FREEPORT — After Tuesday’s 21-0 loss to York, Gray-New Gloucester coach Brad Smith looked for his team to bounce back against Freeport on Wednesday.

A Falcons error on a ground ball to lead-off hitter Tyler St. Pierre started the Patriots off on the right foot.

But, Freeport pitcher Pete LaMagna immediately picked St. Pierre off, and went on to toss a complete-game one-hit shutout in Freeport’s 5-0 Western Maine Conference victory.

“He was the difference,” said Gray-New Gloucester coach Brad Smith after watching LaMagna strike out 11, walk two and pick two Patriots off first base. “You are not going to beat too many people if you don’t score runs. We had some uncharacteristic base-running errors at first base, things that we work on.

“But, give them credit. They played solid baseball, and it all starts with the guy on the mound and clutch hitting.”

“That is the first time this year that he pounded the strike zone, and you can see how good of pitcher he is when he does that,” said Freeport coach Bill Ridge after his Falcons improved to 3-5 and host Greely on Friday. “His first couple starts, it was the walks that hurt him, and today he walked just two.”

Freeport jumps ahead

After LaMagna picked up two strikeouts in the first, Freeport went to work against Gray-New Gloucester pitcher Justin McKenna. Niko DiFazio walked, advanced to second on a throwing error and to third on a ground ball. LaMagna walked with two outs and stole second ahead of a two-run single by Ben Humphrey for a 2-0 Falcons lead.

LaMagna struck out the side in the second frame, and McKenna escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the bottom of the second.

The only hit for Gray-New Gloucester came in the third when St. Pierre ripped a double off the fence in left-center field with two outs.

Freeport grabbed a 3-0 lead in the third when Jack Davenport launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-center field fence for a solo home run, and Davenport made it a 5-0 game in the fourth with his second home run to the near identical spot, scoring DiFazio, who had singled.

“I felt good, and the wind was blowing out,” said Davenport, who was 2-for-3 and received an intentional walk in his final at-bat. “I knew something was going to happen. The first was right down the middle, but the second one I thought I hit it off the handle. But, I guess I didn’t.”

Ridge was pleased to see his team continue to hit throughout the game.

“We have gone six games in row now scoring in the first inning. Today, we didn’t stop in the first inning. We continued that pressure throughout the game,” said the Freeport coach.

McKenna settled down from there, picking up three of his four strikeouts in the fifth and sixth innings. He allowed eight hits, walked five and threw 95 pitches.

“This is the third game in three days, and I am not very deep. It was his day to pitch, but we needed to give him better support,” said Smith, whose 5-4 Patriots host Fryeburg Academy on Friday.

“He pitched a good game, and a lot of balls got through the left side,” said Ridge of McKenna. “They knocked a few down that we beat out. He didn’t walk too many guys either and kept us off-balance. Just the two mistakes to Jack.”

“It feels good throwing strikes, and is all that you really need when you have a good defense,” said LaMagna. “We definitely have a lot of confidence going into the game with Greely, and I feel like we are hitting our stride.”


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