BANGOR, Maine — Two-out outbursts in the first two innings propelled U.S. East champion Auburn, Mass., to an 11-0 victory over District 3 host Hampden in the Senior League World Series on Tuesday night.
The game at Mansfield Stadium was called after 4½ innings because of the mercy rule.
Auburn scored eight times in the first inning and three in the second, all with two out, while pitchers Joshua Boucher and Ryan Kozlowski and Lincoln Bois kept Hampden at bay.
“We had to come out early and make a statement after our last game [a 7-6 loss to Grand Rapids, Mich., Sunday],” said Auburn second baseman Joe Fahey.
Auburn, Mass., (1-1) takes on Latin America champ Guatemela City, Guatemala, (2-0) at 8 p.m. Wednesday, while Hampden (1-2) will face Guatemala City at 5 p.m. Thursday.
D.J. Scavone, a big lefthanded first baseman, sparked Auburn by powering a pair of long doubles to right field. He also had a single in the third, going 3-for-3 after an 0-for-4 outing in their opener.
He gave credit, sort of, to a bat.
“We got a new bat from one of our players,” he said. “Brand new, he just bought it two days ago. Everyone was using it.”
It wasn’t that the bat itself changed things, according to Scavone.
“I think it was all in our heads,” he said, “because the bats don’t really do anything. Changing up a new bat, it’s like starting over.”
Scavone’s first double, a two-out shot in the bottom of the first inning over the head of Hampden right fielder Cody Varney, scored Fahey from first base and opened the floodgates.
Bois singled to score Scavone, Lamonda singled and moved Bois to third and Lamonda stole second. Three straight walks to Ryan Kozlowski, Ryan Angelico and Joshua Boucher scored Bois and Lamonda.
Kozlowski scored on a wild pitch with the other two moving up a base. Tyler Desjardins scored them with a single drilled down the third-base line, and Fahey plated the final run of the first by doubling home Desjardins.
Fahey said the fact there were two outs didn’t bother them.
“We don’t try to look at the scenario, we just try to get the run,” he said. “We just try to get on base and produce as much as we can, and if that’s with two outs, then that’s when we do it.”
Hampden was just the opposite. The District 3 squad, which consists of players from Hampden, Hermon, Winterport and Glenburn, couldn’t buy a two-out hit when it counted most.
“We were hoping to extend it,” said manager Basil Closson. “A couple times we had the bases loaded, but we couldn’t get a two-out hit.”
Hampden got its first base runner in the second when Michael Ward reached on an error with one out, but a strikeout and a fielder’s choice ended that hope for a run.
Scavone opened the bottom of the second with another double down the line, and he took second on a foul out to first base. Kozlowski walked with two outs and stole second, and Angelico singled to score Scavone.
Kozlowski scored on a delayed double steal when Angelico stole second. Boucher singled in Angelico with the final run.
Hampden loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Kozlowski struck out Cam Prescott to end the inning.
Hampden loaded the bases with two outs again in the fourth.
With one out, Michael Turner reached on an error, Keegan Quigley fouled out, Andrew Elston singled and Turner and Elston moved to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. Matt Closson walked on four pitches to load the bases, but a popout to third halted their last good chance to break the shutout.
Boucher pitched the first two innings for Auburn and earned the win, Kozlowski followed in the third and fourth and Bois finished up. Boucher and Kozlowski each posted two strikeouts, and Kozlowski walked one.
Matt Martin went ⅔ of an inning as the Hampden starter, getting roughed up after his right bicep began to ache. He struck out two and walked three.
“I was going to try working through it in the beginning, but I struck out the second kid and I noticed that I was pretty sore,” said Martin. “I just thought I could get one more out and that’s when it went downhill from there.”
Cody Lyons pitched the rest of the way on short rest, striking out three and walking one.
Hampden shortstop Matt Palmer, whose single in the third was Hampden’s first hit, isn’t ready to write off his team’s hopes for advancing to the semifinals later this week.
“We’ve got some tired arms and some sore body parts,” he said, “but other than that we’re really focused and we’re here to play baseball.”