Old Town's Gabriel Gifford delivers a pitch during the game against John Bapst baseball at Husson University on Wednesday. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Junior lefthander Gabe Gifford pitched a complete-game three-hitter and helped the Old Town baseball team score two first-inning runs Wednesday afternoon as the Coyotes edged John Bapst of Bangor 2-0 at the Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University.

Old Town won for the second time in its last three games to improve its record to 2-5 while the loss ended a seven-game winning streak for John Bapst, now 7-2.

Gifford struck out 12 batters and walked just two to outduel John Bapst ace Allen Wheaton, a senior righty who yielded two runs on six hits while striking out 13 batters and walking three in six innings.

Old Town runner Gabriel Gifford is safe at second base as John Bapst’s Lucas Gagnon tires to catch a wide throw during the game Wednesday at Husson University. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

Pivotal play: Gifford also was an offensive force from the leadoff spot in the batting order for coach Justin Crisafulli’s Coyotes, with the first of his three hits in the game setting Old Town up to score the game’s only runs in the top of the first.

Gifford stole second base – one of 11 thefts in as many attempts for Old Town – after grounding a single up the middle and reached third on a passed ball before Peyton Vose walked and stole second to put both runners in scoring position with no one out.

John Bapst’s Allen Wheaton delivers a pitch during the game against Old Town Wednesday at Husson University. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

Wheaton then recorded the first of his four first-inning strikeouts before OT cleanup batter Brendan Mahaney lined an infield hit to shortstop to plate Gifford with the go-ahead run.  Wheaton struck out the next batter, but a third-strike wild pitch to Jackson Lizzotte then enabled Vose to score from third and make it 2-0.

Wheaton went unscored upon the rest of the way before giving way to reliever Nick Chaffee, who struck out two more batters while working a scoreless seventh inning as, the duo combined  to strand 10 Old Town baserunners.

Old Town’s James Dumond is safe at first under Bapst first baseman Peter Schuck Wednesday at Husson University. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

Big takeaway: The two starting pitchers – each of whom began his season on the mound with a loss despite pitching a no-hitter – displayed why they are capable of defeating any opponent in Class B North on a given day with their mix of pitches. Gifford successfully mixed his fastball with a backdoor curve that stymied a John Bapst offense that began the day with a .333 team batting average while Wheaton combined his fastball and slider to great effect against the Coyotes.

 


Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...