AUGUSTA — Bangor wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first, but the two-time defending state champs didn’t waste chances in the next two innings, scoring five runs across the two frames in a 8-0 victory over Edward Little in the Class A North baseball regional final at Morton Field on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Rams’ first two hitters both singled, then Derek Fournier dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move the pair into scoring position. But EL starter Jarod Norcross-Plourde struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam.

“I think we just said, ‘Look, that was a good inning, we made the pitcher work, now let’s get back at it again the second inning,'” Bangor coach Jeff Fahey said, “and we were able to get a couple across there, and things started to snowball from there.”

The second-seeded Red Eddies’ junior right-hander wasn’t so lucky to avoid danger in the ensuing two frames. A dropped would-be third out by the right fielder drove in one run in the bottom of the second, then a wild pitch by Norcross-Plourde brought in another.

“I think when you play a team that’s as talented as Bangor, you have to take outs when they’re given to you,” EL coach Dave Jordan said. “We did have some struggles, especially early on, in terms of making those plays.”

In the third, Jesse Colford and Peter Kemble both walked on full counts to start the inning, but a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nick Cowperthwaite led to a force out at third. Norcross-Plourde struck out Gary Farnham on a full count for the second out, but George Payne and Ryan Brookings — Bangor’s eighth and ninth hitters — hit consecutive singles to drive in three more runs.

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“One through nine we feel like we have people who can perform in big situations,” Bangor leadoff hitter Kyle Stevenson said. “That showed today. We got some clutch hits out of some different guys today.”

Norcross-Plourde lasted four batters into the fourth, getting two outs in the process, before being replaced on the mound by CJ Jipson. Norcross-Plourde’s outing included seven hits, six walks, five strikeouts and eight full counts.

“We already saw him, so we knew what to expect,” Stevenson said. “He’s a good pitcher, he throws hard, but we had to just keep doing what we always do and just see the ball and hit it.”

Bangor’s starter had an easier time finding outs. Senior lefty Trevor DeLaite, the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year, scattered three hits and two walks while striking out nine for his eighth win of the year.

“I just thought Trevor was dominant,” Fahey said. “He just kept them off balance and was in complete control, I thought, the whole time.”

DeLaite’s dominating performance exacted a bit of revenge against Norcross-Plourde and the Red Eddies (17-2), who handed the ace his and the Rams’ only defeat of the year.

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“I was just ready. I’ve been looking forward this all season long,” DeLaite said. “I knew they were a good team, so it was going to take a little more focus. But that run support makes it easy, just go after hitters.”

The Red Eddies had trouble scoring for the third time this year against the Rams, after scoring one run each in a 1-0 win during the regular season and a 7-1 loss in the exhibition KVAC championship game. Getting just one in the third meeting proved to even be too much to ask for. Mason Brushwein, Brandon Varney and Norcross-Plourde each collected a hit, but they all came in different innings. EL put just two runners in scoring position all game.

“We’re facing the best pitcher in the state,” Jordan said. “He had a chip on his shoulder from us beating him, I’m sure. He came out and he was just dealing.”

The Rams scored three more runs in the bottom of the sixth against Brandon Varney, EL’s third pitcher of the game. After Kemble and Cowperthwaite led off with consecutive singles, Farnham tried to sacrifice bunt them over. He did more than that when Varney tried to tag him heading to first, but the ball got away and into the EL dugout, bringing in one run. A wild pitch drove in another, and Brookings sacrificed in the third with a fly to center. Ben Harris finished out the inning for EL with a strikeout.

“We weren’t as crisp as we have been. It’s too bad, because I think that we have a very solid team that’s done great things all year long,” Jordan said. “But today it probably wouldn’t have mattered because they were just that good.”

The Rams collected 10 hits and added seven walks from their offense. Bangor sent 39 batters to the plate in six innings. Stevenson and DeLaite — the Rams’ No. 2 hitter — combined to reach base nine times in 10 plate appearances. Stevenson, Kemble, Cowperthwaite and Payne each had two hits.

“We definitely wanted to see them again after what happened in the regular season,” Stevenson said. “We wanted to prove a point, and I think we did that.”

The Rams will look to win their third Class A state title in as many seasons Saturday when they face southern Maine champion Falmouth at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

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