Rod Bean of Bessey Motors moves over to third base during the sixth inning against Rogers Post 153 on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

PARIS — It was evident for some time earlier in Tuesday’s American Legion baseball game, but the contrasting levels of execution between Bessey Motors and Rogers Post 153 was never more apparent than when Rodney Bean’s second squeeze bunt of the game plated not one but two runs for Bessey.

In a battle for first place in Zone 2, Bessey Motors out-performed Rogers Post in every facet to cruise to a 9-1 victory at Tim Bryant Field.

Cam Slicer (two hits) reached base four times, drove in a pair and scored twice, including a mad dash from second on Bean’s second squeeze. Jonny Pruett reached base in all three of his plate appearances, including two hits, scored twice and stole three bases.

“I thought we played well,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said. “We got after it, hit the ball pretty well, and the execution was very good. Colton (Carson) threw well and we defended. (Catcher) Wyatt Williamson got us out of a couple of innings throwing guys out and kept (Carson’s) pitch count down by doing that.”

Carson allowed Rogers’ lone run in the first inning, then allowed just two hits over the next six to pick up the complete-game victory. He struck out seven, walked two and hit a batter while yielding four hits.

The defense behind him wasn’t flawless (two errors) but made the plays when needed.

In the third, it turned a 4-6-3 double play to get Carson out of trouble. Willimason threw out a would-be base-stealer at second to end the fifth, then caught another baserunner napping at second base in the sixth. In the seventh, Emery Chickering made a nice diving stop and throw to first to rob Mason Brushwein of a single, then Slicer made a nice running catch in center field to keep Tyler Blanchard off of the bases.

Rogers started the game with back-to-back singles by Jake Arel and Grant Hartley and a sacrifice fly by Gavin Bates to take a 1-0 lead. But with the help of Williamson, who threw out Hartley trying to steal second, Carson settled in and fanned the next two batters.

Bessey answered in the bottom of the frame against Hartley with Hunter LaBossiere’s two-out, two-run single up the middle that put the hosts in front for good.

“I think Hunter’s RBI in the first inning set the tone. We needed that,” Shane Slicer said.

Whereas Carson’s defense helped bail him out, Hartley’s made things more difficult in the second inning. A drop at second base on a potential 4-6-3 double play allowed Troy Johnson to score to make it 3-1.

Bessey added three more runs in the fourth. Slicer drove in one with an infield single. Bean’s first suicide squeeze and a wild pitch plated the next two.

“They put pressure on us. We didn’t respond like we could have,” Rogers Post coach Dave Jordan said.

“We were aggressive. We knew that first place was on the line,” Shane Slicer said. “We knew that Rogers didn’t have all of their guys, but we knew we had a challenge.”

Bessey improved to 10-2 while Rogers dropped to 9-4. With one week to go in the regular season, the teams are locked in a three-way race for first place with Pastime Club (9-2).

“It’s all going to come down to who we have on what days,” Jordan said. “With everything going on with (player) summer commitments, it’s really who we have and those guys going out and performing for us. We’ll see what it looks like as we move forward.”

Gavin Bates of Rogers Post 153 is tagged out by Bessey Motors shortstop Janek Luksza as Bates tries to get back to second base during the sixth inning in South Paris on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Jake Arel of Rogers Post 153 tries to avoid the tag of Bessey Motors shortstop Janek Luksza at second base in South Paris on Tuesday. Arel was out on the play.  (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Rogers Post 153 third baseman Gavin Bates throws to first base during Tuesday’s game against Bessey Motors in South Paris. Rogers starting pitcher Grant Hartley is at right. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Cam Slicer of Bessey Motors scored in the sixth inning to put Bessey up 7-1 over Rogers Post 153 on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Rogers Post 153 second baseman Jake Arel makes a play on the ball for an out at first base during Tuesday’s game against Bessey Motors in South Paris. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


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