STANDISH – Pitcher Jim Cox ended Bessey Motors valiant run through the losers’ bracket at the American Legion baseball state tournament Wednesday night.

Cox fired a three-hitter and struck out 11 to lead the Bangor Comrades to a 10-0 victory over Bessey in a game that ended in the eighth inning by the 10-run mercy rule.

Seth Hackett went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Tom Crews continued his torrid hitting with a pair of hits, including a triple. Crews is batting .700 (14 for 20) in the tournament.

The victory sends Bangor to today’s championship game against Monmouth at 6 p.m.

Following an opening round 16-3 drubbing from Monmouth, Bessey Motors grinded out wins over Brewer and New Auburn before avenging its first-day loss with a stunning 7-6 triumph over Monmouth. It was the first time Monmouth has lost all season.

But Bessey ran out of magic in Wednesday’s nightcap.

“We played real well this week against some real good pitching,” Bessey manager Shane Slicer said. “We ran out of gas, and Cox pitched great.”

The Bangor hurler had great command of his pitches. Not scheduled to pitch until Bessey beat Monmouth earlier in the day, Cox didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fourth inning.

The lone inning Bessey threatened to score was in the seventh when Matt Verrier walked and Ben Goodall followed with a base hit to right. But with runners on second and third and one out, Cox retired Evan Humphrey and Dillon Trundy on infield outs.

“I was on three days’ rest,” Cox said. “I knew that I was on. My fastball had some pop, and later on I was able to go with my slider.”

Bangor took a 1-0 lead in the third. Hackett led off with a single and Tyson Barron walked. After they moved up on a sacrifice, Kyle Vanidestine hit a grounder to shortstop Ryan Yates. Vanidestine was thrown out, but Barron was caught between second and third. As Barron tried to scramble back to second, Hackett broke for home and beat the throw to the plate.

An infield error to open the fourth inning led to a pair of unearned runs for the Zone I runner-up. Hackett and Barron knocked in the runs with back-to-back two-out singles.

A triple by Tom Crews and another Hackett single increased the advantage to 5-0 in the sixth.

Bangor put the game away with four runs in the eighth on three hits and a pair of Bessey errors.

Verrier, Goodall and Trundy had the three Bessey Motor hits.

Bessey had a tough time focusing after the emotional win over Monmouth. The team had less than an hour to get ready for Bangor.

“We went further than I expected,” Slicer said. “But it was tough to come back. We were mentally drained. Some of the players didn’t realize we had to play another game.”


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