to dive or do whatever it took to get on base.”
“It just shows what kind of character Carl has when he made some mistakes and didn’t sit there and sulk,” added Morris. “He got down on that passed ball and made some things happen for us.”
Nic Cota came up and gave the Comrades the lead with an RBI single and Hunter Boyce provided insurance with an RBI single of his own to make it 3-1.
“It’s a situation where it has to happen,” said Cota, who praised Morris’ work to get his swing back after a year away from baseball. “It was just my turn tonight and I ran with it.”
Worcester, who held Motor City to just the one run and struck out three, retired the side in order to end the game and give Bangor another comeback victory. He walked one and gave up only three hits.
Bangor was led by Cota’s two singles and Bryan Rouleau’s double, while Motor City’s offense was paced by Melmed’s single and singles from Sean O’Donnell and Shawn Curran.
Morris was happy with his team’s effort, knowing that the boys were putting everything they had into it.
“We kind of challenge each other before the game and say not to worry about the outcome and just go out and work hard,” he said. “The victory is just a product of how our guys approach the game and their commitment to this team.”
The win moves Bangor to 15-2 and gives them a half-game lead over Motor City, which slips to 14-2 in the Zone 1 standings.
With the playoffs drawing near, Farnham felt as though an effort like this can go a long way in showing teams what the Comrades can do.
“You can’t let up on us,” he said. “You may have us down for the count but we are always going to come back and teams have to look out for us early and late in games.”
“This is a big confidence boost, but we can’t get too high,” added Cota. “Everyone’s playing well right now, but I think if we can keep rolling like this we can make a nice run.”
Estes scattered seven hits while walking two and striking out seven.