HARRISON — Two baseball players escaped serious injury Monday afternoon after apparently getting struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm.

Matt Woodbury, 16, of Fairfield and Travis St. Pierre, 15, both members of the Central Maine All Stars, were in a dugout at the Field of Dreams recreation complex off Route 117 when the storm hit. Woodbury said he was leaning on St. Pierre, who was up against an electrical outlet. The current apparently traveled through both boys and exited through Woodbury’s lower back.

“I just remember that it felt weird,” Woodbury said. “My legs felt really weak. They felt like Jell-O.”

Doug Perry, tournament director for the Babe Ruth State Tournament, said the doubleheader between the All Stars, who are from the Waterville area, and Biddeford Tigers had not started when the storm arrived.

“It got really dark and then all of a sudden it was right on top of us,” Perry said. He said that the unexpected appearance of the thunderstorm led to the decision to keep the players in the shelter of the dugouts.

“We don’t want them to cross the parking lot with metal cleats, obviously,” he said.

Terri DePalma, Woodbury’s mother, said spectators went to their vehicles when the storm arrived. Perry and others were in a building on site and were notified of the incident by a groundskeeper.

Perry called 911, but DePalma, a registered nurse, did an assessment of the boys’ conditions before emergency medical personnel arrived. She found that her son had a set of spidery burn marks on his back, but had not suffered any major injury.

“I’m glad he’s OK,” DePalma said. “I guess that’s all I can say. It could have been a lot worse.”

The games were delayed for two hours due to soggy field conditions, but went on as scheduled after the tempest departed and gave way to blue skies and sun.

Woodbury returned from the hospital to join his team and went two for three with four runs batted in as his team went on to win 7-2.

The doubleheader marked the seventh and eighth games in an 11-game tournament.


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