Noah Hill of Lewiston beats the throw to Skowhegan third baseman Samuel Shields during the sixth inning in Lewiston on Friday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

 

LEWISTON — The Lewiston Blue Devils were patient when they had to be, aggressive when the situation called for it, and fundamentally sound throughout Friday’s 12-1 victory over Skowhegan at Joseph Deschenes Field.

Lewiston got the leadoff batter aboard in each of the first five innings, then doubled their run production in the only inning they didn’t, the sixth, invoking the 10-run mercy rule on Cooper Millett’s bases-loaded triple.

Lewiston High School starting pitcher Hunter Landry throws to first base after picking up a Skowhegan bunt in Lewiston on Friday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

That was more than enough for southpaw starter Hunter Landry, who shut out Skowhegan in his five innings of work while allowing one infield hit, one walk and a hit batter and striking out four.

“We’re confident,” said Landry, whose team opened the season with a 6-1 win over Bangor on Wednesday. “We’re playing baseball the right way right now, just making plays, hitting the ball the right way. Everything is going well.”

“I hope it’s a broken record in perpetuity — we throw strikes and we defend,” Lewiston coach Darren Hartley said. “That’s where our game starts from. And we’re just always hopeful of timely hitting. We’ve got guys that can run the bases. We felt like we could be aggressive, and obviously we were.”

The Blue Devils (2-0) were a perfect eight-for-eight in stolen bases.

At the plate, Landry and Millett led the offense with two hits apiece, including a triple each, while Brodi Farinas went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs batted in. Millett, Noah Hill, Jack LeBlond and Robert Dostie scored two runs apiece.

Marcus Christopher drove in Skowhegan’s only run with a one-out double in the sixth off of reliever Evan Raymond.

Hill set the tone for the day with a leadoff walk in the first off of Skowhegan starter Ryan Savage. Two pitches later, Landry lined a triple to center field to make it 1-0.

Lewiston High School catcher Sam Laroche has his teammate hold the throw from the outfield during Friday’s game against Skowhegan. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Savage wiggled out of trouble to end that inning but got himself back into it with another leadoff walk in the second to Nate Lyons. Millett singled, then stole second as part of a double-steal, which put Lyons in position to score on Owen Cox’s ground out to short. Hill made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to score Millett.

“It’s good to get the first guy on. We have good hitters here and we can just drive them in,” Cox said. “We’re also disciplined at the plate, so we take the balls that are there.”

“Four out of five (of the leadoff men to get aboard) were walks,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said. “We tried to nibble a little bit too much instead of pounding the zone. We’ve talked about pounding the zone, but they just decide that they’d rather nibble and pick. It hurt us, and it’s going to keep hurting us until we change our ways.”

The Indians (0-2) had their best chance to hurt Landry in the second, but not until there was two outs. Cameron Louder reached when Cox slipped on the turf while fielding his ground ball deep in the hole to short. After issuing a walk to Zeb Tibbetts, Landry ended the inning with Mathew Berry’s fly out to left.

Landry allowed only one more Skowhegan batter to reach when he beaned Christopher with an off-target curve ball to start the fourth. The Lewiston senior did an excellent job of keeping Skowhegan off-balance with his curve and a change-up to go with his fastball.

“I’ve started developing a change-up a little bit more and that certainly helps, when you have three pitches you can depend on for strikes,” Landry said. “It was one of those days where I definitely felt like I could throw a strike whenever I needed to and could depend on my defense to make plays behind me.”

Lewiston High School relief pitcher Evan Raymond fires a pitch during Friday’s game against Skowhegan. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

The Devils’ defense was flawless, and their offense made Skowhegan pay for mistakes that led to single runs in the third and fourth. A balk by Savage after LeBlond’s leadoff infield hit set up Farinas’ RBI single that made it 4-0 in the third. Millett took a leadoff walk in the fourth, stole second and scored from there when the first baseman couldn’t handle a throw on Hill’s ground ball.

Dostie led off the fifth with a single off of reliever Zack Fitzgerald and eventually scored on Lyons’ ground out to make it 6-0 in the fifth.

Lewiston appeared to keep its leadoff streak alive in the sixth when the first baseman was pulled off the bag by the shortstops throw on Danny May’s grounder. May was initially called safe, but after a brief umpire’s conference the call was overturned because the first baseman had successfully tagged May on the back before he reached the base.

That didn’t kill Lewiston’s momentum, though. Hill followed with a bunt single and eventually scored on Dostie’s bases-loaded walk. Farinas and Sam Laroche followed with RBI singles before Millett ended it with his triple.

“We wait for our pitch and then we just drive it,” Farinas said. “We do our jobs. Everybody has their job and I think we did it well today. Everybody’s coming into their own.”

Lewiston’s next game will be at home against rival Edward Little, scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday.

 


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