BREWER, Maine — Whether the Eastern Maine Class A baseball ranks feature a more balanced field than usual is a popular topic for discussion among those who follow the league closely.
What’s less arguable as the regular season approaches its final days — particularly with defending regional champion Messalonskee of Oakland dropping three of its last four games — is that Bangor High School has fielded the most consistent team in the division to date.
The Rams improved their record to 11-2 and moved back toward first place in the Heal point rankings Monday evening with an 8-0 victory over Brewer that reflected their season-long balance between pitching and offense.
Sophomores Trevor DeLaite and James Prescott combined on a three-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts and one walk.
DeLaite (4-0) struck out 12 over the first six innings, mixing an overpowering fastball with a biting curve.
“My fastball location was good and my curveball felt really good today, I could throw it whenever I wanted to,” said the left-hander after a 98-pitch performance.
Prescott came on in the seventh and struck the 4-9 Witches out in order on 12 pitches — all fastballs — to preserve Bangor’s second victory over its crossriver rival in seven nights.
“With Trevor I think the big thing is his location,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey, whose pitching duo lowered the Rams’ 2.70 earned run average entering the contest. “He hits the outside corner with the fastball and then comes inside with the curve, he moves up the ladder and changes their eye level.
“He’s pitched against these kids enough in high school and Legion that he went right after them for the most part and he overmatched a few of them.”
DeLaite and Prescott were complemented by an 11-hit attack by a Bangor offense that was batting a collective .374 through their first 12 games.
Sam Huston and Riley McKay each doubled and singled for the Rams, while Justin Courtney singled twice and Jordan Derrah cracked a two-run single.
“My concern with not having played in what seemed like two weeks even though it was just last Wednesday was that we were a little rusty during batting practice,” said Fahey, whose team concludes its schedule at home against Hampden Academy on Wednesday night before road games at Lawrence of Fairfield on Friday and at Brunswick next Monday.
“But after the first inning we swung the bats well, and we also had a couple of line drives that were caught.”
McKay delivered the only run Bangor needed with a two-out opposite-field single to right in the top of the second that drove home Andrew Hillier, who had led off the inning with a single to right-center and then stole second base.
Huston made it 3-0 an inning later with a two-out, two-run double to center off Brewer righthander Evan Riva.
“The first at-bat I saw five pitches and five curveballs,” said Huston. “So I was sitting on that my second at-bat and when I saw that I ripped it.”
Derrah capped off a three-run Bangor rally in the sixth with his two-out, two-run single to center — the Rams’ fifth hit of the inning.
Courtney opened the Bangor seventh with a single and reached second base on a passed ball. Hillier walked, and both runners advanced two bases on a wild pitch, with Courtney scoring on the play to make it 7-0.
Hillier scored the game’s final run on Huston’s sacrifice fly to right field.
“Right now we’re starting to fire on all cylinders and if we can just keep that rolling into the playoffs we’re going to be a pretty tough team to beat,” said Huston.