AUBURN — Kicking off a stretch of nine games in six days, Bessey Motors could have used a laugher Thursday. And after 5½ innings, it looked like it might get a few chuckles at the expense of William J. Rogers Post 153.

Rogers’ five-run sixth inning brought the levity to a halt, however, and Bessey had to buckle down to hold off its pesky host, 9-5, at Auburn Suburban Little League’s Austin Field.

Riley Chickering went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, and Nick Bowie added a three-run home run to lead Bessey’s 12-hit attack.

With doubleheaders scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday and single games set for next Monday and Tuesday, coach Joe Oufiero was glad to see Bessey’s bats continue to heat up after a sporadic start.

“We struggled early offensively. We’d play a game and then have four days off, then play a game,” Oufiero said. “So we juggled the lineup a little bit and inserted Riley into the top of the order and put Nicky in the middle, and the last six or seven games its really been effective for us.”

Bowie broke a scoreless tie in the fourth with his three-run blast to center field on a 1-1 fastball from Rogers starter John Simpson.

“When it came off the bat, it felt good. I didn’t even feel it hit the bat. You just hit it and watch it fly,” Bowie said. “We’d faced him back in high school ball. We knew he had a good curve ball and we knew his fastball was coming in there quick. He threw me a high one and I swung.”

A two-out throwing error on a routine grounder to shortstop allowed Bessey to keep that inning alive for Bowie and was the first of three costly errors for Rogers.

In the fifth, a wild pickoff throw by Simpson allowed Ben Bowie to take two bases and ultimately score on Chickering’s first double. Nick Attaliades-Ryan knocked in Chickering on a suicide squeeze to make it 5-0.

Chickering belted a two-run double with two out off reliever Mike Hammond to make it 7-0 in the sixth. After Rogers Post (8-4) stormed back to make it 7-5, a bobble by the second baseman scored two Bessey insurance runs in the seventh.

“We made a couple of mistakes and they came back and bit us,” Rogers Post coach Troy Crane said. “We came back and made a game of it. We were down 7-0. It was nice to see us be able to pick ourselves out of a hole a little bit and start to make a comeback.”

Bessey starter Ian MacFawn held Rogers scoreless on three hits through the first five innings. Attaliades-Ryan helped him escape a second-and-third, nobody out situation in the second with a sparkling backhand play at second base.

After an error to lead off the third, MacFawn retired the next nine in a row But back-to-back walks to start the sixth seemed to rattle him. If they didn’t, his own throwing error to first did, in addition to scoring Rogers’ first run.

“He was getting frustrated a little bit with balls and strikes and I think he let it get to him a little bit,” Oufiero said. “We got the ground ball. We just weren’t prepared to do what we needed to do. That opened up that inning for them. If he makes that play, it’s a double-play ball and a different game.”

But instead, the inning snowballed from there. Nate Pushard made it 7-2 with an infield single. Evan Raymond’s single plated another run, and Brian Crane chased MacFawn with a two-run double to cut the deficit to 7-5.

Lefty Mike Mageles came on to stop the bleeding, with an assist from Walter Feeney on a nice sliding catch in right field. After getting a couple more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, Dalton Rice relieved Mageles and gave up three straight singles to load the bases with one out, but ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts.

Pushard and Raymond led Rogers with three hits apiece.

Bessey Motors, which will be playing catch-up the next few days due to rainouts and other scheduling quirks, improved to 7-2. Its string of three consecutive doubleheaders starts at 3 p.m. Friday at Smith-Tobey of Bath. It returns to the coast Saturday for a pair against Highland Green of Topsham Saturday, then hosts two games against Andy Valley at Field of Dreams in Harrison on Sunday.

“We have some depth, pitching-wise,” said Oufiero, who was subbing for vacationing head coach Shane Slicer. “There’s going to be a game where we’re going to have to piece-meal it. You hope somebody can go seven in one of the doubleheaders, maybe score enough to shorten a game, invoke a 10-run rule. But this is a good group of kids. They’ll battle.”


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