FARMINGDALE — The Winthrop baseball team is peaking at the right time.
Monday, the Ramblers shut out St. Dominic for their most important win of the season, then Tuesday in the regular-season finale, they blanked rival Hall-Dale 4-0.
Winthrop finishes at 10-6 and will host a Western Maine Class C prelim game Tuesday. Hall-Dale (9-7) is also in line to host a prelim game.
“Right at the best time,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said of his team’s progress. “Our two (pitchers), Ben Allen and Jared (Hanson), back to back shutouts. Both had their curveballs working really well yesterday and today.”
Hanson went the distance Tuesday, pitching out of trouble in the first four innings before hitting his stride over the last three.
“Usually in the beginning of the game my arm hurts, then as I keep throwing it gets loose,” Hanson said.
Hanson allowed six hits, walked two and struck out eight. And he threw plenty of curveballs,
“My curve was working really well today,” he said. “Me and (catcher) Dakota (Carter), we like to keep those kids off balance. This is a good hitting team.”
The Ramblers got all the runs they needed in the first inning when they scored twice. Drew Stratton led the game with a high fly ball to right field that fell for a double after Vadim Albert lost it in a blinding sun. Zach Steele singled in Stratton, stole second and scored on Allen’s two-out single to left.
Sophomore Ryan Sinclair started for the Bulldogs and pitched well, allowing seven singles over seven innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
“We had a couple of bad hops and just some bad luck, the sun blocking a ball that might have been caught,” Hall-Dale coach Bob Sinclair said. “We didn’t get the hits that we needed today with runners in position, but I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the team this year so I’m quite happy.”
Hall-Dale left two runners on base in each of the first four innings. Hanson escaped the first by getting three straight outs after the first two runners reached and Bobby Cumler ended the second by lining out to left field. . Sinclair doubled to left with one out in the third inning and advanced to third on a single from Taylor Lockhart, but again Hanson escaped, this time by getting Alex McPherson on a ground ball to third.
“He was a competitor,” Coach Sinclair said. “It takes a good pitcher to keep us scoreless.”
The Ramblers scored in the third when Allen drove in his second run of the game and again in the seventh on an error and an infield hit. Meanwhile Hanson (3-1) breezed through the last three innings, facing one batter over the minimum.
“I think he threw a first-pitch strike almost every time,” Fortin said. “He was around the plate all day. This is his best complete game.”