BANGOR, Maine — Barrett Dionne has grown accustomed to his team’s somewhat deliberate, offensive ways.
The Bangor Senior League all-stars’ manager often has seen his team strand baserunners early in games, much as they did at Monday’s Senior League World Series encounter with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, when it left six aboard through three innings of a scoreless contest.
Inevitably, the team broke through in the later innings en route to winning the Maine District 3 championship — a tactic it reprised in spectacular fashion while improving to 2-0 in SLWS pool play, with a 13-3, six-inning victory over the Asia-Pacific champions.
Bangor sent 16 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth inning and scored 11 runs to erase a 3-2 deficit.
Outfielder Trevor DeLaite — one of six Bangor players who rejoined the team for the game after spending the previous four days in Middletown, Connecticut, competing for Bangor in the American Legion Northeast Regional — had a double and a single with four RBIs in that inning alone.
Brian Peirce added a two-run single, while Kyle Stevenson and Nick Cowperthwaite each contributed an RBI single to the rally.
“They string a few hits together early and leave a few runners on base, and it takes a few innings for these guys to time (pitchers) up,” Dionne said. “And every game I know, eventually we’re going to put some runs on the board.”
The Bangor team has Tuesday off before facing U.S. Southeast champion Dumfries, Virginia, at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Bangor’s breakthrough inning against CNMI was aided by six walks and a hit batsman issued by CNMI, which was playing its first SLWS game after drawing a bye Sunday.
“It was a great game, but if you can’t throw strikes it’s not going to matter,” CNMI manager Patrick Tenorio said. “Our boys were doing this in Asia, and we were lucky to win. And today — no strikes. I can’t blame anything other than we just couldn’t throw strikes.”
Righthander Jesse Colford emerged from his lengthy stay in the Bangor dugout in the top of the sixth to retire CNMI in order in the bottom of the inning to cap off a complete-game six-hitter on the mound.
“I was locating on the outside corner and mixing in the curveball whenever I could,” said Colford, who struck out three batters and walked just one.
Bangor’s big inning nearly failed to materialize.
Dennis Farnham, Johnny Cote and Peirce each drew a walk to load the bases with no one out before Stevenson squibbed a comebacker to the mound that while plating the tying run also apparently produced a 1-2-3 double play.
Dionne quickly emerged from the Bangor dugout to question the call, and the four game umpires huddled beyond the pitcher’s mound before ruling the ball hit Stevenson’s leg off his bat and instead was a foul ball.
“It hit his leg,” Tenorio said. “It was obvious. It is what it is. They asked for help, they got help, the four (umpires) got together and that was it.”
Stevenson then hit a grounder to shortstop, which produced an out at third base while still delivering Farnham to make it a 3-3 game. But instead of two outs there was just one, and the onslaught was just beginning.
“Immediately, I saw what happened,” Dionne said of the foul ball. “There was no question, I think the whole stadium saw it. I was a little surprised the umpires had to talk about it that long, to be honest with you.”
DeLaite, who batted .467 at the American Legion regional, went 4-for-5 in his return to Senior League play with three doubles, a single, four RBIs and two runs scored.
“I could see the ball really well,” he said. “I was trying to drive balls and find holes.”
Cleanup hitter Derek Fournier added three infield hits to Bangor’s 13-hit attack, while Ryan Brookings tripled, Stevenson scored twice and had two RBIs with a single and a sacrifice fly and Farnham drew three walks and scored twice.
Kelvin Deleon Guerrero hit an RBI double in the fourth inning for CNMI’s lone extra-base hit. Joseph Lifofoi added an RBI single.