SKOWHEGAN — For good or bad, Monday afternoon’s baseball game at Memorial Field may end up defining the seasons for Skowhegan and Lawrence.
Trailing the Bulldogs by one run with two out and nobody on base in the bottom of the seventh inning, Skowhegan rallied to score a pair. Kaleb Brown’s single to right field, just out of reach of a diving J.T. Nutting, scored pinch runner Chase Whittemore with the go-ahead run, giving the Indians a 2-1 win.
“Two guys went down. Then we just got that guy on, and got that guy on, and that’s baseball, man,” Skowhegan coach Rick York said. “We didn’t deserve to win this game.”
Skowhegan improved to 4-2. It was the third consecutive one-run loss for Lawrence, which is now 0-5.
“It seems like in the last three years here, we’ve lost a few games that way. We haven’t yet gotten through one of those games and learned how to win them,” Lawrence coach Rusty Mercier said.
Ahead 1-0, Lawrence starter Cody Martin struck out pinch hitters Lucas Wallace and D.J. Allen to start the bottom of the seventh. Down 0-2 in the count, Skowhegan leadoff hitter Trevor Hisler punched a bouncing single through the hole between first and second. After Hisler stole second base, Chase Nelson walked and was replaced by Whittemore on first base.
The Indians tied the game when Hisler scored on a throwing error. Adam Clukey walked to load the bases and Brown, who had struck out in his first two at bats against Martin, took the outside curveball to right field to clinch the improbable come-from-behind win.
“I was pretty nervous, obviously, with the game on the line like that. I just had to be patient and swing good,” Brown said. “All his pitches were kind of hard to pick up. He hid (the ball) pretty well.”
Martin dominated the Skowhegan lineup throughout the game. The sophomore lefty struck out 12 and worked out of jams in the early innings. The Indians stranded six runners on base in the first four innings, four in scoring position.
“Cody pitched a great game. He was ahead of batters all day. I felt we outplayed them all day and deserved to win,” Mercier said.
Added York: “Cody Martin pitched one of the best games I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a competitor and that’s a tough way to lose a game. We couldn’t hit Martin. He kept us off balance and spotted the ball well. It’s just the breaks of the game, I guess. We’re lucky to get out of here with a win.”
Skowhegan starter Chad Carroll was strong, too. Carroll struck out eight while walking one.
“Chad had a great outing. He’s a fighter and he wants the ball. He proved today that he can get it done,” York said.
Carroll didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and the only trouble he found came in the fifth. Martin and Kyle McLain hit back-to-back singles to open the inning and J.J. Bushaw hit a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out.
With one out, Joe Leclair was hit by a pitch, scoring the Bulldogs run. Nutting then hit a line drive right at Skowhegan first baseman Chase Nelson, who stepped on first base to turn the double play.
“That could have been two runs,” Mercier said.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242