BANGOR — Bessey Motors played its game on Monday with its back up against the wall. When the pressure was on in a way that it hasn’t been over the past few years, Bessey delivered. 

Last year’s Legion runners-up defeated Windham 9-2 on Monday to reach the final of the losers bracket in the American Legion baseball state tournament. 

After only scoring one run in its loss to Acadians on Sunday, Bessey found its offense early and often against Windham in a win-or-go-home matchup. 

In the first, Cam Slicer led off the game with a triple and immediately scored on a Rod Bean single. The quick start continued when Janek Luksza moved Bean to third base on a single and then reached second on the throw, followed by a two-run single from Hunter LaBossiere to make it 3-1. Windham’s Bryce Afthim scored in the top half of the first on a Ryan Sargent single. 

In the second, Nate Plummer walked and then later scored when Afthim singled to get a run back for Windham to make it 3-2. 

The third and fourth innings were quiet for both teams as Bessey’s Wyatt Williamson and Windham’s Cam Seymour both found their groves. 

Williamson went six innings on the mound for Bessey, allowing just four hits and striking out 10. Jonny Pruett pitched a scoreless seventh and struck out one batter and walked another. 

Bessey woke its bats up eventually in the fifth, when Bean and Luksza reached base on a walk and a wild-pitch third strike, respectively, followed by a LaBossiere double that drove in both to go up 5-2. 

“Hunter has been going pretty good, but the past couple games he only had one hit,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said. “This was a good breakout for him. He’s a very good hitter and when he gets hot, he gets hot. He was outstanding today, he was the offense. It gives us a lot of confidence.”

Ashton Kennison then walked and moved to second as LaBossiere scored on a Windham error to make it 6-2. 

Three more runs were scored in the sixth as Bessey started the inning with walks to Ethan Cutler, Pruett, Slicer and Bean. Luksza hit a sacrifice fly to score Pruett to go up 8-2. Slicer was tagged out at third on the throw, but LaBossiere tripled in Bessey’s next plate appearance and drove in Bean for the game’s final run. 

LaBossiere finished the day 4-for-4 with five RBIs. 

“In this tournament you’re going to have pressure situations all the time,” Slicer said. “Hunter seems right now to be the guy that is producing really well, no question. Under pressure he’s playing very well.”

Bessey Motors plays RH Foster (Hampden Academy) at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a spot in the state championship matchup.


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