The Libby-Mitchell American Legion baseball squad – comprised of players from Gorham, Westbrook and Scarborough – suffered a pair of defeats in the Zone Three Regional Tournament last weekend, July 22-23, thus bouncing from contention in the double-elimination bracketing. Both games took place at Wainwright Sports Complex in South Portland.
No.5 Libby-Mitchell vs. No. 1 Yankee Ford
Libby-Mitchell faced off against heavy favorites Yankee Ford (South Portland and Cape Elizabeth) on Friday the 22nd, and despite briefly enjoying a lead in the top of the third, fell 10-2 in the end.
Yankee head coach Andy Wood summed up the victory in simple terms. “We had 15 hits; [they] had eight. Nate Ingalls pitched; he came in and did his job.”
Yankee put up the afternoon’s first run: Leadoff hitter Sam Troiano belted a double in the bottom of the first, and scored on Ingalls’s follow-up at-bat. Libby-Mitchell pitcher Cam Smith, however, ushered his team out of trouble. Smith tallied three quick Ks – against Ben Conti, Dylan Roberts and Anthony Degifico – to escape the inning.
Smith and Co. briefly seized a narrow advantage in the top of the third, when they picked up two. Smith reached base on a trickler single that Ingalls jumped off the mound to grab; Ingalls whirled and threw toward first only to clip Smith in the helmet with the ball. Smith, awarded first, promptly scored on a Cam Seymour centerfield triple. Seymour himself crossed home when Nick Lorello singled to left.
After that, however, Yankee found an impressive groove and pulled away. The team hashed four in the bottom of the third – Conti, Drew Abramson, Roberts and Alex Livingston all rounded – then two in the fourth (Ingalls and Conti) and one each in the fifth (Henry Curran), seventh (Ingalls) and eighth (Abramson).
Smith finished 3-5 with three singles for Libby-Mitchell; Gerek Brown went 3-4 with three singles.
The result bumped Yankee Ford to 18-1 on the season, and dropped Libby-Mitchell to 6-13.
No. 5 Libby-Mitchell vs. No. 3 Sebago Lakers
With their loss to Yankee Ford on the books, Libby-Mitchell had one final chance to stay alive: beating the Sebago Lakers (Bonny Eagle, Windham, Sacopee Valley) – and as Libby-Mitchell slowly mounted a late-game comeback, it looked like they might just succeed. Sebago held on, however, and ultimately prevailed 7-6.
“They started hitting what they needed to hit,” said Sebago head coach Max Salevsky of Libby-Mitchell’s pushback in the downhill innings.
Sebago struck first in the matchup, posting three runs in the bottom of the opening inning: Devin Butler grounded, reaching first on an error at short, then rounded all the way to home when Brady Grass followed him to the plate and belted a triple into wide right field.
Brady Anderson took a turn behind Grass, and brought him home again with a sac shot to second. Finally, Tanner Laberge delivered a double, then advanced to third on a Roderick Maynard single and home on a Troy Bogdahn single.
Libby-Mitchell had no immediate answer for the Lakers’ attack, and Sebago hashed two more in the fifth to begin to pull away. Maynard pelted a single into right and Bogdahn brought him home with a double, also into right; Zach Hicks and DJ Shea then singled and Bogdahn scored for 5-0.
But Libby-Mitchell fought back in the top of the sixth: Morgan Pratt singled, Cam Smith reached on an error in right field, and Cam Seymour singled; all three would soon reach home to slice their team’s deficit by 60 percent.
Sebago added two more before their bats fell silent: Grass crossed in the bottom of the sixth and Anderson in the bottom of the eighth. It would be just enough offense to keep the Lakers ahead of Libby-Mitchell, who managed to wring three from the game. Tim Carion scored in the top of the eighth, and Morgan Pratt and Smith both scored in the top of the ninth. But Hicks, on the mound for the Lakers, managed to choke off the action with a couple of Ks, wrapping up the W.
Carion finished 2-5 in the game with a pair of singles; Pratt went 2-5 with a double, a single and a walk; Smith went 2-5 with a double and a single.
Sebago moved to 11-9 on the win, and closed Libby-Mitchell’s summer at 6-14.
Cam Smith unwinds into a pitch vs. Yankee Ford.
Libby-Mitchell’s Gerek Brown takes a cut at the ball vs. the Lakers.