(Harrison ME) Skowhegan escaped elimination in the state ten-and-under Cal Ripen baseball tournament by defeating Andy Valley, 18-14, in seven innings at RADR Field in Harrison on Thursday night.
The teams had played eight innings two nights ago with Andy Valley walking off with a 10-9 victory.
In this exciting game both teams went down…. but not out, giving a good crowd plenty to groan and cheer about during a pleasant evening.
A big eight-run third by AV put Skowhegan behind, 10-1. In the fourth Skowhegan collected three runs and AV came up with two of their own and had runners on second and third with one out. At that moment the mercy (10-run) rule was lurking and would have kicked in if those two runs had scored. Lucas Patchell, however, came on in relief and got Matt Johnson to fly out and Wyatt Williamson to pop out and Skowhegan was still alive.
Later it was AV’s turn to go down as Skowhegan put up ten runs over the next two innings (5th and 6th) as AV pitching (eight walks and five hits) fell apart.
With those ten runs Skowhegan led 14-12 in the bottom of the sixth (last inning). AV went down to their last out before Jake Mills (5 hits) singled and Janek Luksza and Matt Johnson walked. Suddenly the bases were loaded. When Wyatt Williamson singled past second two runs scored (tying the game) and Matt Johnson reached third. Now Skowhegan was one hit away from being eliminated but again Lucas Pachella escaped by striking out Rodney Bean to send the game into extra innings.
Skowhegan put the game away with four runs in the top of the seventh. Rodney Bean came on to pitch for AV and was wild (3 walks/1 hit batsman) and Skowhegan sent ten batters to the plate. Matthew Berry drove in the actual game winner with a single past short scoring Hunter Washburn.
Andy Valley had a couple of hits (Keegan Chase and Charlie Morton) in the seventh but Lucas Pachella was not scored on and Skowhegan had an 18-14 win.
Between pitchers Ryan Savage, Marcus Christopher, and Lucas Pachella, Skowhegan registered twelve strikeouts in the twenty-one outs they recorded in seven innings.
AV pitchers Janek Luksza, Jake Mills, Matt Johnson, and Rodney Bean combined for fourteen walks and three hit batsmen.
Andy Valley collected fourteen hits. Jake Mills had five of them while leadoff batter Charlie Morton and catcher Wyatt Williamson had three each. Charlie added three runs to his finals stats while Wyatt and Jake each had three RBI.
Skowhegan had hitting heroes up and down their lineup. At the bottom of the order, Hunter Washburn and Carter Hunt combined for five hits and six runs scored. At the top of the order, Matthew Berry scored three runs, Lucas Pachella had three RBI and scored two, Marcus Christopher drove in four runs, and Braden McCarty had four of Skowhegan’s fifteen this.
The clutch pitching of Lucas Pachella was a huge part of the Skowhegan win. Lucas finished the final 3 2/3 innings and escaped several AV threats. He allowed only two runs while his teammates were scoring eleven.
It was a great game to watch if you didn’t have a horse in the race. However, most folks on hand were not so fortunate and for them the game was more stressful than exciting.
Anyone who ever visits the Field of Dreams in Harrison comes away impressed with the setting. You just would never expect to find a place like it in such a remote area.
The win by Skowhegan necessitated a second game between the two teams to determine the champion. I headed off to the fireworks for Harrison’s Old Home Days and missed that game.
(If the scores for these tournament games are being posted online somewhere I confess that I have yet to find that site.)