PARIS — When Oxford Hills pitcher Jackson Crane saw the Vikings’ bats come around and his team stand its ground on defense, he knew it was going to be a good day in his varsity debut on the mound.

The strapping, soft-spoken junior didn’t flinch or show any signs of slowing down as he helped orchestrate the Vikings’ 8-0 victory over Mt. Blue at Tim Bryant Memorial Field on a cold and blustery Wednesday afternoon.

“Felt good. Nice to be able to get out on the mound,” said Crane, who also moonlights as a third and first baseman. “Having good fielding behind me (helped), honestly.

“My arm felt really great. I didn’t have much problem with that. We finally rallied to get the bats going, which is really good.”

Crane went the distance, striking out four batters, walking three and giving up two hits in his strong shutout performance. He also helped Oxford Hills (6-1) retire the Mt. Blue side in order five times during his 8-0 shutout win.

The Cougars (2-5) did hit Crane hard on a handful of at-bats, but it was nothing the outfield couldn’t handle.

“This is our third (game) in a row,” Oxford Hills baseball coach Shane Slicer said. “We faced some good pitching and we were 4-1 and the we sneaked out a 1-0 game in about an hour and 10 minutes yesterday. That was the big focus to get on the board (today).

“I wanted a little bit more cushion than what we have been doing, and I know that is a lot to ask. Getting those three runs was huge and we played a little small ball to get some and we had some key hits there when we finally broke it open.

“Getting those runs were huge, especially for Jackson. That was his first start he has had in a varsity game. He stepped up really big and he was throwing strikes. They hit the ball hard at times, but he was throwing strikes. Getting those runs made him more comfortable and more confident.”

But for nearly three innings, each team couldn’t bring a runner across to break the 0-0 deadlock. That all changed in the bottom third when the Vikings finally got to hard-throwing pitcher Miles Pelletier.

“Miles did well early on, but these guys did a terrific job today,” Mt. Blue coach Stephen Lancaster said. “They (Vikings) came out and hit the ball. We were able to get them to hit the ball where we were for a little while, but eventually they were hitting the ball where we weren’t.

“Terrific job, Oxford Hills. Hats off to them. Overall, at the end of the game, they hit the ball very well, played good defense ran the bases well. The pitcher did a really good job keeping us off the base.”

Oxford Hills outfielder Cameron Slicer got things started when he reached base on a hit and scored when Janek Luksza tapped another single. Slicer produced three hits, including a double, to go along with his three RBIs.

But the Vikings weren’t satisfied with a one-run lead. Luksza moved to third base when Ashton Kennison got on with an error. They both scored on Brayden Bean’s two-run single, handing Oxford Hills’ a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Oxford Hills snuck in another run in the fourth inning thanks to Slicer’s RBI single that brought home Spencer Hurd. He pinched hit for Wyatt Williamson, who smacked one of his three singles.

In the fifth, the Vikings opened up on the Cougars with four more runs. Rodney Bean, Slicer, Williamson and pinch runner Connor Truman each came home with a run. Slicer smacked a two-run single and Crane helped his cause with an RBI single.

For the day, the Vikings hammered out 14 hits and didn’t make an error. Ryan Nelson came in relief for Pelletier in the fifth inning to keep the Vikings at bay. Pelletier and Kenneth Williamson each had a hit for the Cougars.

Oxford Hills’ Wyatt Williamson slides into second as Mt. Blue shortstop Alex Philbrick takes the throw from second baseman David McDonald for the out in a baseball game in Paris on Wednesday. Oxford Hills won, 8-0.Oxford Hills winning pitcher throws the ball to first baseman Ashton Kennison as Mt. Blue’s Corey Rogers (12) gets back to the bag safely in a baseball game in Paris on Wednesday. Oxford Hills won, 8-0.


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