BANGOR, Maine — Bangor leadoff hitter Trevor DeLaite hit a walk-off single one at-bat after teammate Ryan Brookings tripled to start off the bottom on the ninth inning Wednesday as the Comrades stayed undefeated with a 6-5 Zone 1 American Legion baseball victory over Northern Lumber at the Winkin Sports Complex at Husson University.
“I wanted to get on base and do something good for the team and it happened to be a triple. It felt awesome,” Brookings said. “It’s one of those things you dream [about]. It feels good, having the whole team giving you high-fives.”
“[It felt] good, we kind of struggled early with the bats. I tried to win it for us,” said DeLaite, with teammates pouring water over his head in celebration. “I just tried to hit something I could drive, something I could hit well.”
Brookings led the Comrades (11-0) with the triple, a walk and two runs scored. Andrew Hillier earned the pitching win with 1⅔ innings of scoreless relief.
Starter Kyle McVey pitched seven innings for Northern Lumber of Millinocket (5-7), giving up five runs on five hits while striking out five and walking six.
Northern Lumber regained the lead in the sixth inning for the first time since the second. Brad Moscone started the rally with a walk, Isaiah Straubel singled and Parker Walker hit an RBI single.
Straubel scored on a fielder’s choice, and Walker came home on a sac fly by Jordan Morrow to make it 5-4.
The Lumber missed a chance to extend the lead in the eighth when a baserunner did not tag up from third and score on a pop fly.
“To lose on a mental error, not tagging up on that play in the eighth, that really hurt. That ended up being the difference in the game,” said Lumber coach Brandon Portwine.
Courtney hit a two-out triple in the seventh inning, with Hillier driving him in with a single to send the game into extra innings.
“Our leadoff hitter has been great all year long,” Morris said. “With the defense they gave us, you really have a lot more options as a hitter. He hit the ball high; you try and hit the ball as high as you can and hope something good happens.”
Northern Lumber struck first in the top of the second. Jon Dumas singled, a fielding error and a passed ball advanced him to third, and Nick Hagan drove him in with a single.
Hillier opened the Comrades’ second with a walk and stole second to get into scoring position. Bangor employed the same tactic to score most of its runs.
“Bangor is super fundamentally sound. They do all the little things right,” said Portwine. “Their hitters aren’t going to help you out by swinging at balls. If you give them a free pass they are going to take it. All of their batters, one through nine, are capable of [stealing a base].”
Tyler LaPlante drove in Hillier with an RBI single to tie the game.
“We try to put pressure on defenses. We do run pretty well, we had some guys steal some bases, and it was a great product,” said Bangor head coach David Morris.
Brookings led off the third with a walk and stole second. Sam Huston hit an RBI single, then McVey’s pickoff attempt to first went high and Huston advanced to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Courtney.
Trysten Pelkey and Dumas led off the fourth inning with back-to-back singles and advanced one base each on Moscone’s sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch on a third stike allowed Pelkey to come across and cut the Bangor lead to 4-2.
Pelkey paced Northern Lumber with two singles, a walk and a run scored.
Bangor’s walk-and-steal plan was put into action for the third inning in a row in the fourth. Ben Crichton did so, then was driven in two batters later by Sam Stanhope’s single.
Jordan Treadwell led the Comrades on the mound, giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking three in six innings.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to include Kyle McVey as Northern Lumber’s starting pitcher.