Rowell’s Navigators hold off Acadians to remain undefeated at home

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The team faced a few pitching jams, but the Rowell’s Navigators came away unscathed in the end to defeat the Trenton Acadians 6-4 in a Junior American Legion game on July 7 at Foxcroft Academy. Playing for the first time in nine days, the Navigators won for the third time in as many home contests and improved to 5-2 overall.

Leading in 4-1 in the top of the fifth, the Acadians (who fell to 1-8) threatened by loading the bases with no outs against Rowell’s pitcher Nathan Richards (he tossed the first half dozen innings to earn the win). After a quick consultation on the mound with coach Chad Graffam, Richards got the fourth batter to hit the ball right to him where the pitcher snagged the ball out of the air for the out. Richards then threw to Ethan Curtis at home for the force at the plate to quickly set up two outs in the books with the double play.

The following Trenton batter hit a grounder to Richards and he made the play on the grass and relayed the ball to Ryan Vienneau at first as a pair of baserunners were stranded and the Acadians’ side of the scoreboard remained unchanged.

Following what would turn out to be a vital run in the home half of the fifth — Vienneau’s RBI-double to rightfield drove Richards in from second — Trenton would put two runners in scoring position with two outs in the top of the sixth. The two Acadians were off with the pitch as a single landing into shallow centerfield allowed both to score and get the team within two at 5-3.

One run was earned back in the Rowell’s squad’s next trip to the plate. Logan Martin scored the insurance run on a wild pitch to make the game 6-3.

After six innings of work, scattering 11 hits, walking two and recording a strikeout on the last batter he faced — Richards moved back to second base and Jake Bickford went from second to the mound to close.

Bickford struck out the leadoff hitter and batter No. 2 walked after a 3-2 count before a groundout on a ball scooped up by Curtis in front of the plate and relayed to Vienneau had the Navigators being one out away from ending the game.

The Acadians stayed alive with another bases on balls on a full count to put the potential tying run at the plate. The team then got a run on a single to centerfield to make the contest 6-4 and enabled the tying run to get on base. The go-ahead run quickly reached first as the hitter raced to the bag to narrowly beat the throw.

With the bases loaded Bickford went ahead 1-2 in the count but after a foul ball fell in front of visiting dugout two pitches out of the strikeout made the count 3-2. The seventh pitch of the at-bat was hit into play and shortstop Jeremy Richard fielded the ball cleanly before throwing it across the diamond. Vienneau extended his glove with his foot on the base as the umpire signaled for the out to end the game. The Acadians left the bases loaded and the team would leave 11 runners on, three more than eight for the Navigators.

The Rowell’s team would score four times in the first three innings with each run being driven in. Vienneau’s single in the bottom of the first allowed Richard to score the game’s first run. Vienneau led his team with two hits and he got on base in all three plate appearances, also reaching on an error in addition to his RBI-double.

Matt Spooner and Martin both scored on Richard’s multiple RBI-single in the second, and in the third a groundout by Levi Stedman enabled Vienneau to score from third base to make the game 4-1 at that point.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
AN IMPORTANT OUT AT FIRST — Rowell’s Navigators catcher Ethan Curtis, with pitcher Jake Bickford backing up, makes the throw to first base for the second out of the seventh inning during a game vs. the Trenton Acadians on July 7 at Foxcroft Academy. The Navigators won 6-4 to move to 3-0 at home and improve to 5-2 overall.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
RUN ON HOME — A wild pitch enables Logan Martin to score from third base in the home half of the sixth on Friday evening in Dover-Foxcroft. The run would be the sixth and final for the Rowell’s Navigators in a 6-4 Junior American Legion contest vs. the Trenton Acadians of Hancock County.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
THROW ACROSS THE DIAMOND — Third baseman Ryan Laffin throws a fielded grounder to first base for an out during a July 7 Junior American Legion contest.

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