AUBURN — The annual late-season clash under the lights between Lewiston and Edward Little has been a nightmare the last couple of years for the Blue Devils.
Two years ago, they squandered a 12-4 lead and lost to Edward Little in extra innings, 14-13. Last year, their own rally from a 7-2 deficit was squashed in the last inning with the tying run at first in a 7-5 defeat.
There would be no rallies Thursday night with Corbin Hyde on the mound.
The Devils jumped out to an early lead and their junior lefty tossed a one-hitter in a 7-0 victory, their first at Austin Field since 2008 and their second of the season over their rivals.
“We’ve had a couple of tough games under the lights since I’ve been here. We just wanted to keep going and not give up like last time,” Hyde said. “So it feels good, especially to sweep them.”
Hyde struck out seven and walked four while yielding only a lead-off single to Nate Blais in the second inning. Blais was caught stealing and, after a 4-6-3 double play erased Hyde’s first walk of the game in the fourth, he faced the minimum through the first 4.1 innings.
“He was throwing real well. He was throwing pretty hard out there,” said Lewiston senior catcher Mekae Hyde, Corbin’s brother. “He was throwing harder than he usually does, and his off-speed was working pretty well, too. That’s a good combination to have right there.”
The Devils came out aggressively at the plate, giving Hyde more than enough support with three runs in the first against EL starter James Jackson.
Luke Cote led off the game with a single. Scott Ouellette doubled to send him to third. Mekae Hyde then reached on a ground ball to first where the umpire ruled the first baseman did not touch the bag, allowing Cote to score.
With one out, Jeff Keene (two hits) singled to load the bases. Ben Wigant walked to force home Ouellette and Mekae Hyde scored on a wild pitch for the 3-0 lead.
Assistant coach Craig Rogers filled in for Lewiston head coach Todd Cifelli, who missed the game to be present for the birth of his daughter. Ouellette, who led the offense with a double and a triple, said the Devils took a different approach at the plate with the change at the helm.
“We’re usually kind of disciplined at the plate and we wanted to change things up,” said Ouellette. “It was different with coach Cifelli out, so we went for it and it worked out for us.”
Lewiston (13-1) doubled its cushion with three more in the third coming in on Ben Wigant’s two-run double and Joe Sullivan’s sacrifice fly. Corey Mulholland relieved Jackson to start the fourth and issued a lead-off triple to Ouellette, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Mekae Hyde to make it 7-0.
Mulholland held the Devils hitless the rest of the way, but Hyde was in control. The Eddies (7-7) put as many as two runners on base in an inning only once, the fifth, and only had one runner get past second base.
“We couldn’t get into any flow in any manner whatsoever. He’s a sharp pitcher,” EL coach Scott Annear said. “He’s got a great fastball and he puts it exactly where he wants it.”
“Every year that I’ve pitched on this mound, I just zone in and I don’t think about anything or hear anything the fans are saying,” Corbin Hyde said. “It’s nice because I know a lot of people try to get into your head.”
Through gate proceeds, donations and raffle ticket sales, the game raised over $1,500 for the Conn family.