STANDISH — Watching a 7-1 lead slowly slip away Tuesday night didn’t soften Pastime Club’s resolve or its aggressiveness.

Which is why when Ryan Riordan represented the winning run at second in the American Legion Zone 3 final, he knew he would be getting the green light to try to score on any kind of base hit. All he needed was Carter Chabot to set things in motion.

Chabot complied, ripping a single up the middle. Tri-Town center fielder Kaleb Bridgham charged and came up throwing. His throw beat Riordan home, but sailed high over the catcher, and Pastime escaped with an 8-7 win.

It is the Lewiston-based team’s fourth consecutive zone championship. It will be making its fifth state tournament appearance in a row next Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of Saturday’s play-in game between Westbrook and Franklin County at Husson University.

After Riordan’s delayed steal put him in scoring position with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Chabot belted Brandon Hubbard’s 2-2 pitch for his third RBI of the game.

“I was just looking for a fastball,” Chabot said. “Whenever I have a good hit, I just wait on it and either put it up the middle or opposite field. The coaches put us in situations before where we just have to focus. You don’t think about the situation; you just focus on what’s happening at the moment.”

“It’s a team effort,” said Riordan, who has played on the last three zone champions and picked up the win Tuesday in relief. “Pretty much our whole team can hit up and down the lineup. It’s not a one-man show.”

Caleb Dostie led No. 3 Pastime (16-5) with three hits and an RBI. Riordan had two hits, including a double, scored twice and drove in two. Mike Wong reached base four times with three walks and a single and scored twice.

Billy Bickford led No. 4 Tri-Town (14-7), which outhit Pastime, 10-7, with three hits and two runs scored. Bridgham had two hits, including a double.

Pastime scored twice in the first and twice more in the third to take a 4-0 lead. After Tanner Marston’s RBI single got Tri-Town on the board in the top of the fourth, Pastime answered with three in the bottom of the frame to chase starter Lukas Johnson.

Ian MacFawn relieved Johnson that inning and allowed one inherited runner and two of his own to score to make it 7-1. But he held Pastime hitless through 4 2/3 innings, retiring 11 of 12 batters during that stretch.

With MacFawn holding Pastime at bay, Tri-Town kept the pressure on Pastime starter Matt Poulin and chipped away at the deficit. Pastime’s defense, which made a couple of run-saving plays early, helped Tri-Town along with five errors.

“They put pressure on us,” Pastime coach Dave Jordan said. “There’s a lot of things that they did to force those mistakes.”

“We didn’t bring our enthusiasm the whole game,” Chabot said. “We gave up a little bit in the middle of the game, but we came back at the end.”

Poland scored two unearned runs in the fifth. Riordan relieved Poulin in the seventh and two more errors, an infield single by Bickford, a double by Bridgham and a balk plated three more runs.

Tri-Town tied it with a two-out rally in the eighth on consecutive singles by Bickford, Bridgham and Johnson.

MacFawn couldn’t come back out for the ninth because of Legion’s innings rule. He threw seven innings in the quarterfinal win over Rogers post on Sunday. Rules allow pitchers a maximum 12 innings in three days.

Wong started the winning rally with a one-out walk before Riordan reached after bouncing into a force out at second.

“I had to (send Riordan),” Jordan said. “Our shortstop (Wong) is cramping up. Ryan was just about done pitching-wise at that point. Tri-Town is way too strong of a hitting team to test your luck a couple of more innings.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: