BANGOR, Maine — The Scarborough Junior League All-Star team could not be hitting their stride at a more opportune time.
After losing its first game of the District 6 tournament, Scarborough fought its way through the losers bracket and won the district title by reeling off five straight wins.
The recent string of success continued at Mansfield Stadium Saturday as Scarborough opened its state Junior League tourney run with a 6-4 victory over the Acadians of District 1.
“These guys are focused, flawless, and remain up through every situation,” said Scarborough coach Todd Welsh. “They’ve been doing such a great job and I’m very proud of them.”
On Sunday, however, District 3 champ Bangor beat Scarborough 9-1, setting up a rematch between the Acadians and Scarborough at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the losers bracket. The winner takes on Bangor in the championship round at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
On Saturday, Scarborough got contributions on both sides of the ball in the win as the offense was able to complement a complete-game effort from starter Matt Caron.
The Acadians helped Scarborough get comfortable in the first inning as Nick Lorello scored on an error and Caron came in on a passed ball. Jack Hughes would add an RBI groundout to give Scarborough an early 3-0 lead.
Lorello credited his team’s early offense to the work he and his teammates put in leading up to game time.
“We all try to get some good warm-ups in before the game by hopping in the cages and then we take that approach into the game,” said Lorello.
The Acadians stormed back in the third as two consecutive Scarborough errors put runners on second and third. Both runners eventually came around to score on Thomas Paola’s RBI groundout and Dylan Collin’s RBI single to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Scarborough was able to extend its lead again in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Jackson Coutts and an RBI single from Bayley Welsh to make it 5-2.
The Acadians hung close as Collin picked up an RBI groundout in the fifth, making it 5-3.
After Johny Timpson scored on a Lorello steal to push the Scarborough lead to 6-3 in the sixth, a fatigued Caron came out for the seventh.
Caron was able to hold the Acadians to just six hits and one walk over the first six innings, but worked his pitch count up to 81 pitches going into the final frame.
“I was feeling really good and still throwing strikes,” said Caron.
Instead of wearing Caron down or working him to his limit, the Acadians were impatient and got two quick outs on four pitches. Riley Swanson’s RBI groundout made it 6-4, but that was all the Acadians would get, as Caron got the next man to fly out and sealed the victory for Scarborough.
Though he gave up four runs, Caron pitched better than his stat line suggests. The righty did not allow the Acadians to overpower him or produce any game-changing hits.
“I just kept working the outside corner and they couldn’t reach out and get to it,” said Caron.
“Matt watches the batter to find their deficiencies and he goes after them,” added Welsh.
Lorello’s three singles led the way for Scarborough, with Anthony Simoneau and Caron chipping in two hits apiece.
Welsh likes the way the whole lineup has contributed of late.
“We found a formula that seems to be working for us in terms of placing players in the lineup and we will keep rolling with it,” he said.
For the Acadians, Ryan Bender had three singles and Branden Sprague added two singles.
In Sunday ‘s game, Bangor’s Trevor DeLaite earned the complete-game win as he allowed only one run and five hits while striking out five and walking three.
Nick Moore sparked Bangor with three singles and two RBIs and Ben Crichton notched an RBI single.
Scarborough’s Anthony Simoneau singled twice.
Bangor 111 000 6 — 9 7 0
Scarborough 010 000 0 — 1 5 4
DeLaite and Crichton, Fournier (3), Crichton (5); Wedge, Coutts (6), Lorello (7), Reed (7) and Welsh