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April 26, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Injury overshadows loss for Mt. Blue

By Travis Lazarczyk
tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON -- It wasn't the outcome the Mt. Blue High School baseball team hoped for in its home opener, a 14-4 loss to Messalonskee. But after the game, the Cougars' thoughts quickly went to Cam Abbott, the junior who left the game in the third inning after fouling a ball off his face.

The pitch was a high and inside changeup and Abbott dropped to the batter's box as soon as the ball went off his bat and caught him in the lip. Mt. Blue coach David Pepin said Abbott blacked out briefly.

"By the time I got to the plate, he was very dizzy, but he was answering the questions," Pepin said.

Abbott stayed down, icing his lip, as he waited for paramedics to arrive. After a brief examination, Abbott left the field on his own power and was taken away via ambulance.

"I think he's fine. He might have a slight concussion, they said, when they took him," Pepin said. "He's got a big swollen lip."

Just minutes after the game resumed, the Cougars had their highlight, a three-run home run by Jordan Whitney to dead center field. But while Whitney's blast put a small dent in a big lead, it didn't rattle the Eagles.

In the top of the third inning, Messalonskee took advantage of four Mt. Blue errors to score eight runs and take a 9-1 lead. All nine Eagle hitters reached base in the top of the third inning and Messalonskee sent 14 hitters to the plate.

"They stayed focused enough, so when (Mt. Blue) made the mistakes, they put the ball in play and got some big hits," Messalonskee coach Ray Bernier said. "I'm very happy with their approach. We got to see a lot of pitches."

Ahead 10-4 after five innings, the Eagles capitalized on three more Mt. Blue errors in the top of the sixth inning and scored four more runs to earn the mercy-rule shortened win.

"Our kids have played good D all year. It was a little embarrassing in front of our home crowd, but these kids, they have a lot of character. We'll keep fighting. We'll bounce back," Pepin said.

Abbott started the game for Mt. Blue and pitched 2 1/3 third innings before giving way to Bradley Jackson. Even before Abbott was injured at the plate, Pepin was concerned with his ace's decreased velocity and said Abbott may have a sore right shoulder.

"He's got some stiffness. I knew right from the first inning. He said he was fine, but I know he had some stiffness after Game 1. I'd given him eight days off," Pepin said. "We had the gun on him at 88 (miles per hour) and he was throwing 78 today. I could tell, that's not him."

Ben Frazee pitched five innings for Messalonskee for the win. Trevor Gettig had three hits, scored three runs and drove in a pair for the Eagles. Josh Woodward had a pair of hits and scored two runs for Messalonskee.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242

tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com





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