BANGOR, Maine — After pitching only one preseason inning due to tendinitis in his elbow, Bangor senior Peter Kemble entered Monday afternoon’s Class A baseball matchup against Brewer a little wary about how his season debut on the mound would turn out physically.
There was nothing to fear.
The University of Maine-bound right-hander threw a five-hit shutout as the three-time defending state champions edged their cross-river rivals 1-0 in a one-hour, 20-minute pitchers’ duel at Mansfield Stadium.
“I’d never had any kind of arm problems before so it was a little scary,” said Kemble. “But I was really excited to feel strong today and go seven innings.”
Kemble threw 60 strikes among his 85 pitches with seven strikeouts and just two walks while effectively moving his offerings around the strike zone.
“I set up my curveball well with some high fastballs and some low fastballs and really worked the eye level so I’d throw a low and away curveball and then come up high with the fastball,” he said. “That helped a lot.
“I got some strikeouts at first and then I just pitched to contact at the end of the game and the defense made some great plays.”
Coach Dave Morris’ Rams (2-0) needed Kemble’s early season best to overcome Brewer senior right-hander Jack Corey, who scattered six hits over six innings with with two strikeouts, one walk and two hit batters.
The son of Witches head coach Dana Corey is 0-1 in two starts this spring despite yielding only two runs in 14 innings — including an eight-inning no-decision in Brewer’s season-opening 2-1, 10-inning victory over Edward Little of Auburn last week.
“They both pitched, very, very well; both had situations they had to battle out of,” said coach Corey. “We put runners on and had scoring opportunities but didn’t get it done. They had runners on and they pushed the one run across.”
That one run came home on senior second baseman George Payne’s two-out infield single to second base in the bottom of the second inning.
Sophomore designated hitter Noah Missbrenner pulled a double to right to lead off the Bangor second before Corey hit Zach Cowperthwaite with the next pitch.
Brewer catcher Alex Maxsimic cut down Missbrenner at third base on a sacrifice attempt by Tyler Parke, but Zach Ireland’s two-out single to right loaded the bases.
Payne, the game’s lone repeat hitter with two singles, grounded an 0-1 pitch up the middle. Brewer second baseman Josh Pellegrino dove toward second base to prevent the ball from reaching the outfield, but he had no other play as Cowperthwaite scored.
Brewer (1-1) left the bases loaded against Kemble in the fourth, then threatened again in the fifth as infield hits by Jared Austin and Michael Bailey around a sacrifice by Tyler Hershey gave the Witches runners at first and third with one out.
This time Bangor’s defense provided the escape mechanism as Ireland and Payne triggered an inning-ending double play on a solidly hit grounder to shortstop by Kobe Rogerson.
Brewer again advanced the tying run to third base with two out in the seventh before Kemble got Bailey to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
“It’s a loss and all losses are tough to take,” said coach Corey, “but the thing is we’ve got a lot of positives at the same time to take out of this and build on. It’s only the second game of the season, so both teams have a long way to go.”