WINTHROP — The Hall-Dale High School baseball team is coming on strong.

After a slow start this season, the Bulldogs have won three of their last four games, including Wednesday’s 11-4 win against rival Winthrop.

The win evens Hall-Dale’s record at 5-5 in Mountain Valley Conference play and puts the team in fifth place in the Western Maine Class C tournament standings. Winthrop is 8-2.

The Bulldogs got a strong pitching performance from sophomore left-hander Bobby Cumler and put together their best offensive game of the season with 19 hits.

“It’s a huge win,” said Hall-Dale assistant coach Bob Sinclair, who filled in for head coach Tim Johnson, who was ill. “This should help out quite a bit.”

This was a close game for five innings as Cumler and Ben Allen, another sophomore left-hander, were locked in a pitching duel. The score was 4-4 at the end of five innings, but Allen (3-1) tired and the Bulldogs jumped on him and reliever Matt Sekerak for seven runs and 11 hits over the last two innings.

“Everybody came up big in the spots we needed them to,” said freshman Ryan Sinclair, who had four hits. “You couldn’t tell what (Allen) was throwing, but I got a fastball down the middle all four times and just shot the ball through the infield.”

Allen drove in four runs for Hall-Dale with a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly while Colin Lush and Taylor Lockhart each had three hits. The Ramblers committed one physical error and several mental ones. Five of Hall-Dale’s hits never left the infield, including a popup that fell between two fielders and two more balls that were fielded but thrown late to first base.

“The wheels came of the bus,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said.

While Allen grew tired, Cumler (1-3) grew stronger as the game went on. He allowed five hits, three in Winthrop’s two-run third and another in the fourth when the Ramblers pulled off a double steal and scored their final run on an error. He retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced, struck out five and walked one.

“I felt confident,” said Cumler, who began featuring his curve ball later in the game.

He finished with 82 pitches, 50 of those for strikes.

“I think he was in single digits in each of the last three innings,” Coach Sinclair said.

Tyler Stockford and Jared Hanson each doubled in runs for Winthrop while Matt Plourde, Zack McNaughton and Nick Sinclair had two hits each for Hall-Dale.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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