GARDINER — The Waterville Senior High School baseball team is one of the best hitting clubs in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division. Give the Purple Panthers a handful of extra outs, like Gardiner did on Friday afternoon, and Waterville is going to rack up the runs.

The Panthers rapped 11 hits and Gardiner committed five errors and that turned into a 12-1 Waterville win.

“You can’t win a ballgame with five errors and one run against Waterville. You can’t do that,” Gardiner coach Chris McLaughlin said. “They have a way of finding the holes. Gap, gap. Line, line, gap. What are you going to do when they find the holes?”

Waterville, now 7-1, will face rival Winslow (7-0) on Monday. Gardiner is now 4-3.

The big inning for Waterville was the fourth. Ahead 2-0, the Panthers added four runs in the fourth. With one out, Racean Wood reached on a three-base throwing error and scored on Tyler Bouchard’s double. Aiden FitzGerald singled to score Bouchard, then scored on a Kaleb Kane double. Owen Brown’s RBI single pushed Waterville’s lead to 6-0.

“Everyone was hitting well today. We were hitting good line drives, solid ground balls. We really didn’t pop much up, which is what we’ve been working on,” FitzGerald, who had two hits and drove in a pair of runs, said. “We’ve been working on making solid contact and keeping the ball out of the air because that’s just giving away outs.”

Added Waterville coach Don Sawyer: “We hit the ball hard. Even four of five outs were hard-hit balls. You can’t complain about a day like that.”

Brown, Dan Pooler and Wood each scored a pair of runs for Waterville and Bouchard drove in two. With two runs in the first inning, Waterville provided starting pitcher A.J. Godin with all the offensive support he needed. Godin pitched six innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out four.

“He was spotting well. He didn’t leave much up in the zone, and when he did, it was what he called for,” FitzGerald, Waterville’s catcher, said. “He wasn’t throwing overly hard or anything, but location is what he was working with today.”

“It’s sneaky quick,” McLaughlin said of Godin’s stuff. “It looks like a fastball, but all of a sudden, it’s not where it’s supposed to be. He didn’t strike a lot of us out, we just didn’t hit the ball hard.”

The Tigers threw a pair of freshmen. Nic Berube started and worked into the fourth inning, before giving way to Brady Smith.

“A freshman making his first varsity start today. A freshman getting into his first varsity game, pitching. I think both of the pitchers did well. They threw strikes. We just didn’t play great defense behind them,” McLaughlin said.

The Tigers scored their run in the fourth inning. Dennis Meehan led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Ian Lane’s single. A few Gardiner rallies were stopped by the Waterville defense, which turned three double plays.

“After the second inning, I thought our defense came around. Even our outfielders were holding them to singles,” Sawyer said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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