BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School Rams were one strike away from squandering a golden opportunity to cut into Brewer’s three-run lead.
But No. 8 hitter Johnny Cote punched a two-run single to right-center and the No. 9 hitter, Kyle Stevenson, followed with a booming RBI triple as the Rams scored five times to notch a hard-earned 5-4 Class A baseball victory over Brewer at Husson University’s Winkin Complex on Tuesday night.
Bangor improved to 9-2 while Brewer fell to 4-7.
Andrew Hillier and Sam Huston singled sharply to trigger the fourth-inning rally and Hunter Boyce sacrificed them into scoring position for Bangor (9-2).
Brewer junior righty Evan Riva struck out the next hitter but Cote lofted his two-run single to right-center off a 2-2 delivery to change the momentum.
Cote, who entered the game with two hits in 14 at-bats, said he knew he had to deliver.
“He threw me a fastball inside,” said Cote. “I was looking for a fastball but I was ready to react to a curve. After I hit it, I knew it was going over (second baseman Greg Warmuth’s) head.”
He moved up on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on Stevenson’s long triple to right-center.
Stevenson said he also hit a fastball.
“It was my pitch and I got ahold of it,” said Stevenson.
“The guys in the bottom of the order have been getting key hits for us all season,” said Bangor senior Justin Courtney, who picked up the save by getting the final two outs in the seventh with the tying run on second.
Stevenson scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch before Jordan Derrah walked. Trevor DeLaite followed with a single and Derrah eventually scored on another wild pitch.
“Bangor did a nice job coming back in the fourth inning but we have a young team and our kids never stopped battling,” said Brewer assistant coach Dennis Kiah.
He was filling in for head coach Dana Corey, who is recuperating from a recent surgery.
Brewer pulled within a run with a two-out rally of its own in the fifth as Chase Allen dropped a single into right and Matt Pushard delivered him with a ringing double to left-center.
But Bangor starter and winner Hillier (4-0) induced a popup to end the inning.
Lefty DeLaite came on and struck out the side on 10 pitches in the sixth, but Jordan Treadwell walked Jacob Currier to open the seventh and he was sacrificed to second by Warmuth.
Courtney came on to get a strikeout and a fly ball to end the game.
“I just went with all fastballs. I didn’t want to fool around with any breaking pitches with men on base,” said the hard-throwing Courtney.
“This was a great team win for us. Everyone contributed,” he added.
After squandering a two-on, no-outs opportunity in the first inning, Currier made sure the Witches didn’t replicate it in the second.
Mike Grimble started the rally by reaching on a wild pitch after he swung and missed at strike three in the dirt. Galen Williamson worked Hillier for a walk after falling behind 0-2 as he fouled off three, two-strike pitches.
After a strikeout and a dazzling play by Ram shortstop Stevenson on Alex Maxsimic’s grounder, Currier ripped Hillier’s first pitch sharply down the third-base line to deliver Grimble and Williamson.
Bangor had golden chance to cut into the deficit in the second when Huston lined a single to right and raced all the way to third when the ball was misplayed.
But Riva used a steady dose of breaking balls to strike out the side and strand Huston.
Brewer extended the lead in the third when Logan Rogerson doubled to right-center and, after a walk, he was sacrificed to third by Pushard. Rogerson scored on Grimble’s groundout off the pitcher’s glove to second baseman Cote.
DeLaite had three singles for the Rams, Hillier tripled and singled and Huston had two base hits.
Rogerson, Pushard and Currier doubled for Brewer and Riva (2-1) turned in a solid, complete-game performance with eight strikeouts and three walks.
“(Riva) pitched well. He kept us off-balance,” said Courtney.