AUGUSTA — A strong lineup of hitters and a deep pitching staff have served the Windham American Legion baseball team well this season.

Both attributes were on display Saturday as Windham defeated Madison 12-4 in a play-in game for a spot in Wednesday’s state tournament. Zone 3 runner-up Windham (16-6) will face Zone 4 champion Westbrook in its opener Wednesday in Augusta while Zone 2 runner-up Madison finishes at 14-9.

Windham collected 16 hits off three Madison pitchers, including home runs by Calvin Field and Joey Francouer. Field led the game with a home run off Madison starter Brandon Lehay and Windham never trailed, adding a run in the second inning and four in the third.

“They’re some big kids, good athletes,” Madison manager Peter Kirby said. “They have four or five kids there who are close to 200 pounds. We’ve only got one or two of those kids.”

Windham starter Shawn Francouer (4-0) pitched six strong innings before he was relieved by his twin brother Joey. The right-handed Shawn allowed two runs while scattering eight hits, striking out eight and hitting a batter. Joey allowed a pair of unearned runs while Cody Dube pitched a scoreless ninth.

“I’m a reliever most of the time,” Joey, a left-hander said. “My brother’s the one that starts most of the time. We have quite a pitching staff.”

Lehay opened the third inning by walking the first two batters and paid for it as Joey Francouer drilled a three-run homer over the fence in right-center just to the left of the 350-foot sign. Shawn Francouer, who had three hits, doubled and scored on base hit up the middle by Tanner Laberge.

If not for strong defense, the 39ers might have been knocked from the game earlier. They turned three double plays, including a rare 5-3-5 twin killing in the eighth, and catcher Garrett Emery threw out two players attempting to steal second. Still, if wasn’t enough to offset Windham’s bats.

“We had a very successful high school season,” said manager Brody Artes, who also coached the Windham high school team this year. “We’ve have  a lot of experience. This same group has kind of moved up together and they’ve had a lot of success.”

Lehay gave way to Chase Malloy in the third inning and he escaped further damage before pitching a scoreless fourth. But he was tagged for four runs in the fifth, the key blow a two-run single by Ethan Petty. Madison ace Taylor Bacon finished the game, allowing single runs in each of the final two innings. Kirby considered starting Bacon who missed last week’s Zone 2 tournament while in Kosovo on a mission with his church.

“He just got back Thursday,” Kirby said. “We had a practice on Thursday and he wasn’t as sharp as he normally is.”

Trevor Hisler had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for Madison while Emery also had three hits and drove in a run.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
[email protected]

 

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