BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Christian boys soccer team has been on a stellar run in recent years, winning the last four Class D state championships.
Now the Patriots’ baseball team is hoping to mount a modest title streak of its own.
Bangor Christian returns all but two players from its squad that defeated Buckfield 7-3 last June to win the Broadway school’s first state crown in that sport.
Six of those veterans will be starting for at least the third season each, led by seniors Ben Bragg and Remington Poulin.
“I’ve been coaching Ben and Rem since the fifth grade,” said Bangor Christian coach Mike Poulin. “It’s been fun to come up through with them.”
The Patriots feature a top 1-2 punch on the mound in Bragg and junior Cody Collins, who team with junior David Peters and sophomore Seth Pearson to provide experienced depth on an all-righthanded staff.
“Our pitching is our strength,” said Poulin. “But last night [a season-opening 3-1 win against Penobscot Valley of Howland] everyone was pumped up about our defense, too. They’ve been together for three years now and they’re solid.
“Our hitting needs to improve, but that’s pretty typical for this time of year.”
Remington Poulin, the coach’s son, is a third-year starter at catcher. He is joined in the infield by junior first baseman Tucker Rice, Peters at second base, Bragg and Collins at shortstop and junior Zac Palmeter at third base.
Pearson, a starter last spring as a freshman, is back to anchor the Patriots’ outfield.
“The kids know what they need to do,” said coach Poulin. “They work hard in practice, and they critique each other so they can help each other become better.”
Bangor Christian finished 19-2 a year ago, losing only to perennial Eastern D contender Deer Isle-Stonington and 2012 Eastern C finalist Dexter — teams the Patriots also defeated last spring.
Deer Isle-Stonington, which Bangor Christian hosts Monday in an early season showdown, figures to be one of the Patriots’ top challengers for regional supremacy again this year. But Poulin is quick to say that last year’s success — and 2011’s success when the Patriots reached the EM title game before falling in extra innings to Katahdin of Stacyville — won’t have a major impact on this year’s pursuit of another title.
“In high school baseball, things change from year to year,” he said. “Other teams get better, so we don’t want to say we’re the top dogs. But we’ve been pretty consistent, and as long as we stay that way we hope it gives us an opportunity to make another playoff run.”