STANDISH — Kyle Lancaster tossed a four-hitter as Richmond overcame an early two-run deficit to top Rangeley 6-2 in the Western Maine Class D baseball regional championship game at Saint Joseph’s College on Thursday afternoon.

The key blow was a two-run single by Glendon Kendrick in the fifth inning. Lancaster did the rest as Richmond won its first regional crown since 1998.

“The kids were upbeat, through out the game,” Rangeley coach Mark Gordon said. “Right up to the end. They never quit.”

Rangeley was making its first-ever appearance in a regional final. The Lakers (10-6) jumped ahead on a Kent Madeira two-run single in the top of the fourth inning. Dave Raymond and Justin Gallant had each singled and scored on Madeira’s smash to the gap in left-center field.

Richmond (16-1) scored all six of its runs over the fourth and fifth innings.

“The kids responded well,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardner said. “We had been behind to Rangeley twice this season, so we knew what (Rangeley) was capable of. At the same time, nobody (panicked).”

Trailing 2-0, the Bobcats finally solved Rangeley starter Ben Bliss. Erik Nash (two hits) led off the fifth by walking, Isiah Bagles singled and Rob King also walked. One out later, Kendrick delivered a gapper.

“We received some timely hits,” Gardner said “Glendon really came up big and I think the kids relaxed and showed some patience at the plate. Kyle also did an outstanding job pitching.”

Lancaster did experience a bit of trouble in the sixth, when Raymond reached on an error and Gallant (three hits) singled. Lancaster regrouped and retired the final six batters, including three on called third strikes. He finished with eight strikeouts and just two walks.

“I knew I had to focus on throwing strikes,” Lancaster said. “It’s important for me to get ahead in the count, because it allows me to mix up my pitches. The extra day of rest also helped, because I had struggled in my last outing.”


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