The Bangor American Legion baseball team’s best season in 35 years ended Sunday afternoon.
Alex Ramirez pitched a two-hit shutout and drove in two runs in the first inning as Rocky Hill-Cromwell-Portland, Connecticut, defeated the Comrades 10-0 in an elimination game of the American Legion Northeast Regional tournament at Palmer Field in Middletown, Connecticut.
The game ended in the bottom of the seventh inning under the 10-run rule.
RCP (28-9) advances to Monday’s championship round to play either undefeated Milford, Massachusetts, or Middletown, Connecticut, depending on the outcome of their game Sunday night.
Bangor, which advanced to the regional after winning its first state championship since 1979, finished the eight-team tournament with a 2-2 record, and coach Dave Morris’ club finished its season with a 25-7 overall record.
Six of RCP’s runs against the Comrades were unearned, as Bangor was beset by seven errors behind starting pitcher Jordan Treadwell and reliever Peter Kemble.
Ramirez struck out three batters, walked two and held Bangor without a hit until Kyle Stevenson singled to center with one out in the top of the sixth inning.
Sam Huston added the Comrades’ other hit, a seventh-inning single.
RCP scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first while building a quick 3-0 lead, with Ramirez’s single to right field the key hit as it plated the game’s first two runs.
RCP added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to extend its lead to 5-0, then broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning and added two more runs to end the contest in the bottom of the seventh.
Chris Bouchard hit a two-run double down the right-field line to cap off the sixth-inning rally.
Brendan Sullivan added an RBI single in the seventh before Logan Lessard scored the game-ending run on a Bangor error after Tommy Seaver hit a fielder’s choice grounder.
Ramirez, Sullivan and Cole Ogorzalek each had two hits for RCP, while Ramirez and Bouchard had two RBIs apiece. Eight of the nine batters in the Connecticut lineup had at least one hit.
Bangor’s best chance to score came in the top of the fifth, when Huston and Hunter Boyce drew back-to-back one-out walks and then advanced to second third on a two-out balk by Ramirez before the RCP pitcher induced an inning-ending groundout.