Pastime pitcher Hunter Landry fires the ball toward Bessey Motors’ Jonny Pruett at bat during Monday evening’s championship game in Lewiston at Elliot Field. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — Monday’s Zone 2 championship between Bessey Motors and Pastime Club was a far cry from last year’s 16-inning fiasco that ended with Bessey Motors taking the No. 1 seed into the state American Legion tournament.

Hunter Landry was on the mound Monday for Pastime and threw a complete-game shutout as his team’s bats scraped together three runs to defeat Bessey 3-0.

“This feels great,” Pastime coach Jake Brown said. “This run that we’ve had to finish out the year, the guys are really playing well and at least we got some momentum going into states. Even though both teams made it to states, you still get that championship vibe.”

Landry was shaky at the start, allowing three hits in the first inning to a Bessey Motors team that has shown a tendency to strike early. The first two hits, one by Cam Slicer and another by Rodney Bean, were both negated by run-downs after steal attempts.

The second inning started and a new Landry emerged. Bessey got one runner on in the second with a double-play to follow, and stranded one runner in the third. He was also getting Bessey to swing early, throwing less than 18 pitches each inning.

“I tried to pitch some high, some low, throw it where they weren’t,” Landry said. “I’ve got a good defense, a lot of good ball players behind me, so that helps.”

On offense, the Pastime bats were sat down in order in the first by pitcher Wyatt Williamson. The Bessey Motors starter got into some trouble in the second when Evan Cox led off with a walk, moved to second on a grounder, then scampered home on a Nick Lerette single to right-center.

Pastime didn’t stop there, knowing runs would be hard to come by (last year’s 16-inning game featured just 11 total runs). Gordon Beckwith, the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, singled to left, moving Lerette into scoring position, followed by a single from Cooper Millett to make it 2-0.

“The bottom of the order was big,” Brown said. “The bottom of the order picked up big for us, and if we can get our bottom of the order going with the top of our order for states, that’s a good sign.”

Bessey pushed a runner to third in Williamson in the fifth but Landry found his way out of a jam again. The next batter was Jonny Pruett, who tested Landry in an eight-pitch at bat. Landry got the better of him, forcing a fly-out to left. Bessey was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

“My hat goes off to Hunter, he pitched a great game,” Bessey head coach Shane Slicer said. “I really love the kid, he competes. We had some long fly balls. … It probably wore on some guys’ confidence, but we had some chances to drive in some runs.”

Pastime was able to get a runner on second in the third, fourth, and fifth innings but struggled themselves pushing runners through. That left the door ajar for Bessey, but the team felt confident with Landry on the mound.

“When they get runners in scoring position that’s when he is his best. He really competes, he digs in, he’s just a competitor. Credit to our defense, they play really well and we had a great play at third in that last inning. Him and Brock (Belanger) play really well, they called a good game.”

In the sixth, Hunter Richardson singled for Pastime to lead off, then stole second and third. Richardson was driven in by a Beckwith single to increase the lead to three.

The game was sealed when third baseman Lucas Francis made a quick turn-and-throw to get Brayden Bean at first, followed by a strikeout and a pop-up forced by Landry to end the game.

Williamson pitched a complete game, giving up 11 hits but just three runs.

Pastime’s Evan Cox slides into third base as Bessey Motors’ Rod Bean attempts the out during Monday evening’s championship game in Lewiston at Elliot Field. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Pastime’s Nick Lerette waits for the ball from the pitcher as Bessey Motors’ Hunter LaBossiere slides back to first base during Monday evening’s championship game in Lewiston at Elliot Field. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Pastime’s Hunter Richardson sprints to third base during Monday evening’s championship game in Lewiston at Elliot Field. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)


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