GARDINER — The Skowhegan Area High School baseball team made a good showing this spring, earning the No. 5 seed in Eastern A despite missing a good chunk of the roster for several games due to rules violations.

About a dozen of those players are on the Madison Legion team this season, and as summer begins, the 39ers may be hitting their stride.

Madison went on the road Saturday and swept a doubleheader from Gardiner, 9-5 and 8-4. That makes five wins in a row for the 39ers after opening the season with a doubleheader loss.

“We got a little speed,” Madison coach Peter Kirby said. “We’re getting on base. During the high school year, we didn’t hit well, but now we’re starting to hit and get guys on base, and with our speed, we can do a lot of things.”

Madison had 22 hits on the day, and ripped out five doubles in the first three innings of game two. Kam Nelson went 4 for 4 in that game, and drove in three runs. Madison had also defeated Gardiner, 8-2, on Thursday.

“That’s probably one of the better-hitting teams we’ve seen,” Gardiner coach Dan Burdin said. “They put the bat on the ball, and make us make plays.”

Madison also brought strong pitching and defense to Saturday’s games. Side-arming Taylor Bacon started and threw six effective innings. Gardiner (3-5) scored with all four of its hits off Bacon — a home run by Ian Lane, two RBI singles by Jonah Martin and another by Alex Curtis — but Bacon struck out six and was never in serious trouble.

“We expect that every game out of him,” Kirby said. “He’s a competitor.”

Garrett Emery and Trey Michonski each had two hits for Madison in the opener. Michonski had a two-run single as part of a four-run fourth that gave the 39ers a 9-1 lead and broke things open.

Not satisfied with one win, the 39ers hustled their way to another in game two. With Madison ahead 3-0 in the top of the third, Michonski flared what looked like a routine single to left-center. When Gardiner was slow to field the ball, Michonski raced to second and barely beat the relay with a head-first slide. In the seventh, Chase Whittemore scored from second on a wild pitch for Madison’s final run.

“A lot of it is having Coach Willy around,” Kirby said. “Al Wilson has been a big asset to the team. He brings a lot of fire, and we have a lot of fun.”

Michonski pitched the first three innings for the 39ers. When he tired, Brandon LeHay overpowered the Gardiner batters for two innings. When LeHay tired, John Swett came in for the save.

Gardiner closed within 4-2 in the third on an RBI triple by Jim Theriault and and RBI single by Curtis. The back-breaker was in the top of the sixth, when Nelson lined a two-run single to right with the bases loaded for his fourth hit of the game.

“I feel locked in right now,” Nelson said. “I’m just trying to keep my bat flat and go with the pitch.”

The 7-2 deficit was too much for Gardiner to overcome, despite Josh Mashke’s two-run single in the sixth. The hosts had some bright spots on defense, as shortstop Dalton Therrien twice robbed Chase Nelson of hits, and young catcher Nick Berube looked solid in catching both games on a muggy day.

“We’re trying to piece a whole game together here, and obviously, we’re missing quite a few guys today,” Burdin said. “We’re still figuring out where we want to be defensively and offensively. Once we put everything together, I think we’ll be all right.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]


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