SOUTH PARIS – Practice makes perfect and the extra effort is paying off for Mechanic Falls in Zone III American Legion action.

The Gilman Electric-sponsored combine received some clutch hits, including the eventual game-winning two-RBI single by Steve Ray in the third inning, en route to a 5-2 triumph against Bessey Motors Thursday at Gouin Complex.

Brent Cary and Alex Smith combined on a two hitter, while relying on a near-flawless defense. The right-handers threw three and four innings, respectively, and utilized a mixture of pitches, to keep the Bessey Motors batters silent.

“Brent threw well,” Gilman Electric coach Walter Cary said. “He hadn’t pitched in a while, and his back tightened up. Alex Smith is actually our ace and he needed work. He came in and did the job. We’ve got 12 guys on the team who pitched in varsity games this year.”

GE (3-1) had loaded the bases in the third, on walks to Jason Lehr and Smith and a Cary single.

Ray hit a clean single to drive home Lehr and Cary. Bessey Motors reduced the potential big inning by recording its second-inning ending double play.

The defending Zone III champions fell to 0-4 and have been hurt by inconsistent play. Starter Ryan Yates was saddled with the loss.

“We just didn’t get any timely hits,” Bessey Motors coach Joe Oufiero said. “There was several opportunies, but we couldn’t capitalize. First and third and a wild pitch put a runner on second, but we couldn’t score him.”

Mechanic Falls had jumped on top with two runs in the second inning. Smith led off with an inside-the-park home run. Eric Picard singled home Ray (two hits).

“We’ve been working on our hitting,” Walt Cary said. “In the past, we weren’t able to practice on hitting, but we’ve had the time. We did leave a lot of runners on base (10), so I would have liked to see more of them score.”

Bessey Motors scored in the second on an RBI-single by Travis Fillbrown. Ben Goodall had led off with a walk. Roy scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.

“We’ve looked good at times,” Oufiero said. “But at other times, we look as if we’re just going through the motions. This is a young team, four 15-year-olds and just two seniors.”

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