WATERVILLE — After winning back-to-back state championships, the one thing the Waterville Senior High School baseball team will not do is panic. When the Purple Panthers spotted Nokomis a three-run lead in the first inning Tuesday, it was no big deal.

“The only thing we said when we were coming off the field was let’s score some runs,” Waterville coach Don Sawyer said.

The Panthers took the lead in the third inning, then exploded for 10 runs in the fourth, taking a 15-3 win in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.

Waterville (3-0) had 16 hits, and each starter scored at least one run.

“Everyone was putting the ball in play well. We just waited for our pitch and put it in play,” said Waterville catcher Aidan Fitzgerald, who had two hits in the fourth inning, including a two-run double, and drove in three runs.

Waterville took the lead for good when Dan Pooler (3 for 4, four RBIs) hit a two-run single in the bottom of the third. The Panthers’ bats stayed hot in the fourth. Tyler Bouchard led off the inning with a single, stole second base and scored on Fitzgerald’s double. After a flyout, six consecutive Panthers reached base, culminating with a two-run double by J.T. Whitten, which pushed Waterville’s lead to 11-3.

The bottom third of Waterville’s order, Josh Gormley, Derek LaChance and Brian Bellows, combined for four hits and scored six runs.

“The bottom of the order, especially with two strikes, did a really good job. I think we had three two strike hits today, and that’s just staying in the box and taking good swings,” Sawyer said.

Nokomis (1-1) scored three runs in the first, all coming with two out. Justin Kasprzak doubled to left field and Justin Amoroso was hit by a pitch, before Jake Winslow hit a run-scoring single. Amoroso scored on a Whitten balk and Winslow scored when Jeff Ludden reached on an error.

“We jumped up 3-0 in the first inning, but we still need to learn how to win. It’s pretty simple,” Nokomis coach Jared Foster said.

Whitten settled down after his shaky first inning, and held the Warriors to four hits while striking out six.

“For the most part, he was just throwing fastballs and just locating those well. He threw in a couple curves,” Fitzgerald said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


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