Senior lefthander Colton Trisch pitched a complete-game three-hitter as the Bangor Rams defeated Oxford Hills of South Paris 7-1 in a clash of Class A North’s top two baseball teams at Mansfield Stadium on Friday night.
The win improves coach Dave Morris’ defending regional champions to 11-1 on the season and moves the Rams into first place in the Heal point ratings past Oxford Hills, now 10-2 after having its eight-game winning streak ended.
Bangor complemented Trisch’s pitching with errorless defense and an 11-hit offense paced by senior shortstop Keegan Cyr, who had three singles and scored three runs from the second spot in the Rams’ batting order.
Trisch, the leadoff hitter, and No. 9 batter Ben Caron each added two singles, while cleanup batter Ryan Howard had two RBIs.
Bangor took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning off Oxford Hills righthander Kolby Brown. Trisch and Cyr began the uprising with back-to-back singles, and each runner advanced a base on the first of Matt Holmes’ two sacrifice bunts during the game.
Trisch scored the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly to left field by Howard, and Cyr scored to make it 2-0 on Luke Missbrenner’s bases-loaded walk, the third of three straight two-out walks issued by Brown.
The Rams broke the game open with three runs in the fourth inning. Trisch plated Ben Caron with a one-out single to center, and Cyr followed with a single. After Holmes was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Trisch and Cyr both scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Braydon Caron combined with an errant throw.
Braydon Caron singled home a run in the sixth, and Brady Hand followed with a run-producing sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.
Oxford Hills avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh. Eli Soehren and Jake Carson hit back-to-back singles to open the inning and advanced to second and third on a groundout by Isaiah Oufiero.
Soehren then scored on a two-out, 3-2 wild pitch to Hunter Tardiff.
Pivotal player: Trisch was the picture of pitching control through the first six innings, issuing his only run, walk and wild pitch with two outs in the seventh as he approached the pitch limit.
The George Washington University-bound hurler allowed just two baserunners through the first six innings and completed his evening on the mound with 12 strikeouts — with at least one to every position in the Vikings’ batting order.
Trisch threw 111 pitches overall, 76 strikes and 35 balls, while improving his record this spring to 5-0.
Big takeaway: These teams looked like the clear favorites in Class A North in a game that had a playoff feel, with Bangor grabbing an immediate lead and excelling in all three phases of the game in their only meeting of the regular season. Don’t be surprised if the Rams and Vikings meet again with a regional championship on the line.
What’s next: Bangor plays its next three games on the road, beginning Monday at Camden Hills of Rockport, before closing out the regular season back at Mansfield Stadium on June 1 against Brewer. Oxford Hills also will play three of its final four games on the road, starting Tuesday at Class B Gardiner.