BANGOR — The Hancock Memorial Acadians American Legion team didn’t have the one batter driving in four runs, or the pitcher striking out 12, or even the big six-, seven- or eight-run inning.

All the Acadians did was play a clean game. On Saturday, in the first round of the state Legion tournament, that was more than enough.

The Acadians handled Lewiston Pastime Club 6-2 at Husson University, advancing to a winner’s bracket matchup with Bessey Motors, which beat Quirk Motor City 7-0.

The Acadians churned out 10 hits, got a solid outing on the mound from Matthew Burnett and sparkled defensively, turning three double plays and getting a game-saving catch from right fielder Memphis Parker.

“That’s kind of been our M.O. all year,” Acadians coach Josh Jackson said. “We play as a team every single game. We don’t have any one guy any certain stretch of the time. It’s a team effort, game-in and game-out.

“They’re here to compete, and that’s all I can ask for.”

That next game will be at 3 p.m., while Lewiston, which totaled 11 hits but stranded 10 runners, faces Motor City in an elimination game at 10 a.m.

“The guys know that we can certainly bring a better product than we brought today defensively,” said Lewiston coach Chris Reed, whose team was led by four hits from Giles Paradie. “I think the guys are ready to come back tomorrow and understand that if we correct the mistakes we made, we’ll be in a lot better shape and give ourselves a lot better chance to win.”

The difference in defensive play made itself known in the first inning. Brad Smith singled and Burnett and Austin Baron were hit by back-to-back pitches to load the bases for the Acadians with two outs. Owen Vinall hit a slow chopper that forced shortstop Owen Cox to charge and try an off-balance throw, but the throw skipped past first base and allowed all three runners to come in and make the score 3-0.

Lewiston got on the board in the second when Paradie led off with a single and scored on a hit by Samuel Laroche, but the inning would have been bigger — and perhaps even altered the game — were it not for a great play from the Acadians. With the bases loaded and two outs, Hunter Landry turned on a pitch and ripped a drive that was falling fast into the right-field gap.

Extra bases seemed certain, but Parker got a great jump on the ball in right field and laid out in a full sprint to grab it for the third out of the inning.

According to Parker, who said he had it all the way, he was just backing up a buddy.

“Ever since I started playing outfield, I just have a good read on the ball,” Parker said. “Of course, I had to help my best friend Matt Burnett out. If I didn’t catch it, he probably would have kicked my butt.”

“That would have changed the complexion,” Reed said. “But I don’t think you can take anything away from their two-out approach, and how they managed to get that single run that, every time we’d try to chip (away), they’d get one back.”

Indeed, in the bottom half of that second inning, the Acadians bumped the lead back to three at 4-1 when Austin Snow singled, stole second and scored on Smith’s single to center. The team then took a 5-1 advantage in the third when Baron reached on an error and came in on Zain Fitzsimmons’s single to center.

Lewiston made it 5-2 in the fourth when Damon Bossie walked, moved up on a Brodi Farinas single and scored when Jack LeBlond’s single was bobbled in center. Pastime didn’t get any closer, however, and Acadians got its final run when Snow singled and came home on Burnett’s single in the sixth.

“It’s good to start out ahead,” said Burnett, who picked up the win while allowing the two runs in 5.1 innings. “We all had kind of a rough start to the season, but it picked up as we went on. It’s good that we’re here now.”


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