WATERVILLE — Erskine Academy senior Joe Clark wasn’t in a slump, but he still felt like he needed to change something up. Against Waterville, Clark went with a slightly lighter bat.

“I was using a 33 (ounce). I didn’t like it very much,” Clark said.

After Thursday’s game, Clark probably has a new favorite bat. Clark hit three doubles, scoring three runs and driving in one, to help the Eagles take a 7-1 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B win over the Purple Panthers.

Waterville shortstop David Barre leaps to try and catch a line drive during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game against Erskine on Thursday in Waterville. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

“(Clark) lightened up his bat a little bit, and he made contact today, for sure. Some timely hits  and well hit,” Erskine (6-4) coach Scott Ballard said.

After three scoreless innings, Clark’s second double of the game got Erskine’s offense going. After leading off the top of the fourth with a double to left field, Clark went to third base on groundout by Lucas Anderson, then scored on Nick Barber’s single. A few batters later, Barber scored on a the back end of a double steal, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

“Coach said get everybody up, so I tried to get a nice hit,” Clark said.

Erskine added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Caden Turcotte scored on Braden Soule’s sacrifice fly to deep center field for a 3-0 lead. After reaching on an error, Clark scored on Anderson’s RBI single.

That was plenty of run support for starting pitcher Jack Allen, who went the distance for the win. While Allen never worked a one-two-three inning, he never got into serious trouble, either. Waterville’s nine hits were spread out, and the Purple Panthers (4-5) stranded 10 runners on base. Allen struck out five and walked none.

“Jack did a very good job today. He won us this game today, I think,” Clark said. “He was just throwing hard. He threw strikes. He just kept us in it.”

Added Ballard: “Jack’s been solid all year. His control is pinpoint. He hit his spots, kept them off-balance, and our defense made the plays for the most part. He pitches to contact well with a lead. He’s a senior. He knows how to do it.”

For Waterville, which scored at least 11 runs in five of its nine games, Allen’s ability to throw strikes made it difficult to work into deep hitters counts.

“Right now, it seems it all depends on the day. If we get started early, we can go early and often. Sometimes, we get in a hole where we still put the ball in play but it’s right at people,” Waterville coach Russell Beckwith said.

The Panthers scored their lone run in the sixth inning, when Cam Denis scored on an Erskine throwing error. The Eagles added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh, on back-to-back RBI doubles by Soule and Clark, and a Waterville error.

Kody Vallee started and went four innings on the mound for Waterville. Vallee had three hits, including a double. Jack Thompson also doubled for the Panthers.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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