WATERVILLE — Waterville Senior High School starting pitcher Cody Pellerin said he didn’t think much of his pitch count until late into Wednesday’s season-opening Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B baseball game against rival Winslow.
“I had 30 pitches left with two innings to play. I wanted to get those two innings in, so I was thinking about it then, but I only got one inning,” Pellerin said.
Pellerin was pulled after six innings and 106 pitches, just a few pitches short of the maximum 110 set by the pitch count rules taking effect this season. That was enough for Pellerin to stay out of trouble, and lead the Purple Panthers to a 7-2 win.
Pellerin scattered eight hits in his six innings, walking one and striking out 12. Pellerin’s best pitch was his curveball, which he used with his fastball to consistently get ahead of Black Raider hitters.
“The low curveball was working, Make them swing,” Pellerin said.
Waterville took the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning. Cam Denis led off with a single, stole second and third base, then scored on David Barre’s base hit. After stealing a pair of bases himself, Barre scored on a groundout from Daniel Gaunce.
In the preseason, Waterville coach Dennis Martin said the Panthers would be aggressive on the basepaths, and they certainly were on Wednesday. Waterville swiped 12 bags, and six of the seven runs were scored by a player who got into scoring position by stealing a base.
“You make things happen, it puts pressure on the defense,” Martin said.
Added Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe: “I expected that. We don’t have a true catcher. We were trying to not allow extra mistakes on top of those extra bases.”
Winslow scored both its runs in the third inning. Tom Tibbetts singled, stole second and scored on Patrick Hopkins’ RBI single. Cam Winslow’s single scored Hopkins and tied the score at 2-2.
Winslow started for the Black Raiders and pitched the first three innings, before Ethan LaChance came on in relief. A lefty, Winslow had to play three innings at shortstop for the shorthanded Black Raiders.
“We’re still moving guys around. We’ve got some guys coming back to us soon that we didn’t have today that will be moved in. A lot of guys played out of position today. All things considered, we did a decent job with it,” Wolfe said.
While Waterville was aggressive on the bases, it did lead to some outs. Two runners were thrown out attempting steals. Chay Phelps was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple in the fourth inning, and Andrew Roderigue was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch a triple hit to the right field wall into an inside the park home run.
“We made a few mistakes here and there. We ran into a couple of outs,” Martin said.
Denis and Kody Vallee each scored a pair of runs for Waterville, while Barre and Gaunce each drove in two. Hopkins had three hits for Winslow, including a double.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242