LEWISTON — Winless against Oxford Hills in their high school careers, Lewiston’s seniors decided to take advantage of the Vikings’ youth movement and their inate aggressiveness on Monday.

Jeff Keene fired a one-hit shutout and fellow seniors Scott Ouellette and Wigant led the offense in a 10-0 win over the Vikings shortened to six innings by the 10-run mercy rule at a damp Franklin Pasture.

Keene, who struck out 10 and walked four in six innings, gave the Blue Devils their third complete game start in as many games, following Joe Sullivan and Corbin Hyde in wins over Brunswick and Mt. Ararat.

“The staff’s doing pretty well the first week out,” Lewiston coach Todd Cifelli said. “Hopefully, we get some competition rolling within the pitching staff, guys wanting to step forward and whatnot.”

The offense, meanwhile, collected 12 hits, all singles until Wigant’s two-run double inflicted the mercy rule. All nine starters reached base at least once.

Ouellette cracked three hits, a walk and scored twice. Wigant ripped two hits and drove in three. Hyde also reached base four times, three via walk, and scored three times. Mekae Hyde drove in three runs.

“We grinded out some at bats. I think kids are squaring-up the baseball,” Cifelli said. “We talk a lot about working the process, meaning get a good pitch to hit, hit it with the fat of the bat and even if they rob you, like they did today with a couple of good plays in the outfield, it’s a positive. It’s not just a results type of thing.”

Lewiston’s big inning was the second. Already up, 1-0, the Blue Devils got a two-run single from Mekae Hyde and plated two more runs thanks to aggressive baserunning and inattentiveness by the Vikings.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Joe Sullivan beat out an infield hit on a ground ball to second. Mekae Hyde caught the defense napping and scored all the way from second on the play to make it 5-0. Wigant followed with an RBI single and Chris Madden added an RBI single in the fourth.

Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer lost eight starters off his 2010 state championship roster. On Monday, he started five sophomores and two freshmen and pitched two freshmen.

“The aggressive play of a team with a lot of seniors like (Lewiston), we’re not ready for that speed yet,” said Slicer, whose young team started the season with wins over Morse and Edward Little. “It’s good experience for us. We knew we were going to have our hands full hitting this early against one of their quality pitchers. But we did make some mental mistakes.”

Keene looked sharp early, striking out the side on a dozen pitches in the first and retiring the first six overall. The southpaw ran into some trouble in the third, loading the bases on two walks and an error with one out, but he fanned Matt Beauchesne and got Jordan Croteau to line out to left to escape.

“I think I was short-arming it, because everything I was missing I was missed low and away,” Keene said. “I just had to take a big deep breath. I think coach (Rogers) settled me down a little bit, so that helped.”

Keene worked out of another bases loaded jam in the fourth. Brandon Campbell led off the frame with the Vikings’ only hit, a single, and moved to second on a balk and third on a passed ball. Two walks filled the bases, but Keene struck out Chris Priest and induced a ground out by Ben Bowie to preserve the shutout. He finished the game retiring the last six hitters.

“My two-seam, my cutter was working really well. That’s probably my best pitch,” he said.

“Jeff’s velocity has improved with some of the mechanical changes that he’s worked with (pitching coach Craig) Rogers on,” Cifelli said. “He had good movement, and he faced some adversity and did a good job.”

Oxford Hills’ defense showed its youth a couple of times but also flashed the leather on nice catches by outfielders Bowie and Dylan Cox to prevent extra base hits.


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