LIVERMORE FALLS — Bryan Maurais still had a mark on his forehead Wednesday, the last remnant of a line drive that knocked him off his feet while he was pitching against Madison on Monday.
Maurais tattooed the ball with a vengeance against Mt. Abram Wednesday, and as if his five RBIs on the day didn’t prove the point, he made sure everyone knew the scare was nothing more than that.
“I’m good as new,” he said
Maurais’ three-run homer in the third capped a Livermore Falls onslaught and Derek Castonguay kept Mt. Abram’s bats under wraps in a 12-2 rout called after 4 ½ innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“Everybody’s been saying Mt. Abram was going to be one of the top teams, so we knew it was going to be a game,” said senior third baseman Willie Brown, who scored three runs. “We came in and played hard and smacked the crap out of the ball.”
The Andies (5-1) cracked 10 hits off Mt Abram starter Tim Smith. Maurais, Tom Ventrella and Shawn Whiting collected two hits apiece. Mt Abram (2-2) hurt itself with five errors.
“The beginning of the year, all I heard was because we have two good pitchers, how great we were going to be,” said Mt. Abram coach Ryan Palmer, whose team was coming off a 15-2 loss to Dirigo. “I just shook my head. We are a very inexperienced team. We have a freshman and two sophomores in our infield. I think the players kind of read the articles and all that and bought into it and forgot what they were doing. It’s bit us in the rear end the last couple of days.”
The Roadrunners did look a bit overwhelmed at times Wednesday. It didn’t help that the Andies put the pressure on immediately with a five-run first inning sparked by an RBI single by freshman catcher Brandon Hodges, a two-run single by Castonguay and a ground-rule RBI double by Whiting.
Mt. Abram got a run back off Castonguay in the second inning on Aaron McGinness’ solo home run to left. Castonguay prevented further damage that inning by working around a single and an error, then shook off another error and single in the third. He ended up yielding five hits, but didn’t walk anyone and struck out nine in five innings.
“I felt good. My fastball was working today. I was hitting my spots most of the time,” Castonguay said. “My curve ball was working every now and then.”
“The thing is, you can use him as a starter, you can use him in relief and he doesn’t get rattled,” Livermore Falls coach Brian Dube said. “He gave up the home run and he knows the most important pitch is the next pitch.”
Maurais smacked a two-run single in the second to make it 7-1. The Andies plated five more in the third. Brown, who was at first in a first-and-third, two out spot, broke for second and drew a balk from the left-handed Smith which scored Whiting. After Chandler White reached on the fifth Roadrunner error, Maurais clubbed his three-run homer to make it 12-1.
“I kept hearing about Tim Smith and how he was going to be an ace of that staff and I knew this had to be a big game,” Maurais said.
“Last year, facing a lefty (at Mt. Abram), we rolled our hands and we grounded out 11 or 12 times,” Dube said. “I challenged them to move towards the plate and hit the ball back up the middle and the other way and they did well today.”
Hank Poulin (two hits) had an RBI single for Mt. Abram to make it 12-2.
“We’re in the tough part of our schedule and I’m glad we got off on the right foot,” Dube said
Neither team gets much of a break after Wednesday’s game. The Andies have Mountain Valley, Jay and Dirigo starting on Friday. The Roadrunners get Telstar, Mountain Valley and Jay next week.
“We’ll bounce back,” Palmer said. “It’s still early and the guys are on the same page now.”