BREWER, Maine — Brewer High School senior Jeff Weeks and Brunswick High School sophomore John Parker squared off in a masterful duel between a pair of 6-foot-2 righthanders in their Eastern Maine Class A preliminary game at Heddericg Field on Tuesday night.
Weeks finally came out on top as his one-out single in the ninth inning drove in Matt Morrow from second to give the eighth-seeded Witches a 1-0 baseball win over ninth-seeded Brunswick.
Brewer, now 7-10, will travel to take on 14-2 Oxford Hills, the top seed, in Wednesday’s 3 p.m. quarterfinal in South Paris. Brunswick finished up at 5-12.
Morrow fouled off three 1-2 pitches with one out in the ninth before grounding a single through the shortstop hole for Brewer’s first hit since the second inning.
“He got two quick strikes on me and I got a little down on myself. But I told myself to keep battling and battling. I got a good pitch to hit and I roped it. It was an inside fastball and it was a little high but I saw it early and turned on it,” said Morrow.
“I tried to jam him with a two-seamer [fastball] but he somehow [hit it],” said Parker.
Morrow stole second, becoming just the fourth Witch to get into scoring position, and scored when Weeks went with an outside fastball and lined it into right.
“[Parker] pitched me away all day. He struck me out looking on an outside pitch,” said Weeks, who hit a 3-1 pitch. “I didn’t want that to happen again so I tried to go with the pitch and slap it into right.
“It was a wicked good pitcher’s pitch. It was pretty low. It was a tough pitch to hit,” said Weeks.
“He poked it the other way which is what you have to do,” said Parker.
Weeks tossed a six-hitter, striking out 10 and not walking anyone. He is now 5-4.
Brunswick got just one runner past first base and that was on back-to-back two-out singles by Brady Larson and Adam Casey in the top of the ninth. But Weeks struck out the next hitter to end the threat.
It was the only time Brunswick got a runner into scoring position.
He threw just 97 pitches, 75 for strikes.
“I went [mostly] with my two-seam fastball,” said Weeks. “My curve was pretty flat, especially early. I just tried to throw my two-seam fastball for strikes.”
“[Weeks] had a good fastball and with his arm angle, he threw me off,” said Parker. “He also had a good curve and changeup.”
“He hit his spots,” said Brunswick senior first baseman and cleanup hitter Brett Lancaster. “He mixed up his pitches. He threw some first-pitch curves. He had us guessing.”
Parker, who wound up 4-4, allowed five hits and struck out 12 while walking two. He threw 118 pitches of which 86 were strikes.
“I was able to work my curve in and that never normally happens,” said Parker. “My fastball was on-point today and I didn’t walk many people. I walked a lot of people in my last two outings but the mound is very good here and I had a good rest between starts.”
“He’s a heckuva’ pitcher for a sophomore,” said Morrow. “He had a good fastball and his curve broke a lot.”
Weeks said Parker’s high leg kick and motion, in which he leaned toward the third base line before throwing across his body, helped make him difficult to hit.
“He was very deceiving. He pitched a great game especially for being so young,” said Weeks.
“These were the two best pitching performances we’ve seen all year,” said Brunswick coach Bill Ridge. “Unfortunately, Weeks was awesome. He dominated today and they squeaked it out. John just keeps getting better. He struggles to throw strikes every once in a while but he was locked in today. That’s a big-time credit to him.”
Morrow was the game’s lone repeat hitter with two singles. Teammate Tony Bissell had the only extra-base hit, a double. Chase Allen had a base hit along with Weeks.
Besides Larson and Casey, the Dragons also received singles from Ryan Maciejewski, Charlie Lowell, Parker Wild and Parker.
Neither team committed an error in the well-played game.