HERMON, Maine — The Hermon High School Hawks completed a sweep of the season series with defending Class B state champ Old Town on Friday as junior righthander Alex Applebee scattered seven hits and sophomore second baseman Adam Rush singled three times and drove in a run to lead them to a 7-4 victory.
Hermon improved to 9-2 and won its fourth game in a row while Old Town fell to 9-3 and had its five-game winning streak snapped.
Hermon had beaten the Coyotes 3-1 on April 27.
“My curve wasn’t really working today so [catcher Christian Greener] and I focused on my fastball and changeup and throwing strikes. We let the defense do the work and they did,” said Applebee, who struck out three and walked two while throwing an economical 88 pitches, 55 for strikes.
The Hawks played errorless ball and made a number of nice plays to back Applebee.
“Applebee did a great job today. He was very efficient. He only threw 88 pitches,” said Old Town coach Brad Goody.
“He pitched well. He’s a good player,” said Old Town senior first baseman-pitcher Austin Sheehan.
Old Town jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out walk to Cole Daniel and Jacob Ketch’s long triple over center fielder Matt Leach’s head.
But Hermon answered with two in the bottom of the first and expanded the lead to 4-1 with two more in the second.
Leach was hit by an Ethan Stoddard pitch to open the first and Rush executed a textbook hit-and-run by poking the ball through the vacated second base slot into right field.
“I just threw the bat out there and tried to make contact. I had two strikes on me,” said Rush.
Leach scored on Zach Nash’s infield grounder, on which an error was committed, and Kent Johnson’s ground ball single to left eventually plated the second run.
In the second, Hermon’s Garrett Trask flaired a one-out single into left, stole second and scored on Leach’s base hit down the third base line. Leach stole second, moved to third on Nash’s two-out single and scored on a balk.
Old Town pulled to within 4-3 in the third on Ryan Hoogterp’s single, a fielder’s choice, Daniel’s long RBI double to left and Stoddard’s run-scoring single.
But Hermon responded with a run in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth to make it 7-3.
Greener singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on Applebee’s groundout in the third.
In the fourth, Trask was hit by a pitch, scampered to third when Leach lined a hit-and-run into left center field and scored on Rush’s ground ball single to left. Leach wound up scoring when Greener sliced a single to right.
Sheehan doubled and scored on Brenden Gasaway’s groundout in the sixth for Old Town’s final run.
Hermon stole three bases and ran the bases aggressively.
“This is the best game I’ve had all year,” said Rush. “I asked God for help a lot of times and he was with me today.”
‘We only had two hits the last time we played them so we knew if we were going to beat them again, we couldn’t just get two hits. We went out and swung the bats. We knew we had to put pressure on them,” said leadoff hitter Leach, who had two singles, was hit by a pitch and scored three times.
Greener also had two singles to complement Rush and Leach in Hermon’s nine-hit attack.
“The kids played great today. They didn’t try to do too much and they executed real well. We played fantastic defense and took what they gave us offensively,” said Hermon coach Matt Kinney.
“They played a real clean game defensively and we did not,” said Goody.
Daniel doubled and singled for Old Town while Ketch and Sheehan tripled. Lefty Sheehan pitched 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout relief with four strikeouts.