Baseball: Bonny Eagle slips past Biddeford, extends outstanding season start

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STANDISH—Jake Humphrey plied his impressive vertical leap to end a narrow matchup for the Scots vs. visiting Biddeford on Saturday afternoon, May 4. Humphrey, manning second base, vaulted into the air and snagged a Tigers line-drive for the third out of the top of the seventh, capping a 4-3 W for Bonny Eagle.

“Jake played an outstanding game,” Scots head coach Ricky Hession said.

Humphrey’s not very big, but he’s a standout basketball player who gets great height when he takes off, so it wasn’t especially shocking to see him close the game the way he did. Still, it was entertaining.

Humphrey also swings a pretty mean bat: He had two hits and scored two runs in the contest as well, and nearly logged a late homer. In fact, the entire BE lineup played well on both sides of the plate; the team looks to be in excellent form at present.

Hession applauded a number of his other boys as well, including Ethan Hamilton and Cam Phinney: “Ethan did a great job on the bases, did a great job at short. Cam did a great job on picks at first base. It really was a great, overall team win. I think it’s the best we’ve played so far.”

Both teams got boys on base throughout the game, though it wasn’t until the bottom of the second that either squad hopped on the scoreboard. The Scots struck three times in those ups – and they might’ve struck more, had things gone a bit differently.

Logan Fogg led things off, walking onto first; Bailey Walker then grounded to third, where Tiger Matt Rousselle grabbed the ball and flipped it over to shortstop Carter Edgerton for a fielder’s choice, catching Fogg out at second and leaving Walker safe. Walker advanced 90 feet on a perfect Corey Labrecque bunt down the line toward third; Labrecque reached safe as well for two men on. Humphrey next recorded his first hit of the day, an RBI smash single into right that brought Walker home again and ushered Labrecque to second.

Labrecque moved over to third and Humphrey to second when Ethan Hamilton took a pitch in the body for the second time in two innings. Bases loaded. Bobby Faucher then grounded to short, which sent Labrecque home and Humphrey in the direction of third; Biddeford caught Hamilton out on a fielder’s choice at second, but their attempt to turn a double-play at first backfired, the throw getting past baseman Will Harriman.

Humphrey scored on the error and Faucher reached base safely. 3-0 Scots, but the Tigers escaped further danger with a K on Khyler Hart for the third out of the inning.

“We had a good approach,” Hession said. “Guys weren’t trying to do too much. We stung the ball; even a lot of our outs were hit really hard. And then, getting bunts down when we needed to and running the bases effectively. It was a good job by them.”

Biddeford couldn’t recover in their next ups (the top of the third), and BE nearly bumped the score to 4-0 in theirs – nearly, but not quite. Cam Phinney, approaching home for the Scots on a Labrecque line-drive to third, found himself caught out at the plate. Rousselle snatched Labrecque’s shot from midair, but dropped the ball; whether he dropped it purposefully or accidentally, it was hard to tell. Either way, doing so kept the play alive. Rousselle grabbed the ball from the dirt and flung it to catcher Ashton Crowell, who turned and flung it to Harriman for a rare 5-2-3 double-play. The Tigers had turned what would’ve been one impressive out into two impressive outs, rapid-fire.

Biddeford converted their defensive momentum into offensive momentum in their follow-up at-bats. Edgerton, Crowell and Seth Perry all scored for the team, balancing the scoreboard out at 3-3. Bonny Eagle starting pitcher Noah Lariviere, looking a bit fatigued, checked out after that, and Faucher checked in as his relief.

“Noah got a little tired there in the fourth inning,” Hession said. “It was his first time pitching this year. But I thought he threw very well overall – I thought both guys threw the ball very well.”

Faucher would hold the Tigers scoreless for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, his boys chalked up a fourth run in the bottom of the fourth: Humphrey led off with a drive single into right, the scooted over to second on a passed ball during Hamilton’s turn in the box. Humphrey ultimately scored when Faucher flied out to rightfield; the Biddeford man there hurled the ball to Harriman at first, trying to catch Hamilton off the bag, but Hamilton got back in time. Harriman then whipped around and tried to catch Humphrey out at home, but couldn’t get the throw to Crowell quick enough. 4-3.

Faucher & Co. sat the Tigers down one-two-three in the top of the fifth and the top of the sixth. The Scots threatened again in the bottoms of both innings: Fogg and Jack Bean both recorded singles in the fifth, while Humphrey nearly volleyed a homer over the left-field wall to kick off the sixth. Hamilton then got hit by a pitch for the third time and Faucher drove into left.

BE would stick at four runs, though. Luckily, Humphrey’s spectacular leaping grab to end the top of the seventh meant Biddeford stuck at three and the Scots took the W.

“These guys have a lot of confidence,” Hession said. “They enjoy being around each other. I think we’ve done a good job of playing the way we’re capable of playing, for the most part. And then, we don’t give up in any situation.”

Bonny Eagle, who’re having a great season thus far, won again on Tuesday the 7th, when they smacked down Marshwood 9-4. Phinney pitched, racking up nine strikeouts, and Bean led the offense, going 3-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

The Scots, now 6-1, previously picked up wins over Sanford, Deering, Westbrook and Massabesic; they outscored their opponents in those games 44-8. Their lone loss to this point came 9-6 vs. Scarborough, themselves off to a banner beginning.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Jake Humphrey turned in a fantastic performance at second base for the Scots, including grabbing this Tigers groundball and delivering it to first for an out.

Bonny Eagler Ethan Hamilton jumps off third as he watches a pitch sail toward home.

Ethan Hamilton fires from short towards first.

BE first baseman Cam Phinney leans out to grab a throw as a Tigers opponent tries for the bag.

Bonny Eagle third baseman Jackson Bean reels in a grounder as a Biddeford opponent zooms towards first.

Cam Phinney backhands a foul ball at first.

Bailey Walker faces a pitch.

Noah Lariviere started on the mound for the Scots.

Khyler Hart zips toward third for the Scots.

Jake Humphrey connects at the plate for the Scots.

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