BANGOR — The District 3 champions who have hosted the Senior League World Series at Mansfield Stadium have always been competitive.
This year, the Bangor team representing Maine in the 10-team tournament is demonstrating the ability not only to compete, but to win.
Curtis Worcester pitched four perfect innings Monday and Bangor took capitalized on sloppy defense by Lazio, Italy, while posting a 13-0 victory on the second day of pool play.
The game was called after five innings by the 10-run rule.
Manager Ron St. Pierre’s Bangor squad has outscored its first two opponents (Bangor beat Canada 8-0 Sunday) 21-0 on the way to becoming the first District 3 representative to win two games in the same Senior League World Series since the tourney moved to Bangor in 2002.
St. Pierre said his players declined their traditional pizza dinner Monday night to demonstrate their focus.
“They said, ‘we don’t want pizza, coach, until we get it all,’” St. Pierre explained. “That’s their goal. Let’s see what happens.”
The Bangor players, 10 of whom competed on last year’s ballclub, are oozing confidence.
“We have so much momentum going into the next games now,” said Christian Corneil, who knocked in two runs with a double and a triple and scored three times. “No one can beat us, we feel, at this point.”
Bangor has Tuesday off and returns to action Wednesday at 5 p.m. against U.S. East champion South Vineland, N.J.
Italy faces Canada today at 5 p.m.
Bangor played errorless ball for the second straight day to back Worcester, who located his fastball well and mixed in an occasional changeup.
“I threw one curveball for a strike today, so I just stuck with my fastball and changeup and got the job done,” Worcester said.
St. Pierre faced a dilemma with two out in the fourth inning. Worcester had a perfect game, but he had thrown 42 pitches. If he exceeded 45, he would not have been eligible, under Little League rules, to pitch again until Thursday.
“I just didn’t have the heart to pull him,” said St. Pierre.
“I wanted to come back for Wednesday, but I wanted to get that last batter,” Worcester said. “I said, ‘coach, I’ll get him in three [pitches].’ I did.”
Bangor scored two runs in each of the first two innings, then broke the game open with a seven-run third. The Europe-Middle East-Africa champions committed five errors that led to four unearned runs.
“We think that this is the worst game that we’ve ever played,” Italy manager Fabrizio Piraino said through team member and translator Federico Cozzolino, who explained the team is shorthanded [12 players] after losing two key players because of undisclosed “problems.”
“We played very bad at the beginning. We lost concentration,” Piraino added.
The hosts scored the only runs they would need in the first. Adam King and Corneil reached on one-out fielding errors and, one out later, Anthony Capuano lashed a two-run triple past the right fielder.
In the second, a two-out walk and dropped popup led to King’s line-drive, opposite-field, two-run double to left-center.
Bangor put the game out of reach in the third. Jacob Searles stroked a two-run single, Hetterman belted a two-run double and Corneil lined an RBI triple.
“Luke Hetterman comes up to me, he takes me aside, actually, and he says, ‘you’re going to get a hit, you’re going to drive those runs in, you’re going to get us fired up,’ so that really sparked me,” Searles said.
Capuano added a single for Bangor, while King scored three runs.
Roberto Colaianni broke up the perfect game with a one-out double in the fifth off reliever Tyler Laplante.
Bangor (2-0) 227 02 — 13 8 0
EMEA (0-2) 000 00 — 0 1 5
Worcester, Laplante (5) and Frost; Lucini, Trinci (3), Lanza (4) and Grimaudo, Trinci (4); WP: Worcester (1-0); LP: Lucini (0-1); Repeat hitters: Corneil (B), Capuano (B); Extra-base hits: 2B, Hetterman (B), King (B), Corneil (B); Colaianni (I); 3B, Capuano (B), Corneil (B)