AUGUSTA — With the regular season quickly coming to a close, the Cony High School baseball team looked at Friday’s game against Oxford Hills as a chance to pick up some key Eastern A Heal points. It did so, in convincing fashion.

The Rams scored eight runs in the bottom of the second inning, and added two more in the fifth to take a 10-0 win in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game shortened by the mercy rule. Both Cony and Oxford Hills are now 8-5.

“Oxford Hills is obviously one of the better teams in the league,” Cony pitcher Anthony Brunelle, who gave up just three hits and one walk in the shutout, said. “This shows we can compete really well.”

“It certainly helps us, and now we move forward,” Cony coach Don Plourde said.

Plourde said the Rams put in extra practice hitting over the last few days, and it showed. While all nine of Cony’s hits were singles, most were hit sharply.

“The guys talked about wanting more swings,” Plourde said.

Cony’s big second inning began when Reid Shostak led off with an infield single, and took second base on a throwing error. After Tyler Tardiff walked and Ben Leet moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, Spencer Buck’s two-run single gave the Rams a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Thomas Foster singled in a run, and Mitchell Caron drove in a pair with a hit. An error extended the inning, and Tardiff and Leet each drove in a run. When it was over, Cony had sent 13 hitters to the plate, and chased Vikings starting pitcher Bailey West.

Meanwhile, Brunelle cruised. The junior lefty retired the first 11 hitters of the game, before his perfection was broken up by a Brady LaFrance single with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. The fourth inning was the only time Oxford Hills threatened to score, loading the bases before Brunelle got a fly ball to center field from West to end the threat.

“They hadn’t been hitting the ball well all game. I just threw strikes and let my defense do the work,” Brunelle, who struck out two, said. “My best pitch was my four seam (fastball). I was accurate with it. My curve wasn’t going for strikes.”

“(Brunelle) pounded the zone,” Plourde said. “If you’re a lefty and you can keep the ball low, good things will happen.”

Kolbe Merfeld’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth ended the game.

Before the game, there was a brief ceremony in which Keith Gleason and his mother, Verna Gleason, donated $20,000 to the Capital Area Recreation Association for a new backstop at McGuire Field. The donation was made in memory of Evan Gleason, Keith’s father and Verna’s husband, who died in March. A longtime umpire and Augusta baseball volunteer, Evan Gleason loved working at McGuire Field, Keith said.

“He loved being at the baseball field,” Gleason said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM