The Cony High School baseball team has started to come around after a slow start. The Rams are 2-4 following wins against Edward Little and Brunswick by scores of 3-2 and 5-1.

“It just really comes down to making plays,” Cony coach Don Plourde said. “We simply weren’t making the plays we needed to make and playing a complete seven innings.”

Against Edward Little, that meant 12 innings. Cony fell behind 2-1 in the 11th inning but scored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to extend the game. Senior Simon Yorks picked up the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 12th. Against Brunswick, junior Zack Lachance pitched a three-hitter, struck out six and contributed a pair of doubles.

“Zack Lachance pitched a gem on Monday,” Plourde said. “He pitched great against Mt. Ararat and not bad against Lewiston. The pitching’s been fine. If we make plays we could easily be 4-2 or 5-1.”

The Rams play Lewiston again today in Augusta and are expected to start junior Ryan Edwards. Chandler Shostak has been the team’s top hitter so far followed by Lachance and freshman catcher Tayler Carrier. Plourde has made a couple of changes in the infield.

“We just kind of tweaked some things mechanically,” he said. “Some guys were playing too deep.”

He also called up freshmen Mitch Caron and Thomas Foster from the junior varsity. Caron is playing third base while Foster is on the pitching staff.

“He’ll pitch for us and get his at-bats with the JVs,” Plourde said.

• • •

Erskine senior Shyler Scates picked up his first win of the season, beating Mt. Ararat 4-0. Scates threw just 78 pitches while striking out eight and walking none. The ace right-hander is 1-2 so far but has pitched well in all three starts and gone the distance in all three.

“Just hard luck,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said. “He doesn’t overpower but he induces ground balls.”

Scates led 1-0 going into the sixth in a 3-1 loss to Edward Little and was victimized by four errors in a late-inning loss against Oxford Hills.

The Eagles are finally getting healthy. Tom Grady is back in the lineup after breaking a finger in preseason during a pickup basketball game. He both pitches and plays center field.

“Grady is 80-85 percent healed,” Jonassen said. “He’s swinging the bat well. He’s been a good addition to the lineup.”

Senior shortstop Ryan Pulver’s arm is gaining strength, too. He’s been a valuable closer the past couple of seasons.

“We haven’t closed with him but we’re due to,” Jonassen said. “His arm is coming around.”

The Eagles also have junior outfielder Keith Cloutier back after he missed time while on an overseas trip. He’s starting in left field.

“He can cover a lot of ground,” Jonassen said. “With Grady and Cloutier playing, we’re much better defensively.”

Erskine hosts Edward Little today and plays at Cony on Monday with Scates scheduled to go against the Rams.

• • •

Hall-Dale ran its record to 3-1 after Taylor Lockhart pitched a no-hitter against Boothbay on Wednesday, The Bulldogs also have solid pitching from freshman Bobby Cumler. But they’re still looking for someone to fill in the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind senior Ben Crocker. That battle will come down between Lockhart, Cumler and junior Zac Plummer who hasn’t pitched or played in a few years. All three are trying to fill a void left by injured junior Wyatt Rush, who is not expected to pitch this season.

“I’m still trying to figure out a way to deal with not having Wyatt Rush,” Hall-Dale coach Tim Johnson said.

The Bulldogs lost 5-4 last week to St. Dominic, considered one of the teams to beat in the Mountain Valley Conference. They face another today when they host Dirigo (6-1), whose only loss was a 4-2 decision to St. Dom’s in the season opener. Crocker is scheduled to start.

Hall-Dale has already improved in two critical areas from a year ago. After making 47 errors last season, they only made four in their first four games.

“Our outfield has the potential to be really good,” Johnson said, citing Brad Shepherd in left, Colin Lush in center and Nick Sinclair in right.

And they already have 10 extra base hits after collecting only 12 all of last year.

“Up and down the lineup, the kids are doing a good job offensively,” Johnson said. “Kurt Thiele is really swinging the bat well for us. I would probably say that’s our most pleasant surprise.”

 

• • •

The Erskine baseball team is putting on a dance recital of sorts Saturday night in the school gymnasium to benefit the American Cancer Society. It’s part of a Coaches vs. Cancer week sponsored by the Maine Baseball Coaches Association. The week will be officially held May 21-25 around the state with proceeds from all games going to the American Cancer Society.

“We’ve designated our game with Cony on the 25th as our cancer game,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said. “We came up with this idea to have a special night.”

The players have each selected a female partner and will perform 12 separate routines. At the end of the night the team will perform a routine together. It begins at 7 p.m. and admission is $5.

Around the state: Chris Benner, a sophomore pitcher for Limestone Maine School of Science and Mathematics, was behind 3-0 last week against Ashland in the first inning. He had surrendered a double, single and a pair of walks. A visit to the mound from coach Glenn Michaud appeared to change everything. From that point on, Benner struck out 20 batters, didn’t allow a hit and issued one walk in his team’s 11-3 victory . . . Two Division I bound players matched up on the mound last week at Marshwood when Marshwood’s Luke Fernandes squared off against Louis DiStasio of Cheverus. After a shaky start, Fernandes settled down and beat the defending Class A state champs 6-3. He’s headed to Boston College next year on a baseball scholarship and is expected to pitch. DiStasio will also be on scholarship at the University of Rhode Island and is expected to play in the field and possibly pitch. Both teams are 4-1.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 


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