Bourget didn’t flinch when he faced several jams during the first round of the American Legion baseball state playoffs at Morton Field on Wednesday.

The winning pitcher went the entire nine innings, and Pastime used key hits and heads-up base running to steer past stubborn Wells 9-5 and remain undefeated. Pastime moves on to face Bangor at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the same site — the Capitol Area Sports Complex.

Pastime took advantage of its 10 hits and capitalized on four Wells errors. Combine that with Bourget’s seven strikeouts and his two-run double, it all adds up to hard-fought victory.

But the thought of turning over the game to another pitcher never occurred to Bourget or his coach, Jake Brown.

“I just wanted to keep frighting for my team,” Bourget said. “I know my team was playing hard in the field, trying to make every play, and I just wanted to battle for my team because they have been battling all year, and it has been working out so far.

“I felt like as I go along in a game, I get more comfortable, start finding my pitches better, getting my curve ball working a little bit more, and really spotting my pitches better. The first five innings I didn’t spot very well.”

“We told them going into the ninth, he’s got one batter. If one batter gets on base, we will go to our bullpen,” Brown said.

Brown decided to stick with Bourget because the coach believed the pitcher’s best innings were the seventh and eighth and the bottom of Wells’ hitting order was coming in the top of the ninth.

“He is so technically sound that I thought it was pretty easy for him,” Brown said. “So if the lead-off hitter got on, I would take him out. The other thing is he completely dominated the seven, eight and nine hitters. That’s who that they had up. He could get out of it with a minimal pitch count.”

But a Pastime victory was not assured, especially when each team went neck-and-neck with each other.

Pastime was holding on to a shaky 6-5 lead through seven innings before Wells unraveled in the bottom of eighth inning and allowed Pastime to score three runs to seal the game

Mitch Davis got on with an error in the outfield, but didn’t stay at first for long. Eddie Turgeon was right behind Davis when the Wells catcher fished a pitch out the dirt and threw to first base, but the ball got past the first baseman. Davis eventually came home on the play after another throwing error from the outfield. Turgeon came home, too. Evan Cox singled and came home on Brock Belanger’s hit.

“I was just seeing the ball well today,” Davis, who doubled and had two singles, said. “It was a great day to play baseball.”

Pastime could rest easy.

Bourget finished off Wells in the top of the ninth by setting down the side in order. He struck out two batters along the way.

In the first inning, Wells centerfielder Charlie Bell walked and moved to second on Eric Aiken’s single. Ryan Coughlan smashed another single, scoring Bell. Aiken came home after Cam Cousins got on with an error to give Wells a 2-0 lead.

“They never quit,” Wells coach Warren Cousins said. “This is a good group of kids who won’t let up.

“I felt like we just didn’t play our game. We kind of gave that away with a couple of errors. It wasn’t our best baseball, for sure.”

Pastime responded in kind and scored three runs the bottom half of the first. Hunter Landry and Austin Wing both walked and Lucas Francis was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Landry jumped on an opportunity to score on a passed ball and Bourget brought home Wing and Francis with his spectacular double.

“I know that our team can hit. Two runs, I wasn’t really worried about that. Back in the bottom, we put up three,” Bourget said. “We were smart on the bases. It helps you win games.”

Wing also scored in the fifth inning. Pastime got two more runs in the sixth inning.

Davis singled and moved to second base on Turgeon’s sacrifice bunt. Cox was hit by a pitch. Gage Cote smashed a two-run double, bringing home Davis and Cox and giving Pastime a 6-5 lead.


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