Sports

Run on a wild pitch gives Rowell’s Navigators an extra innings victory

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — For the second time in as many home games during the young Junior American Legion season, the Rowell’s Navigators earned a walk-off victory. The victory during a June 28 contest vs. the Bangor Cadets was earned with the go-ahead run coming on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

After tying the game 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Navigators (who improved to 4-2 with the victory over the 0-6 Cadets) held the visitors off the scoreboard in the top of the eighth. With one out and a runner at second, second baseman Nathan Richards lunged to his left to snap a line drive out of the air and he then got to the bag to complete the double play and leave the runner stranded.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bangor brought in southpaw reliever Josh Gallant (the third of three Cadet pitchers to take the mound) to face the middle of the Navigators’ lineup and Gallant got the first out on a fly ball to leftfield. Ryan Vienneau then faced a 3-2 count and the sixth pitch of the at-bat missed the strike zone to put Vienneau at first base.

Vienneau quickly got into scoring position by swiping second. Luke Stedman then put the ball in play by hitting it to Gallant. The Cadet pitcher’s only play was at first as the groundout advanced Vienneau to third base.

Matt Hansome came to the plate next and he fell behind in the count 0-2. Gallant’s next pitch ended up bouncing off the grass in front of homeplate and rolling to the backstop. Vienneau had a big lead at third with two outs and he was off as soon as he could see the miscue. The Navigator baserunner was able to score the winning run standing up as the team celebrated its fourth win in six games.

The final score ended up being the only lead of the game for the Rowell’s squad as the team tied Bangor three times after falling behind. The Cadets would go up for the final time 4-3 in the sixth, manufacturing a run without any hits behind the runner reaching on a dropped third strike, a sacrifice bunt, steal of second and then a wild pitch.

This run was the only one allowed with Jake Bickford on the mound, as he tossed 3.1 inning in relief of starter Evan Bjork to earn the win. Bickford would give up no hits, he walked two and struck out four Cadet batters.

In the home half of the seventh. Ryan Laffin drew a walk on five pitches and he was lifted for courtesy runner Logan Martin. Bjork followed by lining a bunt down the first base line to move Martin up 90 feet.

A ball hit off the bat of Stedman went to the shortstop but the Cadet was unable to get a throw off before Stedman reached the bag, and the infield single enabled Martin to advance to third. Richards would then drop a single into rightfield to drive in Matin for the tying run. Richards led all players with three hits — each one a single as all seven Navigator hits ended up putting the batter at first base — finishing 3-of-4 with an RBI, run and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot.

By the time of Richards’ third single Stedman had gotten to third base and, with Doug Kane standing in the batter’s box, he ending up getting tagged out at the plate trying to score in the hope Bangor would have been caught off guard.

The victory gave the Navigators a regular season sweep of Bangor. The Rowell’s team won at Mansfield Stadium by a score of 5-0 five days prior.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SOME PITCHES THE OTHER TEAM WOULD LIKE TO HAVE BACK — Logan Martin of the Rowell’s Navigators scores a run on a wild pitch during the second inning, with teammate Evan Bjork having moved out of the batter’s box, of a Junior American Legion baseball game between the team and the Bangor Cadets on June 28 at Foxcroft Academy. The Navigators would win 5-4 in eight innings as Ryan Vienneau scored from third on a pitch missing the mark and rolling to the backstop.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
HELPING HIS CAUSE OF THE MOUND — Navigators pitcher Jake Bickford gets ready to throw a bunted ball to first for the out in the top of the sixth. Bickford would earn the victory by tossing 3.1 innings of hitless relief.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
RACE TO GET THERE FIRST — First baseman Matt Hanscome scooped up the grounder in the opening inning, with teammate Nathan Richards looking on, but the Bangor baserunner would end up getting to the bag first during the June 28 contest.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
STARTING OUT — Evan Bjork tossed the opening 4.2 innings for the Rowell’s Navigators during the team’s game vs. the Bangor Cadets on June 28 in Dover-Foxcroft. With a 5-4 victory in eight innings, the Navigators earned a regular season sweep of the team from down Route 15.

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