Nick Moore’s pinch-hit 2-run single lifts Bangor by Philippines for second win in Senior League World Series
BANGOR, Maine — Nick Moore wasn’t used to pinch-hitting.
When he came on to hit for Jon Stanhope in the fifth inning of Bangor’s Senior League World Series game against Asia-Pacific champion Makati City, Philippines on Monday night, he said it was his first pinch-hitting appearance of the season.
But, after taking the first two pitches for strikes, Moore delivered a two-run single off a 1-2 pitch to stake Bangor to a 3-0 lead and the Maine District 3 champions survived a seventh-inning rally to post a 3-1 victory.
Bangor is now 2-0 while it was the opener for Makati City in Pool A play.
Bangor is off on Tuesday but will play U.S. Southeast champion Martinez, Ga., on Wednesday at 5. Makati City takes on U.S. West titlist Pearl City, Hawaii, on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Bangor took a 1-0 lead into the fifth and Ryan Brookings reached on a one-out infield error. Javi Macasaet came on in relief of lefty Tony Ozaeta and Brookings stole second before Andrew Elston walked.
A wild pitch delivered by Macasaet on the 0-2 pitch to Moore advanced the runners and Moore grounded the next pitch up the middle past the drawn-in infield to the right of the second baseman.
“I was looking for anything that was close. I wanted to make sure I didn’t strike out in a situation like that,” said Moore, who will be a sophomore at the South Kent School in Connecticut this fall. “He threw me a high fastball and I usually chase those ones. It was a little above the [strike] zone.
“When the infield is in like that, you want to try to hit the ball hard because it will usually get through,” added Moore.
“I wasn’t getting my release point right. I had a hard time locating my fastball,” said Macasaet. “It was a high fastball.”
Moore said coming off the bench for the first time was an adjustment.
“I had to get ready quickly. I had a short time to get focused,” said Moore. “I wanted to watch the first couple of pitches because I hadn’t been in the game. After I saw the first two pitches, I was ready.”
Reliever Andrew Hillier retired the first two hitters in the seventh but an infield error opened the door for a rally.
Masaaki Iwasaki singled to right and Rafael Eala walked to load the bases.
Another infield error on Dan Laurel’s grounder produced a run but Hillier induced a game-ending strikeout by getting a little extra on his 3-2 fastball. The hitter swung late.
“Bases loaded, two outs, I had to throw a strike and I gassed up,” said Hillier.
Bangor took a 1-0 lead in the second on Sam Huston’s single, a wild pitch and Jordan Derrah’s RBI single.
Lefty Trevor DeLaite picked up the win for Bangor with five innings of one-hit, shutout ball. He struck out six and walked two while throwing 75 pitches, 46 for strikes.
“I had my fastball working tonight,” said DeLaite. “I had good location. It was on all day.”
He also mixed in a curve and changeup.
“Their pitching was fantastic,” said Makati City manager Luis Carlos Laurel. “We haven’t seen pitching like that. It took us awhile to get adjusted. Our bats came alive late. Maybe we could have closed the gap if we had one more inning.”
Philippines pitcher-first baseman Ozaeta said DeLaite “located his fastball well, inside and outside. He was consistent.”
Makati City had a bit of misfortune in the sixth.
Dan Laurel reached on an infield error but Diego Lozano’s sharp ground-ball single, which was headed into right field, struck Laurel on the leg for the inning’s first out. So instead of runners on first and second or first and third with nobody out, they had a runner on first with one out.
Hillier then retired the next two hitters.
Lefty Ozaeta was one of four pitchers used by Laurel and he hurled 2 2/3 innings of one-hit, one-run ball. The run off him was unearned.
Laurel explained that he wanted to use several pitchers and keep them under the 30-pitch limit, meaning they could all pitch the next day.
“We play four straight days, we don’t have any more rest, and I wanted to give everyone some mound time so they could get used to the mound and the hitters. And I thought they all pitched well,” said Laurel. “Maine got some timely hits. They deserved to win.”
Boo Barandiaran, Ozaeta, Macasaet and Lozano combined on a six-hitter with one walk and one strikeout.
DeLaite and Brookings each doubled for Bangor while Makati City’s Diego Lozano was the game’s only repeat hitter with two singles.