OAKLAND — On Friday afternoon, Bangor High School pitcher Trevor Delaite was two pitches from perfect.

The University of Maine-bound lefty lost his perfect game with two outs in the bottom of the third inning, when Messalonskee’s Kyle Lafreniere reached first on a passed ball third strike. Delaite kept his no-hitter until James Lathrop’s one-out single in the sixth. Still, Delaite faced the minimum 21 batters in the Rams’ 10-0 victory, thanks to his team’s strong defense and his own nifty pickoff move.

Bangor, the two-time defending Class A state champs, improved to 7-0 with the win. Messalonskee is now 4-3, and coach Ray Bernier could only tip his cap to Delaite and the Rams.

“You don’t get frustrated about that. There’s a reason why they’re the best team and he’s the best pitcher. Delaite, that’s some of the best I’ve ever seen him pitch. He was hitting his spots. Our guys were coming in saying they were strikes. They just couldn’t hit it,” Bernier said.

Delaite struck out 11, including the side in the seventh inning, and was never hit hard. It was in the middle innings when Delaite knew he had the chance to throw a special game.

“I just felt good. I felt fresh. I was able to go right at hitters, and my defense played great behind me,” Delaite said.

When Lafreniere reached on a third strike passed ball in the third, Delaite wasn’t thinking about perfection. Before even throwing a pitch to Tyler Lewis, Delaite picked Lafreniere off first base to end the inning.

“I saw he had a huge lead, so I was like, might as well get it done right here,” Delaite said.

Lathrop’s single was a slow roller up the middle, to the right of second base, just out of reach of Bangor second baseman George Payne. Still, Delaite kept his minimum hitters streak going one batter later, when Lafreniere hit a line drive right at Payne, who threw to first baseman Nick Cowperthwaite to double up Lathrop and end the inning. By that point, Delaite was thinking about the no-hitter.

“I was hoping (Payne) would dive out and get it, but he made a good effort at it,” Delaite said. “I left the pitch over the middle. It was too good a pitch to make with two strikes on him.”

Delaite kept the Eagles guessing with a fastball in the mid-80s, a nasty curveball, and a slider he used just to mix things up. He was efficient, needing only 85 pitches for the complete game.

“Probably my best pitch was my fastball. I was able to locate it. My curveball made them see something different, and I was able to throw my slider late in the count to try to get people off balance,” Delaite said.

Bangor took the lead with two runs in the top of the second inning. Peter Kemble led off with a walk. When Tyler Parke singled, Kemble scored on an error in the outfield. Parke went to third base on the error, and scored on Payne’s groundout to second base.

“They capitalize on every mistake. That’s why they’re the best team,” Bernier said.

The Rams broke the game open with five runs in the sixth. Kemble’s two-run single capped the scoring, giving Bangor an 8-0 lead. Delaite added a two-run double in the seventh for the final margin of victory.

Bernier said the possible no-hitter was never focused on by the Eagles.

“We were all just focused on how we want to be adjusting as players. If we didn’t get any hits today, that would’ve been what happened. We were trying to get better for our next game,” Bernier said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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