BRUNSWICK — Mt. Ararat’s Hunter Lohr struck out 14 batters through six-and two-thirds innings as the Eagles opened the 2019 season with a 4-0 shutout over Skowhegan in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference baseball action at Bowdoin College on Wednesday.

The senior scattered four hits, while hitting two batters and walking none to earn the win. Ben Freeman came on to relieve Lohr with the bases loaded to strike out the final batter to end the game.

“We’ve been preaching to the kids all week to keep it simple, no one had to do anything flashy, no one had to do anything fancy, just do your job and make the plays in front of you,” Mt. Ararat coach Brett Chase said. “We were happy with how they played today.”

Lohr and the Eagles kept it simple, despite two of the first three Skowhegan hitters reaching via hit in the top of the first. Lohr worked out of his first jam of the day by striking out the final two batters looking to strand a pair.

The right-hander retired nine of the next 10 hitters, allowing just a hit batsman, while striking out five.

“We have a lot of players coming back this year so I knew our fielding would be solid, but I was a little disappointed on our approach at the plate, we let him get ahead of us in the count,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said. “We have to do a better job at the plate.”

Lohr continued to grind it out on the mound for the Eagles. Following an error to open the Skowhegan fifth, Lohr struck out the next two hitters before a throwing error brought the tying run to the plate with two outs.

“We asked Hunter to come out today and pound the strike zone,” Chase said. “We knew we weren’t going to beat Skowhegan with walks and we needed to have strikes.”

Lohr did just that, reaching back to fan Skowhegan’s No. 2 hitter, Lucas Patchell to end the frame.

“Hats off to him, he pitched a great game,” LeBlanc said. “He threw first-pitch strikes and pounded the zone. We figured it out, but we couldn’t execute.”

After allowing just five base runners over the first six innings, Lohr opened the seventh surrendering a single to Aiden Lauder. After a pair of strikeouts, Lohr hit a batter and allowed his fourth hit of the game before being lifted for Freeman.

Skowhegan received hits from Patchell, Marcus Christopher, Louder and Jimmy Reed. Miller pitched five innings, giving up six hits, striking out two, walking one and hitting two batters. Kyle Kruse pitched the final two innings, allowing a run on two hits and two walks, while striking out a batter.

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