STANDISH – Following a stellar regular season, Monmouth maintained the momentum Saturday on the first day of the American Legion state tournament.

An offensive explosion, which saw every player either get a hit or score a run, paved the way for a 16-3 victory over Bessey Motors.

Travis Hasenfus led the onslaught with three hits, two runs and four RBIs. The University of Maine outfielder belted a towering three-run homer that cleared the scoreboard at Mahaney Diamond. Justin Denbow also had three hits and scored twice.

“Our offense did get going,” Monmouth coach Chad Drouin said. “But, that’s not the only strength of this team. Our defense and pitching are equally strong, and I think we showed them all.”

Monmouth (24-0), the Zone II champions, scored five runs and batted around in both the second and fourth innings.

The key blows were two-run doubles by David Ricker (two hits) and Sean Holbrook. Josh Jillson added an RBI single.

Bessey Motors starter Chris Roy could not stem the tide and gave way to Evan Humphry, who was followed by three more relievers.

Bessey Motors (16-8), Zone III runner-up, will play in an elimination game this morning.

“It just wasn’t our day,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said. “We had base runners, but no timely hits. We’ll need to come back strong.”

Bessey Motors had utilized some late-inning heroics to win its zone tournament and qualify for the state tournament.

It threatened with three consecutive singles in the fourth, scoring two runs. Ben Ryerson had an RBI single and Dillon Trundy raced home on Nigel Cromwell’s fielder’s choice.

Monmouth answered with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, including an RBI triple by Ethan Guerette (two hits, two RBI). Wally Rines (two hits, two runs), Jillson and Ricker each had RBI singles in the inning.

Winning pitcher Mike Eaton (7-0) allowed seven hits and struck out six in six innings. Eaton also smashed a two-run homer.

“It took time to get used to the high mound,” Eaton said. “It was important for me to get ahead in the count. They are a hitting team, so when I didn’t (get ahead), they hit. I relied on my changeup.”

Bessey Motors stranded 10 runners, including five in the sixth and seventh. Russ Estes scored on Ryerson’s sacrifice fly. Justin Frechette had two hits.

“Mike threw 105 pitches which was good,” Drouin said. “We had him on a pitch count, and we got his pitch count up. That’s something we hadn’t been able to do during the season. In fact, Mike wanted to throw another inning.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.