Central Maine took an early lead on Bessey Motors on Saturday afternoon and never looked back, holding onto a 3-1 win in the first round of the Maine American Legion baseball state tournament at Husson University in Bangor. 

Central Maine scored first with a run in the second when Hunter McEwen hit a double to drive home Jacob Thomas. 

In the fourth, Central Maine tacked on two more runs to go up 3-0.

Bessey Motors answered back in the fifth when Wyatt Knightly was hit by a pitch to get on base, followed by a move to second on a grounder from Brady Truman. Ty LeBlond hit a single two batters later to drive in Bessey’s only run of the game. 

“The energy was great,” Bessey Motors coach Shane Slicer said. “Two good teams played awfully hard.”

Bessey Motors left the bases loaded three times on Saturday and the runners left on base leave Bessey in the loser’s bracket heading into Sunday. 

“It’s do or die now,” Slicer said. “We didn’t have a key hit and we played one of the best teams in the state. Our approach tomorrow is to win and our guys think they will win. They’re upset but they’re ready to go. It’s not easy but some of the guys were on our team two years ago that went to the state game and that team believed they could do it.”

Eli Soehren took the loss on the mound and had five strikeouts. Central Maine’s James Smith had six punchouts in the win.

Bessey Motors will play Queen City on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Quirk Motor City 7, Turner Bandits 1

Quirk Motor City defeated Turner Bandits 7-1 on Saturday night, scoring early and often. 

Quirk scored in the top-half of the first inning, then a run in the third and fourth followed by two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings. 

Alex Tash scored three runs and earned a walk in the win, while teammate Tanner Evans scored two and Silas Graham and Matt Seymour added a run apiece. 

The Turner Bandits answered Quirk’s run in the third with a run of their own when Jayden Ruel hit a triple and then scored on a wild pitch. 

“I thought we looked good,” Turner assistant coach Ryan Palmer said. “We played a good game for about four innings and the score was tight but we couldn’t get them home, left the bases loaded one inning. Then when we went down by three runs, our body language took a turn and that was a bummer to see. That’s the thing about baseball, it’s not a timed sport. We had time to get back. I thought we got down on ourselves and they scored and it went to 7-1.”

Turner will play on Sunday in the loser’s bracket against Erskine.

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