BANGOR, Maine — More than halfway through its regular season, the Bangor High School baseball team is still waiting for its offense to click.

In the meantime the Rams are proving themselves fairly proficient at relying on other phases of the game.

The defending Class A state champions improved their record to 7-2 Tuesday, combining the five-hit pitching of Trevor DeLaite, sturdy defense and a late three-run rally generated without a ball hit out of the infield to edge Mt. Blue of Farmington 4-1 at Mansfield Stadium.

“Really our pitching and defense has kept us in most of the games this year,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey.

DeLaite (3-0) threw 92 pitches — 63 for strikes — to outduel Mt. Blue ace Colton Lawrence. Bangor’s junior lefthander yielded a run on four hits in the top of the second to spot the Cougars an early lead, then allowed just one hit the rest of the way.

“I didn’t really have my breaking ball going, so I had to spot my fastball well,” said DeLaite, who struck out five, walked two and hit a batter. “They were a decent hitting team, they put the ball in play.”

Second baseman Johnny Cote sparked a Bangor defense that turned three double plays.

First he helped DeLaite escape his second-inning jam by backhanding a Ty Nichols grounder headed toward center field and flipping the ball with his glove to shortstop Kyle Stevenson to start an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Cote added two more backhanded stops of potential Mt. Blue hits later in the game and also started Bangor double plays in the fifth and sixth innings.

“Johnny started for us all last year, then started in Legion until he suffered a concussion and kind of lost his job,” said Fahey. “He’s on a mission this year to prove himself again.”

Mt. Blue (4-4) had its best late scoring bid snuffed out by a Bangor double play in the top of the fifth, with first baseman Andrew Hillier throwing out Johnny Davenport to end the inning when the Mt. Blue baserunner strayed too far off third base after Ryan Pratt had grounded out to Cote.

Bangor managed just two hits in the first five innings off Lawrence, a senior righthander bound for the University of Southern Maine in the fall.

The Rams scratched out the tying run in the third as Stevenson drew a leadoff walk and stole second before advancing to third base on Jordan Derrah’s fly ball to right and scoring on a wild pitch.

Lawrence (seven strikeouts, four walks) retired seven of eight Bangor batters during one stretch before Hillier singled to the shortstop hole to open the Rams’ sixth.

Sam Huston was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out, and another Lawrence wild pitch left two runners in scoring position.

Derek Fournier was issued an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a force play at any base, but that plan went awry when pinch-runner Marcus McCue scored the go-ahead run on an errant throw back to the mound.

A 5-3 groundout by Ryan Brookings delivered Huston to make it 3-1 before Fournier scored the final run of the inning on Lawrence’s third wild pitch of the game.

“We didn’t hit the ball as well as we could have,” said DeLaite. “But we all have a goal, we want to be there June 20th [state championship Saturday]. We’re all just looking at each game trying to get better and trying to get our bats going so we’re playing our best baseball at the end of the season.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...