PARIS — With both Tri-Town and Bessey Motors relying on their bats in their victories Sunday, runs came at a premium in their Zone 3 semifinal matchup Monday evening.

Tri-Town the No. 4 seed upended the No. 1 seed Bessey, 3-1.

Tri-Town will move on to play Pastime in the Zone 3 finals Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at St. Joesph’s College. As the zone’s regular season champion, Bessey Motors will continue onto the state tournament and will face the Zone 5 runner-up in a play-in game Saturday at Husson University in Bangor.

“This team has a lot of intestinal fortitude, they are an older group of kids and they continue to work hard,” Tri-Town coach Hal Bridgham said. “They all have high baseball IQ’s and they are a great group of kids.”

Both teams had an opportunity early on to break the game wide open. In its first at-bat Bessey Motors, opened up the scoring as leadoff hitter Riley Chickering scored off a wild pitch. Bessey was poised to get a couple of more runs in the inning but couldn’t capitalize with the bases loaded.

“When you look at the innings when we left the bases loaded a couple of times, we get a run or two there, the momentum is in our favor,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said.

In the top of the second, Tri-Town tied the contest with a Tanner Marston RBI single to bring home Jake Simard. They also ended the inning with the bags full without scoring any more runs.

Both pitchers settled down as Tri-Town’s Shawn Murphy got three straight outs in the bottom of the second after giving up a lead off single to Mitch Lorenz. He followed that up with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third.

“He always had tremendous strength,” Bridgham said of Murphy. “If he can get through the first two innings, he’s a tremendously strong individual. The biggest thing with Shawn is trying to control the emotion. When he becomes emotional is when he becomes less effective. Today he channeled that emotion inside and made great pitches.

Riley Chickering was on the mound for Bessey Motors and he shut down Tri-Town in order in the top of the third with the help of his infielders turning a double play for the first two outs. Simard flied out to end the inning.

Billy Bickford drove in Marston as Bickford flicked a single into right field to give Tri-Town the 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth.

Bridgham was pushing more runs for his squad as Brandon Hubbard single into centerfield and Bridgham waved in Marston from second base. The throw in from Nick Bowie was up the third base line but catcher Matt Smith had plenty of time to easily tag Marston.

After Murphy helped his own cause with an RBI double he ran into some trouble in the bottom half of the inning with one out with two men on. Bridgham went out to the mound to settle down Murphy. Murphy responded getting the next two men out to escape with no damage done.

“It was the same thing as the first inning,” Murphy said. “I didn’t know what was going on and (Hal) came out and said ‘Control the pace of this game, they are anxious and make them want to hit the ball. You are on the mound and in control of this game.’”

He found himself in trouble in the bottom of the eighth inning as Matt Smith ripped a double. Zach Conley followed it up with a single into right field. Kaleb Bridgham, Tri-Town’s centerfielder, backed up Dan Bernier, the right fielder who missed played the ball. Bridgham gunned it to the cut off man who threw it home to get Smith at the plate.

“My adrenaline was my defense. They were making plays behind me and I couldn’t have done this without of defense,” Murphy said. “It’s mainly the reason why we came out on top.”

Slicer wished he could go back to that play.

“Looking back on it I should of held Smith (at third),” Slicer said.” It was a great defensive play, it was an opportunity to score.”

In the ninth Murphy, was able to shut down the the top of the Bessey’s lineup in order.

In the complete game victory Murphy allowed one run on six hits and striking out five. He also walked six. Chickering also went the distance for Bessey Motors as he allowed three runs, eight hits and had seven strike outs. He had five walks.

“I thought Riley pitched a great game,” Slicer said of his pitcher. “It’s not his fault on what happened today. He was awesome, he wanted to pitch and later in the game he got better I thought. He got out of jams and that’s usually how he pitches.”


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