June 15, 2011

EASTERN B BASEBALL REGIONAL FINAL: Waterville tops Bucksport, will defend title

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

BANGOR -- By the fifth inning of the Eastern Maine Class B baseball championship game at Mansfield Stadium, a slow drizzle had worked itself into a steady rain. But it was too late to stop. The Waterville Senior High School baseball team had already poured it on.

click image to enlarge

GOOD START: Waterville Senior High School’s Kyle Bishop, left, high-fives teammate Tim Locke after scoring a run in the first inning against Tuesday Bucksport High School in the Eastern Maine Class B regional championship game at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor. Waterville defeated Bucksport 10-0.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

click image to enlarge

LOOK OUT: Waterville’s Recean Wood is hit by a pitch in the fourth inning in of the Panthers’ 10-0 win in the Eastern Maine Class B regional championship game Tuesday against Bucksport High School at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Additional Photos Below

No. 1 Waterville, the defending Class B state champion, scored four runs in the first inning and three more in the second on the way to a 10-0 win over No. 3 Bucksport, in a game shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.

The Purple Panthers (17-2) will face Greely (16-3) of Cumberland in the state championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's College in Standish. Bucksport ends the season at 12-7.

"Coming into a big game, momentum's a big thing. We kind of killed theirs, obviously," winning pitcher Kyle Bishop, who went 3 for 3 and drove in the game-ending run with a single to center field in the bottom of the fifth, said.

Cam Sawyer led off the bottom of the first inning by taking a walk against Bucksport's Evan Eldridge. Sawyer went to third on a single by J.T. Whitten, then scored when Tim Locke reached on a force play at second base. Bishop doubled, and Aidan Fitzgerald drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle. After Racean Wood reached on an error, Fitzgerald scored on Ryan Veilleux's groundout to short to give Waterville a 4-0 lead.

"That was a big jump for us, once we got four runs in the first. That really took away their energy. That really put them away early," Waterville's Mark Beckim said.

Beckim played shortstop in place of sophomore Tyler Bouchard, who missed the game with an illness. Beckim played center field most of this season, and some third base, but the senior played some shortstop last season and played well, helping the Panthers turn an inning-ending double play in the fourth.

"Yesterday, (Beckim) takes all the reps, because Tyler might not be here. He's our centerfielder and does a fantastic job, but he did a great job stepping in there today," Waterville coach Don Sawyer said.

Added Beckim: "I've been all around... I just like moving around, playing other positions. You get to know the field better."

With Beckim at short, Wood moved from left field to center, and Lance Lefebvre came off the bench to play left.

"(Beckim's) a great athlete at shortstop, and a hell of a centerfielder. We really had a lot of faith in him, and a lot of faith in the outfielders that got switched around. It really was no problem," Bishop said.

The Purple Panthers added three more runs in the second. Lefebvre led off with a single and later scored on a wild pitch. Sawyer reached on a bunt single and scored on a Locke groundout. Whitten was hit by a pitch and scored on Bishop's triple to left field.

Waterville added two runs in the third on a wild pitch and Lefebvre's sacrifice fly, and with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Bishop dropped a single over a drawn-in Tyler French in center, scoring Lefebvre with the game-ending run.

"I didn't care if (French) caught it. I just wanted to drive in the run. Luckily, it kept going," Bishop said.

Eldridge threw two-plus innings, giving up nine runs on six hits and three walks. Eldridge, Ryan Bailey and Mike Cummings combined to walk nine Panthers, one intentionally.

"They couldn't quite find the zone. It wasn't the normal Evan out there," Bucksport coach Mike Cowing said.

Bishop, on the other hand, was strong, giving up four hits and striking out five with no walks, improving to 7-0 and lowering his earned run average to 0.34.

"Kyle did a great job, again. He kept the ball low. He paid for anything he got up. He kept changing speeds like he did the other day against Old Town (in the quarterfinals)," Coach Sawyer said. "He kept them offbalance, and our infield made the plays when they beat the ball into the ground. He did an awesome job."

Added Cowing: "He never really gave us anything. No walks, no extra bases."

Eldridge had a pair of hits for Bucksport, including a double to lead off the second inning.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242

tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com

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Additional Photos

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WAY TO GO, GUYS: Bucksport High School’s William Deredin, left, walks off the field as Waterville Senior High School teammates Cameron Sawyer, center, Kyle Bishop, right center and Tim Locke celebrate after after the Panthers beat the Bucks 10-0 to win the Eastern Maine Class B regional championship game Tuesday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

  


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