BANGOR, Maine — Andrew Hillier pitched a four-hit complete-game shutout as the Bangor Comrades defeated Pastime Club of Lewiston 4-0 on Thursday night to complete the second round of the American Legion baseball tournament.
Bangor (20-4) joins Bessey Motors of South Paris as the lone 2-0 teams through two days of the eight-team, double-elimination event. Those two teams will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the third and final game of Friday’s schedule.
That will be preceded by a pair of elimination games with Brewer facing Morrill Post of South Portland at 11 a.m. followed by Post 51 of Oakland against Pastime Club at 3 p.m.
“You just take it one game at a time,” said Bangor coach Dave Morris, “but we’ve had two tremendous pitching performances, (Wednesday) night from Justin Courtney and tonight with Andrew Hillier.
“I’ve been around these guys a long time and they always come to play and we played a very good baseball game against a very good opponent that had a lot of fight in them.”
Hillier walked two of the first three batters he faced in the game, but quickly settled down and walked just one more batter during his 128-pitch performance while striking out 10 — including two of the last three batters he faced in the ninth.
“Once I got the first-pitch strike I was trying to keep them off-balance with my curveball, and my changeup was my strikeout pitch tonight,” said Hillier. “It kept the lefties off-balance and tails away from them so it’s a good pitch to get them to pound it into the ground.”
Bangor capitalized on two misplays in right field to supply all the offensive support Hillier needed.
The Comrades took a 1-0 lead in top of the third inning when Pastime right fielder Corey Harvey lost Trevor DeLaite’s two-out fly ball in the lights for an RBI double.
Ryan Brookings hit a one-out single to center, and while he was erased on a grounder to second by Ryan Gagne, Gagne reached second base on an errant relay throw by shortstop Michael Wong.
DeLaite then skied the first pitch he saw to medium right field, but Harvey could not locate it in the air as Gagne scored.
Hillier held Pastime hitless until Caleb Dostie popped an opposite-field single to left field to put runners on first and second with two out in the bottom of the fifth. A wild pitch then advanced the runners to second and third but Hillier struck out Austin Wing on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.
Bangor doubled its lead with one out in the seventh when Sam Huston lofted a fly ball to deep right that was misjudged by Wing. Huston slid into third base with a triple and scored to make it 2-0 on a wild relay throw by Wong.
Bangor then put runners on second and third with two outs on a walk to Hunter Boyce and a ground double off the glove of third baseman Caleb Dostie and down the left-field line, but Poulin got Gagne to fly out to center to avoid further damage.
Pastime mounted its first threat of the game with two out in the bottom of the eighth, as Wing flared an opposite-field single down the left-field and went to third on Gage Cote’s double to right center that put the tying run in scoring position.
But Hillier battled back to stop the comeback bid with an eight-pitch strikeout of Wong — the third strike a borderline curve on the outside corner that drew the ire of the Pastime fans.
“He was fouling off a lot of pitches and I was trying to blow one by him,” said Hillier. “But then I tried to keep him off balance by throwing one on the outside corner and I stuck it and rung him up. It had pretty good movement on it and I thought I hit the corner.”
Bangor padded its lead with two runs in the ninth thanks to two walks, two Lewiston errors and an RBI single to left by Gagne, the No. 9 hitter in the Comrades’ lineup.
Brookings, the No. 8 hitter, finished with two singles for the Comrades, while Huston and Kyle Stevenson each added a triple and DeLaite doubled.
“Our defense did the job (one error) and offensively our bottom of the order came up with some pretty big hits and found a way to get on base,” said Morris.
In the day’s first winners’ bracket game, Mike Magales pitched a four-hit shutout as Bessey Motors of South Paris defeated Brewer.
Magales, a Lake Region High School of Naples product who pitched eight shutout innings in Bessey Motors’ play-in game victory last Saturday, struck out six batters while walking five and hitting one in earning the victory.
Bessey Motors leadoff hitter Riley Chickering singled twice, walked and scored three runs, while teammates Nick Attalaides-Ryan and Brady LaFrance also singled twice apiece.
The winners took an immediate lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning, then added a single run in the fifth before adding a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.
Brewer’s Matt Pushard had the game’s lone extra-base hit, a double, while teammates Kyle Alexander, Jeff Weeks and Logan Rogerson each singled.
Galen Williamson worked the first 6⅓ innings on the mound for the Falcons before getting relief help from Pushard.
Post 51 stayed alive with a 3-0 victory over Staples Crossing-Post 188 of Eliot in Thursday’s first elimination game, while Zone 4 champion Morrill Post of South Portland ousted Franklin County of Farmington 8-5 in the day’s second game.
(First Winners’ Bracket Game)
Brewer 000 000 000 — 0 4 1
Bessey Motors 100 010 20x — 4 8 0
Williamson, Pushard (7) and Maxsimic; Magales and Smith
(Second Winners’ Bracket Game)
Bangor 001 000 102 — 4 6 1
Pastime Club 000 000 000 — 0 4 4
Hillier and Boyce; Poulin and Small