BANGOR, Maine — In the new age of high school baseball dominated by BBCOR bats that produce low-scoring games, the Bangor Rams have taken an old-school approach to the sport so far this spring — slugging their way to victory.
Coach Jeff Fahey’s club pounded out 16 hits Friday afternoon to secure its third consecutive victory, a come-from-behind 10-7 outlasting of previously undefeated Brunswick in a Class A battle at Mansfield Stadium.
Six of Bangor’s hits came during the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Rams scored five runs to put the stubborn Dragons away and leave both teams with a 3-1 record.
“We’ve been absolutely smoking the ball,” said junior third baseman Jordan Derrah, whose four-hit day included two triples, one to cap off the decisive sixth-inning uprising.
“We’ve been on top of it game after game. So far so good.”
Senior catcher Hunter Boyce added three singles — including an RBI hit in the sixth to drive home Sam Huston with what turned out to be the winning run — while Justin Courtney and Kyle Stevenson had two hits each among the eight Bangor batters with at least one hit.
“We hit the ball well all day,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey, whose team has 39 hits in its three games since a season-opening loss at Oxford Hills of South Paris. “It was just a matter of stringing a few hits together and we did that in the bottom of the sixth.”
Bangor took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Brunswick starter Brady Larson, but a sudden burst of extremely high wind and a brief shower added a strange twist to the proceedings midway through the contest.
Brunswick seemed to regroup quickest, capitalizing on two Bangor errors to take a 4-3 lead with a four-run third-inning rally.
Bangor was left to play catch-up until its final at-bat, with Brunswick scoring twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to maintain a 7-5 advantage.
That the Rams were that close was in part thanks to James Prescott, who came on in relief of Courtney with a run already in and another Brunswick runner in scoring position in the sixth and recorded an inning-ending strikeout.
Andrew Hillier doubled to lead off the Bangor sixth and scored when Courtney singled to right-center. Huston singled home pinch-runner Reed Brookings and reached second on a sacrifice by Brendan Moore before Boyce grounded the ball sharply past Brunswick reliever Nick Thibeault and into center field to give the Rams an 8-7 lead.
“I knew I either had to hit it to the right side or get it to the outfield,” said Boyce, “so I slapped at it and hit it up the middle and got the run home.”
Thibeault struck out the next batter, but Stevenson singled home Boyce and then scored the final run when Derrah tripled to deep center.
Senior righthander Ryan Gagne, a transfer from the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, came on to earn the save with a scoreless seventh.
The Bangor pitching staff limited Brunswick to six hits, all singles. John Parker led the Dragons with two singles and two RBIs.
“I think we’re getting a little bit better every game,” said Fahey of a Bangor team that now has played one-quarter of its regular-season schedule. “And we don’t have to make huge strides, we just need to keep making little steps because I do think we’re good. We are young though, we only start two seniors, so we’re going to make some mistakes and we’re working to eliminate those mistakes.
“We made some mistakes today, we looked young today. But on the other hand, we looked veteran when we came back the way we did.”