Brothers Evan, left, and Owen Cox have played key roles for the Lewiston High School baseball team. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — While favorites such as Bangor, Edward Little and Oxford Hills have been slugging it out for the top spot in Class A South baseball since the start of the season, Lewiston has quietly climbed in the standings, standing toe-to-toe with their KVAC rivals in the process.

Evan and Owen Cox are two big reasons why the Blue Devils have turned it around after an 0-3 start. The brothers are also emblematic of their team’s ascent — quiet but confident, and determined to show Lewiston belongs among the contenders.

The Blue Devils had an eight-game winning streak snapped Friday by another team they are trying to catch in the Heal points, Hampden Academy.

The 1-0 loss was a flashback to the start of the season, when the Devils were struggling to find their footing offensively. The three losses were disappointing, particularly a winnable 5-4 decision against Bangor and an 11-4 rivalry game with EL.

But the players and first-year coach Darren Hartley believed they were just stretching their legs, so to speak, and didn’t panic.


“We’d been stuck inside for a while, and I think finally getting outside on the field definitely helped,” Evan said. “We started to relax a little bit.”

They started to turn things around with a 7-0 win over Camden Hills. Eleven days and three wins later, they exploded for a season-high in runs in a 13-1 win over Oxford Hills.

“We started swinging the bats better and started scoring runs,” Owen said.

“Once one of us started getting hot, I think we just fed off of each other and started hitting the ball,” Evan said.

Evan, a senior, and Owen, a sophomore, are important cogs in Lewiston’s athletic lineup.

Owen, who joined his brother in the starting lineup as a freshman, had key hits in wins over Cony and Mt. Blue. Evan, who was the leadoff hitter last year and started this season batting third, dropped down to fifth in the order during the win streak. It is a spot he believes suits his aggressive approach at the plate.


“Batting fifth in the lineup, you always want to be the one who is driving in the runs,” Evan said. “I like going after the first pitch because that’s the one that’s always there. I feel like five is a better spot for me because I’m more of a driving-in-runs type of guy than getting on base.”

The brothers’ impact carries over to the mound, where they are part of a strong staff. Evan has been a stalwart in the starting rotation for a couple of years, along with fellow senior Jack LeBlond and junior Hunter Landry.

“He’s hard-working, determined, and quiet almost to a fault,” Hartley said of Evan. “His pulse rate doesn’t ever measure externally, but the kid runs hot. He is a bad hombre.”

Evan’s ability to balance competitiveness and composure on the mound makes him the one Hartley wants to give the ball to in big games and big situations.

“I used to be not very good at keeping my head, but I’ve learned that it’s not going to help me if I argue a call or, if something goes wrong, to let it bug me,” Evan said. “Just keep going and it will get better if you keep your cool. The umps will give you more calls and the game will sway your way more often.”

Owen, meanwhile, has responded well to having his pitching duties expanded this year.


“Owen is a fantastic athlete,” Hartley said. “It’s effortless movement with him, like he is moving at half speed, but he’s not. He throws the baseball as mechanically sound as anyone.”

Having tasted plenty of success playing for Lewiston’s state championship hockey team, Evan and Owen prefer to pass on the lessons they’ve learned with their actions rather than words.

“I don’t really speak up. My brother and I just try to play our hardest,” Evan said. “I think the younger kids look up to us because of how we keep our composure and how we play the game.”

“It’s really fun. I like playing with (Evan),” Owen said. “We’re both pretty quiet kids. We’ve got a lot of talent here, and we just like playing for a good team.”

They may be quiet, but they still occasionally talk a little trash to each other, as siblings who compete with and against each other often do.

“I try to be better than him,” Owen said with a grin. “We try to be the best in the family and I think it really helps us get better.”

“I like playing with him. I think we feed off of each other,” Evan said. “I think it’s more of a competitive thing where we try to be better than the other one.”

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