BANGOR, Maine — With the possibility of two games to decide the District 3 Junior League All-Star tournament, both Bangor and Hermon would need solid pitching performances to be crowned champion.
Trevor Delaite and Kyle Stevenson answered the call for Bangor as each threw complete games en route to victories which sealed the championship for Bangor Wednesday night at Mansfield Stadium. Bangor moves on to represent District 3 in the state Junior League tourney this weekend.
“Trevor gave up just the two hits and Kyle threw strikes and let the defense help,” said Bangor coach Jim Owens. “When they hit it, we were able to make plays.”
Stevenson and the Bangor defense were able to halt Hermon bats in championship game, as Bangor was clinched the championship with a 5-2 victory after Delaite shut out Hermon 10-0 in the first game, forcing the if-necessary game in the double-elimination tourney.
Bangor will open its state-tourney run at noon Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s contest between D1 champ Acadian and D6 champ Scarborough.
Hermon came out strong in the first few innings of the second contest.
After leading off the second with back-to-back walks, Hermon used its speed to move runners into scoring position with no outs. Joe Plummer picked up an RBI single to make it 1-0, but thats all Hermon could muster as its scoring chance was spoiled by a flyout to left which resulted in a runner being doubled up at third while leaving early.
Still the Bangor bats stayed silent against Hermon starter Eric Hoogterp, who held the opposition to just two hits over the first four innings.
Hermon was able to add another run in the fourth on a Conner Farmer RBI single.
The Bangor bats came out with a sense of urgency in the fifth and got aggressive against a tiring Hoogterp.
Stevenson and Delaite picked up RBI singles to begin the offensive attack, but the big blow came in the form of a Nick Moore two-run double to give Bangor the lead. Bangor capped its scoring when Moore scored on an error to make it 5-2.
Moore’s hit proved to be the difference, but his approach was no different than usual in such a pivotal situation.
“I wasn’t that nervous to be honest, I just took it like a normal at-bat,” said Moore, who hit a game-winning home-run to beat Hermon in the 11-12 All-Star tournament almost two years ago Wednesday.
“Just win your at-bat, don’t get down, and the balls will start falling,” added Owens about his team’s mentality while playing down. “Pretty soon those balls started to fall and we got a few runs, that’s all there is to it.”
Stevenson worked past his early struggles with the help of his defense as he gave up five hits and struck out four, while receiving two key double plays from a defense that registered only one error.
“I made pitches when I needed to, but placement was key,” said Stevenson. “Our chemistry is very good and I had full confidence in the defense to make the plays behind me.”
Bangor’s offense was led by Moore’s double and a single, while Ryan Brookings added a double and Stevenson chipped in two singles. Hermon got a single each from Plummer, Hoogterp, Farmer and Tyler Beaton.
In the first game, Bangor was able to hit the ball early and often in a 10-0 mercy-rule game to force game two.
Along with the offense, Bangor starter Delaite continued his tournament success by allowing just two hits over his five innings while striking out six. Delaite was efficient with his 68 pitches, inducing lazy fly balls and routine groundouts from the Hermon bats.
“My fastball and off-speed stuff have been working well for me during this tournament, and tonight was no different,” Delaite said.
While Delaite did his part to force a second game, the Bangor offense came up with two big innings to complement the pitching.
After Johnny Cote reached on an error in the second, Brian Pierce put Bangor on the board with an RBI single. The Bangor stars then loaded the bases, where they picked up two more runs on a base-loaded walk to Delaite and a sacrifice fly from Nick Moore. Ben Crichton finished off the inning with an RBI single, which put Bangor on top 4-0.
After scoring two runs in the third off a Hermon error, Bangor poured on four more runs in the fourth inning. Cote scored the first run of the fourth on a stolen base from Nick Moore, while Joey Moir worked a bases-loaded walk and Ryan Moore provided a two-run single to make it 10-0.
Delaite and Nick Moore picked up two singles each while Ryan Moore and Ethan Dorman added a single apiece. The only two hits for Hermon were singles from Plummer and Jayson Lancaster.