AUGUSTA — Oxford Hills second baseman Brayden Bean made the whole baseball-is-a game-of-inches thing work to his advantage Wednesday against Cony.

Bean made a crucial diving grab in the bottom of the sixth, then legged out a leadoff triple in the seventh after his line drive eluded a diving Cony outfielder. He ultimately scored the winning run in a nip-and-tuck 4-3 Vikings victory at Morton Field.

Andrew Fleming closed the door for the Vikings by throwing one pitch to induce a game-ending double play. Oxford Hills improved to 4-2 while Cony dropped to 2-4 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A.

Bean battled back from an 0-2 count to put a charge into his 3-2 pitch to the opposite field. He hesitated briefly as he rounded second, ignored a stop sign from coach Shane Slicer and beat the relay throw to represent the go-ahead run at third with nobody out.

“I was thinking three all the way,” Bean said. “I didn’t even see (the stop sign).”

Jake Spinhirn followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right-center to easily plate Bean.


Oxford Hills starter Troy Johnson got Cam Dunlop to ground out to short — on a bang-bang play at first — before yielding a one-out walk to Tyler Dostie that chased him from the game.

Fleming, a lefty whose bound for the University of Maine on a basketball scholarship next fall, came on and got Anthony Brunelle to bounce into the game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

It was a see-saw game marked by fielding miscues from both sides. Bean gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the second, drawing a two-out walk, then reaching third when a pop fly dropped in fair territory around the plate and led to a throwing error by the catcher. Cony starter Riley Boivin’s next pitch went to the backstop allowing Bean to trot home.

Cony got two back in the third with the aid of three Oxford Hills errors. The Vikings tied it at 2-2 in the fifth despite not hitting a ball out of the infield, but the Rams reclaimed the lead again in the bottom of the frame on Justin Rodrigue’s RBI single.

Oxford Hills tied it once more in the sixth on Tyler Curtis’ RBI single through a drawn-in infield. Curtis stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out, but Boivin kept the game knotted at 3-3 by getting Johnson to line out to second baseman Taylor Heath, who promptly threw to Rodrigue at the second base bag to double-up Curtis and end the inning.

“Riley pitched great,” Cony coach Don Plourde said. “He pitched ahead, mixed his speeds and kept the ball down.”


After committing four errors that led to Cony runs, Oxford Hills made some big defensive plays in the final two innings.

“We forgot about (the errors) and put it behind us,” Bean said.

Bean chased down a ball hit behind him and came up with the defensive gem of the game to help preserve the tie. Boivin led off Cony’s half of the sixth with a looper to shallow right field and was robbed by a diving, over-the-shoulder grab by Bean.

“As soon as it went in the air, I had a good read on it and I had it in my mind that I was going to catch that ball no matter what,” he said. “As I saw it falling and falling, I just dove at the last minute and came up with it.”

The play loomed even larger when Johnson walked the next batter, Zach Charest, who was subsequently thrown out trying a delayed steal of second.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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