AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s fickle weather has played havoc with the schedule at the American Legion baseball state tournament.
Overnight rain Thursday that forced a revision in Friday’s schedule was followed by a late-afternoon deluge that forced the suspension of a winners’ bracket game between the remaining undefeated teams of the double-elimination event, Bangor and Westbrook.
Westbrook was leading Bangor 7-0 after 3½ innings when the dark clouds that had been looming off to the west finally yielded some visible lightning.
A few minutes later, the skies opened up and rain poured down on Morton Field for a half-hour, sending the fans scurrying to their cars and leaving standing water on the infield of a baseball diamond that local volunteers had spent the morning preparing for play in the aftermath of the overnight precipitation.
That earlier rain already had prompted changes to Friday’s schedule, with two elimination games — one pitting Windham against Pastime Club of Lewiston and the second between The Red Barn of Augusta against Staples Crossing of South Berwick — initially postponed until 10 a.m. Saturday.
Under the new schedule developed after consultation among American Legion officials and Capitol Area Recreation Association complex groundskeepers, Bangor and Westbrook will resume their suspended game at 10 a.m. Saturday on Morton Field, with the two postponed elimination games to follow.
The Windham-Pastime Club game will be played on the adjacent McGuire Field as soon as that site can be readied for play, while The Red Barn-Staples Crossing game will be played at Morton Field after the completion of the Bangor-Westbrook contest.
Two other games are scheduled for later Saturday afternoon, with Bangor and Westbrook to play the winners of the two elimination games.
If all those games are played as scheduled Saturday, that would leave the championship game and a possible if-necessary game to be played Sunday as originally scheduled before the tournament began.
In Friday’s lone action, Westbrook jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on Robbie Hamilton’s third home run in as many state tournament games.
Sam Stauble led off the inning with a ground single up the middle, before Hamilton skied an 0-2 pitch over the fence just beyond the 350-foot sign in right-center field.
Hamilton added a run-scoring single to center an inning later — his 10th RBI of the tourney — to ignite a five-run rally after two were out that extended Westbrook’s lead to 7-0.
Zack Bean grounded a one-out single up the middle off the glove of diving bangor shortstop Kyle Stevenson, and Kyle Heath walked before a fielder’s choice grounder by Stauble produced the inning’s second out.
Hamilton again delivered on an 0-2 pitch to drive home Bean, and he then was the back end of a delayed double steal during which Stauble scored to make it 4-0.
After a Derek Bouchard walk, Keenan Lowe hit a two-run double to the fence down the right field line and then scored when Austin Blake doubled to center to cap off the uprising.
Trevor DeLaite reached Lowe for Bangor’s first hit in the bottom of the third, pulling a two-out single to right, but he did not advance beyond first base.