Big fifth inning gives Bangor win over Navigators

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — After the first four innings of a July 7 American Legion baseball game, the Bangor Comrades held a slim 3-1 lead over the host Penquis Navigators. In the top of the fifth Bangor would score nine runs, collecting nearly half of the team’s 20 total hits during the nine inning contest, to up its advantage to 12-1 and ultimately win 14-2 and stay undefeated with a record of 13-0.

sp-spratt-dc-po-28Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    90 FEET AWAY — The Penquis Navigators’ Brandon Spratt goes into third base during the bottom of the ninth of a July 7 game against the Bangor Comrades, who have Ryan Bookings at third and Jim Prescott on the mound. Spratt would soon head home on a throwing error, but Bangor left Dover-Foxcroft with a 14-2 victory.

    Three groundouts gave Penquis (7-5) starter Brandon Young and the Navigator defense a perfect top of the first inning. With an out on the scoreboard in the home half of the first, Aron Smested hit a single into centerfield off Comrade starter Tyler Delaite, who would yield just two hits in seven innings on the mound and combine with a pair of relievers on a three-hitter.
    Three batters later Kaleb Smith made contact on a Delaite pitch and he sent the ball to shallow leftfield, where it bounced off the glove of the Bangor shortstop and fell onto the grass. With two outs, Smested was off with the pitch and he rounded third and came home on the defensive miscue to give the Navigators the 1-0 lead.

sp-DP-dc-po-28Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    GREAT DAY FOR A BALL GAME, LET’S TURN TWO — Navigators second baseman Aron Smested flips the ball to shortstop Caleb Richard for the force out at the bag, and Richard then throws to teammate Kaleb Smith at first to complete the double play in the top of the third. Penquis and Bangor played a nine inning matinee on Sunday, July 7.

    In the second the Comrades got on the scoreboard with two runs, and the team would add another run in the fourth to go ahead 3-1 before the nine-run outburst in the fifth. Runs were also scored in both the eighth and ninth.
    With the score 14-1, Brandon Spratt led the bottom of the ninth off by dropping a single into rightfield. Dylan Graffam then grounded out, but by putting the ball in play he enabled Spratt to advance to second base. Bangor pitcher Jim Prescott tried to pick Spratt off, but the throw missed the intended target as Spratt advanced to third.

sp-caruso-dc-po-28Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    THIRD OUT AT THIRD — Cody Caruso, with Kaleb Smith across the diamond at first, gets ready to step on the base for the final out of the second inning.

    A called third strike on Smith ended up being mishandled behind the plate as Smith took off for first. The Comrades tired to get him out with the force, but the ball sailed into foul territory beyond the bag and Spratt had a clear path to the plate for another Penquis run.
    A trio of Navigator pitchers got into the game, with Brandon Young tossing the first four innings. In the fifth Zach Ramsdell came on for Jesse Provost with one out, and Ramsdell ended up staying on the mound for the remainder of the game — a team-high 4.2 innings pitched.

sp-young-dc-po-28Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    SOUTHPAW STARTER — Brandon Young tossed the first four innings for the Navigators, with Jesse Provost and Zach Ramsdell both pitching in relief.

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