BANGOR, Maine — Right-hander Gary Farnham scattered nine hits over eight innings as the Bangor Coffee News Comrades became the first Zone 1 team to clinch a berth in next week’s American Legion baseball state tournament with a 10-4 victory over R.H. Foster of Hampden at Husson University on Saturday afternoon.
Brewer earned the zone’s second state tourney berth by eliminating Hampden 2-0 in Saturday’s late game, and will join Bangor Coffee News in Sunday’s 1 p.m. championship round of the zone playoffs.
The Comrades will need just one victory Sunday to win the zone tournament while Brewer would have to defeat Bangor twice to claim the title.
Top-seeded Bangor Coffee News (13-4) improved to 2-0 in the double-elimination Zone 1 playoffs as Farnham, a recent graduate of Bangor High School, struck out three batters and walked two before giving way with a leadoff runner aboard in the top of the ninth to Ethan Stoddard, who retired all three batters he faced.
The Comrades managed just seven hits, but capitalized on 11 walks and four hit batsmen issued by Hampden pitchers — with six of those runners scoring.
Stoddard doubled and singled twice with two RBIs for Bangor Coffee News while Ryan Brookings singled twice, walked and scored three runs and Tyler Parke singled, walked twice and scored three runs. Jesse Colford added two RBIs with a pair of bases-loaded walks.
Josh Palmeter doubled and singled twice to pace Hampden offensively.
Bangor Coffee News took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Parke drew a leadoff walk and scored when Stoddard one-hopped a double off the left-field fence.
Brookings led off the Comrades’ third with a ground-rule double to left and scored on Stoddard’s one-out single to left to make it 2-0.
Hampden-R.H. Foster got one run back in the fourth. Singles by Brandon Smith and Casey Sudbeck put runners on first and second with no one out. After a sacrifice bunt by cleanup hitter Max Thomas, Smith scored on Jackson Gilmore’s sacrifice fly to right field to pull the Riverdogs within 2-1.
Bangor Coffee News broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, a rally built on Parke’s bunt single, a sacrifice fly by Austin Sheehan and four walks, two with the bases loaded to Noah Missbrenner and Jesse Colford.
In the nightcap, right-handers Chase Carmichael and Isaac Eutsler combined to pitch a six-hitter as Brewer clinched its state tournament berth.
Carmichael, who earned the win for Brewer in Saturday’s first game as the Falcons scored a walk-off 8-7 elimination-game victory over Skowhegan, returned to the mound to limit Hampden to just three hits over seven scoreless innings.
The rising senior at Bucksport High School then gave way to Eutsler, who escaped a two-on, nobody-out jam in the eighth en route to earning the save.
Brewer (10-8) took its 2-0 lead with single runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings against Hampden starter Brandon Smith.
Alex Brooks led off the Falcons’ fifth with a double to the left-center field gap, moved to third on a groundout and scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch.
Brewer loaded the bases with no one out an inning later on consecutive singles by Michael Bailey, Logan Rogerson and Alex Maxsimic, but managed just a single run on a sacrifice fly by Jack Corey.