BANGOR, Maine — Trevor DeLaite may not be merely one of the state’s best high school baseball pitchers but one of the more versatile, too.
The Bangor High School junior left-hander came on in a one-run game Tuesday afternoon to earn his second save of the spring. It was a five-out outing during which he picked off an inherited baserunner and followed with three consecutive strikeouts as the defending Class A state champions cooled off red-hot Brewer 4-3 at Mansfield Stadium.
“We never know what’s going to happen in the playoffs, but we purposely took Trevor out after three innings [of his previous pitching start] last Friday so if we needed him to close we’d have him,” said Bangor coach Jeff Fahey after DeLaite’s fourth relief appearance of the spring.
“We were hoping it would be for just one inning, not 1⅔, but he did a great job.”
DeLaite also is 4-0 as a starter heading into his final start of the regular season Thursday when top-ranked Bangor (12-2) hosts Edward Little of Auburn. The Red Eddies entered Wednesday’s play ranked second in Eastern A with an 11-3 record highlighted by a 5-4, eight-inning victory over Bangor in their earlier meeting April 30 at Pettengill Park.
And while he’s looking forward to Thursday’s potential battle for the No. 1 seed in the final Heal point ratings, DeLaite also is thriving on his opportunities to contribute in relief.
“You’ve got to get ready a little quicker,” DeLaite said of his preparation for relief duties, “but I like it because I can come in and just pound the zone because [the batters] haven’t seen me. I just get to go in and throw strikes and try to make something happen.”
Whether starting or in relief, the hard-throwing DeLaite has compiled some remarkable statistics this spring while teaming with senior right-hander Andrew Hillier (4-0) atop Bangor’s pitching rotation.
DeLaite, who has verbally committed to continue his baseball career at the University of Maine after he graduates from Bangor in 2016, has struck out 39 batters and walked just four in 28⅔ innings while yielding only two earned runs for a 0.50 earned run average.
Such stinginess should come as no surprise to those who follow the state’s high school baseball scene.
DeLaite went 5-0 on the mound last spring in helping Bangor win the Class A state title, then was named American Legion Zone 1 pitcher of the year after a 6-0 summer with a 0.68 ERA as the Bangor Comrades won their first state championship since 1979 and went on to split four games at the Legion’s Northeast Regional tournament.
He returned home from that regional to bat .563 as the Bangor Senior League All-Stars went undefeated in four pool-play games to advance to the semifinals of the Senior League World Series.
Those experiences, he said, have helped not only him but the entire Bangor team cope with whatever adversity it faces — such as Tuesday’s early two-run deficit against Brewer.
“We don’t get too shook up, we stay even-keeled and don’t worry about a lot,” DeLaite said. “When we get behind, we just try to come up with a plan to come back.”
And while DeLaite is among Bangor’s top hitters this spring with a .347 batting average and 12 RBIs, his work on the mound — as either starter or reliever — likely will be of paramount importance as Bangor embarks on what it hopes will be another deep postseason run.
Bangor has not lost a game this season started by either DeLaite or Hillier.
“If someone is struggling, we know we have Trevor to come in and back us up,” said Bangor sophomore catcher Derek Fournier, “but no matter if he starts or comes in late, he still throws strikes.
“He can throw a hundred pitches before a game and pitch the same as he does when he throws five pitches before coming on in relief,” he added.