LEWISTON — Pastime was trailing heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, and then again in the eighth, but never gave up in its battle against Bessey Motors. 

With the rain pouring harder and harder as each inning passed from the sixth frame on, Pastime stayed the course and Damon Bossie hit home Jack LeBlond in the bottom of the 10th to hand Bessey its first loss by a score of 5-4. 

“It’s nothing I’m doing, I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing since day one,” Pastime coach Chris Reed said. “It’s like I just told the boys, ‘This is who we are.’ I think we’re starting to come around and come together and I think they like playing these guys. They took it to us this year… It’s a team that’s not hard to get up for and they came to play and I’m proud of them.”

As the bottom of the seventh inning began, Bessey pitcher Ethan Cutler was dealing. Cutler had given up just one run on four hits. Two of Bessey’s runs came in the fourth via a single from Jonny Pruett and a single from Cam Slicer. Then in the fifth, Hunter LaBossiere scored off a fielder’s choice to go up 3-1. 

Pastime’s Keegan McLaughlin singled and later scored on a Jack LeBlond single to cut the deficit to 3-2. LeBlond then moved to second on a passed ball as Ethan Brown came to bat. 

Brown grounded to shortstop and, after a slight bobble, was thrown out at first. The out was assumed by Bessey Motors and the ball was ceremoniously thrown to the pitcher’s mound, but the call was safe and the commotion allowed LeBlond to score and tie the game. 

“Obviously I’m biased on the play, I thought it was a clear out from my point of view,” Bessey coach Shane Slicer said. “But, they were heads-up and scored on the play.”

After Landry got through the seventh, his third of six innings in relief, Bessey found a round-about way to take the lead in the eighth. 

Will Dieterich walked, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Pruett drilled a ball into deep right field but the catch was made. The throw to third was long and went out of play, allowing Dieterich to score and go ahead, again. 

Smelling blood, Bessey went to its ace for three outs, something Colton Carson had done all season for Oxford Hills and Bessey Motors. 

Carson earned two quick outs in the bottom-half of the inning before Landry singled to right. Bessey decided to intentionally-walk LeBlond, followed by a walk off a 3-2 count to Brown to load the bases. Sam Laroche walked-in Landry to tie the game and send it to a ninth frame. 

“That was a good baseball game,” Slicer said. “It stinks to lose because we haven’t lost in a while so it’s not great but give them credit. We had two outs and nobody on in the eighth and they fought.”

Janek Luksza, who at shortstop made two incredible double plays during the game and another running, over-the-shoulder catch down the foul line, came in to pitch the ninth and made quick work of the Pastime lineup. 

On the other side of the ball, Landry kept on dealing for Pastime. Brown was pitching well in the first four innings but felt something in his hip and was taken out.

Reed said he asked Landry for ‘A couple innings,’ but got much more. 

“Just go get outs and get back in the game,” Landry said. “That’s all it was. Throw strikes and depend on the defense. You don’t expect to go in there and throw just one inning, you’re always ready to go the distance. Especially in high school you don’t have starters and relievers. You go through one inning then the next, that type of thing.”

Bessey couldn’t get any offense in the top of the tenth inning, a testament to Pastime’s fight, a far-cry from the team’s opening loss to Topsham. 

We were still intact, bending not breaking,” Landry said. “That’s the big thing, keeping all the guys in the game and keeping it close because once you blow it you know you blow it and that’s when morale drops.”

The bottom of the tenth began with two singles in a row, followed by another intentional walk to Brown to load the bases with no outs. Laroche then grounded into a 1-2-3 double-play and the 11th inning was on the horizon. 

That’s when Bossie hit a single into right field to push in the winning run. 

“Just put the ball in play, get a base hit and score the run on third and win the game,” Bossie said of his mindset entering the at-bat. “It feels amazing because we’ve been right there with them all the time so it’s good to get a win. Just to know that we can beat anyone.”

With just 11 players available because of travel baseball taking away five regulars, PAstime had to dig deep to earn the win on Thursday. 

“Getting a win against these guys, it’s huge going into the next couple weeks because we will have some guys missing,” Landry said. “But as long as the morale is there we’ll be good.”

Bessey Motors’ Rod Bean is forced out at home plate by catcher Brock Belanger during Thursday evening’s baseball game at Lewiston’s Elliot Field. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

Bessey Motors’ Rod Bean gets to first base as Pastime’s Damon Bossie waits for the ball during Thursday evening’s baseball game at Lewiston’s Elliot Field. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

Pastime’s Ethan Brown fires the ball over the plate during Thursday evening’s baseball game at Lewiston’s Elliot Field. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

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