AUGUSTA — Noah Reed’s new life gave his team its own new life.

Called back to the plate after having apparently grounded out to the pitcher in the sixth inning of a tie game, Reed walked three pitches later and came all the way around to score the eventual winning run as Capital Area survived its first foray into the losers’ bracket with a 4-2 win over Franklin County in the 13-15 Babe Ruth state tournament Tuesday night at McGuire Field. The Augusta-based team will play the winner of Wednesday’s Casco Bay-Somerset matinee in another elimination game Wednesday night at 5 p.m.

“I completely knew the whole time,” said Reed of the second chance. “I heard the sound, and I felt it. I knew.”

After Reed was thrown out at first, Capital manager Mike Peacock asked the home plate umpire to check for help on the call. The umpire obliged, and Reed was sent back to the plate with a 2-2 count.

“I knew it went off his leg, that’s why I went and asked the home plate umpire to at least ask,” Peacock said. “The first base umpire had the call. That would have been a big turning point if he hadn’t had made the call.”

“It was either (his leg) or the plate, and the way he reacted I’m pretty sure he didn’t hit it off the plate,” Franklin coach Jamie Phelps said. “I truly thought he did foul it off himself, but that’s a dead ball. If the umpire hears it and is so sure that’s a dead ball, he should yell that it’s a dead ball.

“But the bottom line is we need to make the pitches, right?”

Capital Area’s Hayden McMurtry collects a throw at second while Franklin’s Hunter Warren slides in Tuesday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Capital Area managed only three hits for the second straight game in the tournament, but the three-handed effort of Reed, Connor O’Neal and Alex Trafton held Franklin County to just one hit in front of a flawless defense to nail down the victory.

Trafton pitched the final two innings, retiring six of the final seven he faced after plunking Franklin’s Gabe Emery to begin his outing in the sixth.

“I guess it means Augusta has got some good pitching,” Trafton said of the one-hitter. “I didn’t even know that was a thing, I was just out there watching every play. I wasn’t thinking about it, but that’s crazy. The other guys really deserved it.”

The starter Reed didn’t allow a hit over his three and a third innings of work, but he ran into trouble in the fourth when the walks began to pile up. He loaded the bases with one out courtesy of three free passes, allowing the tying runs on wild pitch (his third) and a fielder’s choice from Ian Allen.

With the go-ahead runs on board at first and third, Peacock turned to Connor O’Neal to get out of the jam. O’Neal got out of the inning with a double-play turned off a pop-up in foul territory by first baseman Sam Sheafer, who gunned down Trevor Phelps trying to tag and score the go-ahead run from third.

“For me, I looked at the O’Neal kid coming in with guys at first and third — that’s a tough situation to bring a kid in, but he was solid,” Peacock said. “I knew with Trafton, with that defense behind him all he had to do was come in and threw strikes.”

Capital Area’s Isaac Hayden tags Franklin’s Trevor Phelps at home during a Babe Ruth tournament game Tuesday in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Ben Debiase was outstanding for Franklin, allowing only two hits and one earned run through 5 2/3 innings. Jamie Phelps eyed future rounds of the tournament and opted to lift his starter with in the sixth with Reed aboard at second — but Reed greeted Trevor Phelps by scoring on his wild pitch, and Hayden McMurtry scored Braden Barbeau with an insurance run via his single to right-center for a two-run lead.

“It cost me,” Phelps said. “There’s a 75-pitch (limit) and he would have to be two days (off), and if we won he would’t have been able to come back tomorrow. I went and brought my boy in and he didn’t get it done. It is what it is.

“But it’s tough to win any game with only one hit.”

Capital Area has just six total hits through its first two tournament games, but Peacock is hoping things start to change. And soon.

“We did not hit the ball again,” Peacock said. “It’s going to be a different story when this team hits the way it’s capable of hitting. I’ve got kids from one through 10 (in the lineup) that can hit the ball, so I’m not sure what’s going on there. It was enough against this team, I guess.

“We live another day.”


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