Lewiston’s Hunter Landry gets his foot on first base too late as Hampden Academy’s Oliver Kent catches the ball to force him out at Thursday’s quarterfinals in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — If not for a 1-0 loss at Hampden Academy on May 18, Lewiston would have been riding a 13-game winning streak into Thursday’s rematch in the Class A North baseball quarterfinals.

The Blue Devils got their revenge in the best way, and at the best possible time, flipping the 1-0 score behind a five-hit shutout by sophomore pitcher Owen Cox at the Lewiston Little League Complex.

Now winners of five in a row, No. 4 Lewiston (13-4) advances to face top-seeded Bangor, the four-time defending state champion, at 4 p.m. Saturday at Mansfield Stadium.

Hampden ends its season at 11-6.

Brock Belanger drove in the game’s only run with a two-out single in the fifth.

Cox struck out three and didn’t walk a batter, stranding six Bronco base runners over seven innings. 

“My breaking ball was working pretty good today,” Cox said. “I trusted it a lot.”

“He’s always dealing. The kid throws more strikes than anybody we have,” said Belanger, a senior catcher. “He pounds the strike zone, in and out, everywhere. His breaking ball made a couple of guys look silly today.”

Hampden starter Wyatt Harriman was excellent in defeat, allowing six hits. He didn’t walk or strike out anyone. 

Cooper Millett got the winning rally started by beating out an infield single with one out. He stole second, where he remained after Cox flew out to right for the second out.

Belanger knocked him home by reaching out on an outside breaking ball and flipping it over a leaping second baseman into right field.

“I got behind in the count and I just knew I had to do something,” he said. “I think it was a breaking ball. I lunged at it and just got enough of it to get it over the second baseman’s head.”

“I’m happy for Brock,” Lewiston coach Darren Hartley said. “I’m happy for his family. I’m happy for the school and the city. He’s an outstanding player and has been for this community since he was 5 years old. I’m really grateful for him that he was able to get a hit in that spot.”

Hampden had a couple of chances to take the lead before and one to tie it after Lewiston got on the board.

In the third, Cox allowed a pair of singles but stranded the runners at second and third by getting Derek Gendreau to ground out to second.

Back-to-back infield errors by the Devils put Cox back in a one-out jam in the sixth. He got Nick Lorenzo, who had singled in his previous two at-bats, to fly out to center. Kent Oliver followed with a grounder that third baseman Mitch Frisbie knocked down, gathered and threw across the diamond to barely beat Oliver.

Hampden argued that the throw pulled first baseman Hunter Landry off the bag, but after a conference, umpires reasserted the original out call.

“To be honest, I thought he tagged him, but the umpire said (the out) wasn’t on the tag, he stayed on the base,” Hampden coach McLean Poulin said. “So then, I was like, boy, I really thought he was off the bag. But again, it would have been bases loaded and we would have had to come up with that big two-out hit. That’s baseball for you. I’m never going to blame an umpire or anything like that.”

Harriman singled to lead off the seventh and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cox struck out Evan Thomas for the second out, and the game ended with a soft liner to Cox’s brother, Evan, at shortstop.

“We had some hits, but they were spread out every inning,” Poulin said. “We didn’t get those two or three hits back to back that you really need.”

“My top three pitchers are outstanding, and I trust them all, but Owen just throws strikes,” Hartley said. “He keeps the ball down. He allows us to play defense. We stubbed our toe there in the sixth a little, but I promised the guys, ‘Let’s get through this. The seventh will be better.'”

Pitcher Owen Cox fires ball during Thursday afternoon’s quarterfinal in Lewiston at Elliot Field. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Cooper Millett crosses home plate for the only run of the game on Thursday at Elliot Field in Lewiston as Hampden Academy catcher Evan Thomas watches. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Lewiston’s Noah Hill slides back to first base as Hampden Academy’s Oliver Kent catches the ball during Thursday’s quarterfinal in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


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