AUBURN — Redemption came in one pitch for Logan Rossignol and 112 pitches for Mat Gordon.
Rossignol’s bases loaded triple capped a big fifth inning and Gordon threw a complete game three-hitter and held off a late Lewiston rally as Edward Little picked up a 7-5 win under the lights at Auburn Suburban Little League’s Austin Field Friday night.
“This is a big win,” said Rossignol, whose team has won four of its last five after starting the season 0-4 and is back in the middle of the playoff hunt. “This is worth a lot of Heal Points.”
“They’re starting to really click,” Edward Little coach Scott Annear said. “They’ve figured out their roles and the things that they need to do for us to be successful. It took us alittle while to figure that out. We needed to start having some great approaches at practice that carried over to the game and they’ve really stepped it up.”
Luke Farrago had three hits and scored three runs and Nate Blais went 2-for-3 with an RBI for EL. Trey Ouellette scored a pair of runs and Conroy LeBlond had an RBI double for the Blue Devils.
The game was tied 2-2 when the Red Eddies (4-5) sent nine men to the plate in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out. Ryan Arnold slapped a single to right off reliever Mekae Hyde to score James Jackson. Farrago held up at third, but when Gordon rounded too far off second, he drew a throw from cutoff man Ben Wigant which allowed Farrago to make it 4-2.
After a walk, Hyde knocked down a hard grounder back to the mound and threw home for the force out, but Ouellette, the catcher, tagged the runner even though he had his foot on the plate, negating any chance for an inning-ending double play and keeping the bases loaded. Rossignol, who had grounded out in a bases-loaded situation in the first and struck out with the sacks full in the third, made the Devils pay by lining a 1-1 fastball the other way, down the right-field line to drive in three and make it 7-2.
“I went up there and was like ‘I’m going to sit on my back foot and I’m going to try to take this the other way,'” Rossignol said.
“I’m so happy for Logan. He’s been relentless all year long,”Annear said. “He’s been faced with those situations, and I’ve told the guys time and time again you’ve just got to keep having that positive attitude going into those situations. Their outfielders were playing so shallow, I wanted to keep sending guys home but I couldn’t. We had to get a hit in the gap.”
In an 8-1 win over EL in the season opener, Lewiston waited out Gordon while he dominated the first three innings, then jumped on him for a big inning in the fourth. Gordon (eight Ks, five walks, one hit batter) struggled with his command early Friday and gave up a pair of runs in the third. But he found the strike zone in the fourth and proceeded to retire 12 Devils in a row, striking out six of seven batters between the fifth and seventh innings.
“Last year, I kind of (stunk) out here and I wanted to make up for that one,” Gordon said. “I was upset with myself about the first couple of innings and I just focused a little more and started to throw strikes. That big inning really helped me, just made it easier for me to go out there and throw strikes.”
“When they went up 7-2, a lot of the pressure came off and he could just settle back and throw,” Lewiston coach Todd Cifelli said. “One of our goals was to get ahead or keep the game close and put pressure on the pitcher and their defense. When we gave up the big inning, that was the difference.”
Big comebacks aren’t unheard of in the annual late-season meeting between the rivals. Last year, EL rallied from a 12-4 deficit to win, 14-13, in extra innings. Lewiston (7-3) threw a scare in the Eddies by scoring three runs with two out in the seventh without a hit. A bases-loaded walk to Hyde made it 7-3 and an awkward force out attempt at second between shortstop Farrago and second baseman Tim Mains plated two more and put the tying run at first. But Gordon got LeBlond to ground out to Cory Moholland at third to end the game.
The two schools teamed up to make the game a benefit for the Portland Sea Dogs’ “Strike Out Cancer in Kids” campaign. Both teams wore special uniform tops for the charity and proceeds from the game will be given to the Sea Dogs next month.