Senior left-hander Brad McLaughlin pitched a four-hit shutout Wednesday as the Bangor High School baseball team topped Hampden Academy 7-0 in a Class A matchup at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.
The victory ended a two-game losing streak for Bangor (2-2) while snapping a two-game winning streak for Hampden, also 2-2.
“We came off two losses, but we had been getting better each game,” junior outfielder Max Clark said. “This game was really good for us. We were able to get two good practices in before so we were really focused and I thought that focus paid off today.”
McLaughlin (2-0) required only 71 pitches, including 52 strikes, to shut down the Broncos. He struck out five, walked no one and allowed just one Hampden baserunner to get as far as second base while being backed by errorless defense.
“I’ve played with a bunch of these players for a while so I can trust them,” McLaughlin said. “I just pitch to contact, don’t throw any walks and let my players make the plays.”
Bangor’s offense supported McLaughlin with six, two-out runs, highlighted by Clark’s three-run double and a two-run triple by junior outfielder Colton Trisch.
“When you get two-out RBIs, you win games,” Bangor coach Dave Morris said.
Clark’s run-producing blast gave Bangor a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
“Max has gotten a big two-out hit in three of the four games we’ve played,” Morris said. “It’s just good composure on his part, and sometimes if you can score early on a good team it really puts them in a hole.”
Back-to-back one-out singles by Keegan Cyr and Ben Caron ignited the rally, and after Hampden freshman right-hander Collin Peckham struck out the next batter McLaughlin walked on four pitches to load the bases.
Peckham followed with a first-pitch ball to Clark, prompting a visit to the mound from Hampden coach Jon Perry.
Clark drove the next pitch deep into the left-center-field gap to clear the bases.
“Coach told me to sit fastball, and I knew I was just going to wait for my pitch with the bases loaded and not swing at anything bad,” he said. “I got the pitch I wanted and was able to get a good hit.”
Bangor scored another two-out run in the third inning to make it 4-0. Clark was hit by a pitch after Peckham retired the first two hitters and scored when junior catcher Ryan Howard pulled a 2-0 pitch down the left-field line for an RBI double.
“That was an inside fastball and I was sitting back waiting on it because earlier in the season I was out in front of it a lot,” Howard said. “I sat back on that one and it worked out.”
The Rams added an unearned run an inning later as Trisch drew a one-out walk, stole second base and, after Cyr’s bloop single off the glove of the diving Jacob Lorenzo in shallow center field, scored as designated hitter Matt Holmes reached on an infield error.
Trisch’s two-out triple drove home two more Bangor runs in the bottom of the fifth. Howard started that rally with a one-out single to center, then Luke Missbrenner was hit by a pitch. One out later, Trisch skied a high fly behind the defense in deep right field, enabling the Rams to extend their lead to 7-0.
Cyr and Howard each had two hits as part of Bangor’s seven-hit attack against a Hampden pitching staff that had yielded just four runs in its first three games.
Peckham (1-1) worked the first five innings for the Broncos, allowing six earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts, three walks and two hit batsmen before giving way to reliever Kayden Beloff, who pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.
“We had a very emotional game [Tuesday] night,” Perry said of Hampden’s 4-2 victory over Brewer, “and once we got down [today] it hurt us a little bit. We had some good at-bats early in the game, but unfortunately that’s baseball sometimes and you hit it right at people.”