“We talk to the kids and tell them we can beat anyone in the zone, but we can also lose to everyone in the zone,” Pastime head coach Jake Brown said.

Moving to 9-0 on the season, Pastime squeaked out a 5-3 victory at home against Highland Green (2-6), one that could have gotten away from Pastime if it wasn’t careful.

“The good news is we got a win, but we just didn’t have the energy from the start,” Brown said. “You’ve got to give those guys credit, the pitcher did a good job and the defense made plays behind him.”

Pastime got on the board first in the first inning when Brock Belanger shot a double to the outfield and was then knocked home on a triple from Hunter Landry.

In the second, Kyle Bourget got on base with a single, then stole second base.

After Highland pitcher Gary Moody walked a batter, an error by the third baseman led to Bourget scoring to put Pastime up by two. Pastime added another in the inning to push its lead to three. Moody then settled into the game.

“I can’t say enough about our starting pitcher,” Highland Green coach Bob Neron said. “He’s done that all-year long. He gives you everything he has, keeps the game close, what more can you ask for in a starting pitcher.”

On the other side, Pastime pitcher Lucas Francis was working the strike zone early, not giving up a hit until there were two outs in the third inning, striking out two in that time.

“I did great in the first few innings, but I always knew I could do better,” Francis said. “The last few innings I didn’t let any runs in but I expect more out of myself. It was a good win, but next start I’ll be better.”

Highland got back into the game in the third, however, by playing small ball. After a runner got on by a fielder’s choice, Moody hit a single and came around to score on a triple. Just like that, it was a one-run game.

“You’ve got to give Highland Green credit,” Brown said. “They made the plays, they are well-coached, and they grind the whole game.”

Highland tied the game in the fifth with a run off of a double then an error. Pastime regained the lead in the fifth when Bourget got on with a single and then scored after a couple of singles from Landry and Austin Wing, making it 4-3.

Evan Cox tacked on another run for Pastime in the sixth to make it 5-3, which led to Pastime trying Bourget in the closing role, something that hasn’t happened all year.

“Kyle Bourget did really well in the closer role,” Brown said. “For him to come in and give up a double to start the inning then grind with some strikeouts, those were two good positives.”

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