BANGOR, Maine — The John Bapst baseball team took two different routes to its Penobscot Valley Conference Class B doubleheader sweep of Caribou at the Winkin Complex on Friday afternoon.
Evan Pelkey’s double to deep left-center field with one out in the bottom of the seventh drove home Shawn Curran to give the Crusaders a dramatic 3-2 victory in the opener.
John Bapst steadily pulled away from the Vikings in the second game, scoring twice in each of its final four at-bats to earn a 9-3 win.
“Today was just a really good day of us answering what happened on the field,” said John Bapst coach Dave Gonyar. “I give Caribou credit, they swung the bat in both games and even in that first game we had to make some plays to keep them from getting a couple of more runs.”
The sweep extended John Bapst’s winning streak to five games since a season-opening loss against undefeated Foxcroft Academy, while Caribou falls to 3-3.
The first game featured a pitching duel between John Bapst’s Nolan Webber and Caribou’s Matt Curry, with Webber tossing a four-hitter while Curry scattered nine hits.
Caribou forged a 2-2 tie in the fifth when Curry hit a two-out single to center to drive home Dean Walker.
But John Bapst had the final answer in the seventh, as Shawn Curran hit a one-out single to the shortstop hole and scored the game-winner when Pelkey rapped a 1-1 curveball to left-center that rolled all the way to the fence.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Pelkey. “I hit pretty awful today, but that last at-bat I saw the ball pretty well and [Curry] threw me three straight curveballs, so that helped out, too.”
Webber struck out five batters and walked two in evening his record at 1-1.
“Nolan wasn’t getting his breaking ball in for strikes as much as he normally does, but he really got his fastball going, and I thought he did a really good job keeping his composure because we made a few mistakes out there.”
Curran, Pelkey and Tom Burns each doubled and singled for John Bapst in the opener, while Curry singled twice with two RBIs for Caribou.
In the second game, the Crusaders took the lead for good at 1-0 lead on Seth Yachanin’s RBI single to center in the second inning.
A two-run double by Burns extended the John Bapst lead to 3-0 in the third, and while Caribou finally scored in the fourth when Cody Herbert tripled and scored on an error on the play, the Vikings were unable to shut down the Crusaders’ offense the rest of the way.
Curran pulled a two-run triple to right in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-1, and John Bapst added two more runs on groundouts by Nick Jordan and Yachanin in the fifth to extend its lead to 5-2 after loading the bases with no one out against Herbert, who relieved Caribou starter Sean Sadler.
“It was just a fastball over the middle of the plate and that’s pretty much my zone,” said Current of his fourth-inning blast.
John Bapst capped off its scoring in the sixth, with Burns contributing an RBI single to the two-run uprising.
Curran had three hits, including a triple and a double, and two RBIs for the Crusaders, while Burns tripled and singled with three RBIs.
Matt Manter and Mike Selander each singled twice for Caribou.
Curran and Burns combined to limit Caribou to seven hits while stranding 12 Vikings on the basepaths.
“We got ourselves out of a lot of jams,” said Curran, who pitched the first 5⅔ innings.