Bangor’s George Payne turns two as Oxford Hills’ Brayden Bean slides into the bag.

Bangor’s George Payne turns two as Oxford Hills’ Brayden Bean slides into the bag.

PARIS — Nick Cowperthwaite didn’t get to pitch at Oxford Hills when his Bangor baseball team made the trek down to Tim Bryant Memorial Field during the regular season.

The loss for the Rams played a part in a playoff rematch taking place at the same place, but the second time around Cowperthwaite was well enough to pitch.

The senior right-hander pitched well, to the tune of a one-hitter, and No. 4 Bangor shut out the No. 1 Vikings, 7-0, in a Class A North semifinal on Saturday.

“The game we were supposed to play in down here, he was on schedule to pitch, but he had a little tightness in his shoulder, so we held him out,” Bangor coach Dave Morris said. “It’s just a gutsy performance. We really have had great pitching from all of our guys all year long. He just happened to hit spots, and kept them off balance, and we have a great a catcher that called a great game for us.”

That catcher is Cowperthwaite’s classmate, Derek Fournier, who was able to choose from any three of his pitcher’s options.

“Everything was (working),” Cowperthwaite said. “I haven’t thrown my changeup a lot this year, and it started working today. My fastball was on, and threw my curveball for strikes.”

Cowperthwaite wasn’t overpowering, picking up just two strikeouts during a complete-game effort, but he kept the Vikings (15-3) at bay.

“I thought maybe that he’d tire, but he was throwing strikes,” Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer said. “And hats off to him, he threw a very good game.

“I think he was just peppering the strike zone. He had a little movement on it. He was just going right at us, and we just didn’t square it up very well, that’s all. Obviously he probably hit his spots, a little bit of tail-in to a righty, so we got jammed a few times.”

The Vikings got their lone hit in the bottom of the second, a one-out single up the middle by Brayden Bean after Troy Johnson walked. But the first and only threat against Bangor was stymied by an inning-ending double play.

“If you flip the game over a couple weeks ago, they turned a couple big double plays that really sealed the game. And today we had a couple big double plays that really helped us out,” Morris said. “That’s one thing about Nick Cowperthwaite, he throws a lot of ground balls over his career, so we were just fortunate to really get long end of the stick, I guess, in those plays.”

“That just gives me a lot of confidence in my guys, and just really gets me going,” Cowperthwaite said. “I love it when they turn the double play to end the inning. It saves me some pitches.”

Oxford Hills needed to produce something with that opportunity after the Rams (14-4) jumped on the scoreboard with three runs in the top of the frame. Gary Farnham hit a one-out double to deep left, and after Zach Ireland was hit by a Johnson pitch, Zachary Cowperthwaite ripped a triple to right-center to score both runners. Cowperthwaite made it home safely on Tyler Parke’s fielder’s choice grounder down the first-base line.

“He’s been having a rough time up at the plate, but lately he’s been pulling through,” Nick Cowperthwaite said of his sophomore brother. “Two big hits today, and helped us out.”

Johnson pitched out of jams in the next two innings, then threw a 1-2-3 frame in the fifth to keep the Vikings within striking distance.

“He battled and he battled and he battled, and it looked like he was going to have a short day — they were hitting him pretty good — but we had a double-play ball in the third to get out of trouble,” Slicer said. “So I thought he settled in, at least gave us a chance to come back.”

The Oxford Hills offense never materialized, however. Cowperthwaite only allowed a two-out walk in the fifth, and the Vikings were gifted a lead-off base runner in the sixth thanks to an error. That frame ended with a double play as well.

The close game turned one-sided in the top of the sixth. Farnham led off by reaching on an error, was moved over by an Ireland sacrifice bunt, and Zachary Cowperthwaite made it runners at the corners with a single. Parke singled one run in, and George Payne singled in two more two batters later to end Johnson’s outing. Fournier greeted reliever Ashton Keniston with a sacrifice fly to complete the scoring.

Cowperthwaite ended the game with his second strikeout, getting Johnson swinging at a 3-2 pitch.

“I think it’s frustrating to lose it any way,” Slicer said. “Our kids believed that they had a chance. And they did, they’ve had a great season.

“I got to look at the bright side, we have a young squad. And so we have this opportunity again next year, hopefully we get the bats going and we get the momentum back.”

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Bangor winning pitcher Nick Cowperthwaite reacts after striking out the last batter of the game.

Bangor winning pitcher Nick Cowperthwaite reacts after striking out the last batter of the game.

Bangor’s George Payne and Oxford Hills Brayden Bean watch Payne’s throw to first base get the second out of a double play.

Bangor’s George Payne and Oxford Hills Brayden Bean watch Payne’s throw to first base get the second out of a double play.

Bangor Zach Ireland makes a throw to get the out at first base early in the game.

Bangor Zach Ireland makes a throw to get the out at first base early in the game.

Oxford Hills Rodney Bean holds the ball up after picking it up off the ground to get the force out at second.

Oxford Hills Rodney Bean holds the ball up after picking it up off the ground to get the force out at second.

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