SOUTH PORTLAND – The No. 12 Scots ran a neck-and-neck race with the No. 5 Riots on Wednesday, June 7, Connor Sirois, Kolby Lambert and Christian Napolitano putting up runs for Bonny Eagle through the first half of the game. South Portland, however, pulled ahead by a nose on a Zach Johnson notch in the late going and ultimately took the prelims bout, 4-3.
“I thought we were in the game to the very end,” Bonny Eagle head coach Ricky Hession said. “They just made a few more plays and had some big hits in spots that we did not and it was the difference.”
Sirois put the Scots on top 1-0 in the top of the first, walking onto first and eventually scoring on an Arlo Pike single. But the Riots inched out front in the second, when Caden Horton and Khem Johnston both circled the bases.
Bonny Eagle retook the lead in the top of the third. Lambert tallied on a Napolitano single and Napolitano tallied on another Pike single for 3-2. That, however, is where the Scots’ offensive well would run dry. Meanwhile, South Portland had two more in them. Both belonged to Johnson, who balanced the books in the bottom of the third and earned the game’s final point in the fifth.
The Scots generated additional chances as the game went on, they simply couldn’t convert. “I’m not sure there was a turning point,” Hession said, “but not scoring with runners on first and second with nobody out in the fourth and fifth innings was a killer…We also didn’t do a great job of executing our bunting game, while they did a very good job of executing defensively.”
Hession praised Sirois, his starting pitcher. “Connor put us in a position to win on the mound, making his pitches when we needed to.”
“I felt pretty good,” Sirois said. “I knew I just needed to give us a shot to win, and we had it. We had a great end to the season and got ourselves where we wanted to be. They made more plays then we did on that particular day, but I couldn’t be more proud of how we played and battled this season.”
Behind Sirois, the other Scots looked sharp in the field, though they did commit a critical misstep or two. “I thought we were solid overall defensively, but South Portland definitely took advantage of a couple mistakes,” Hession said.
The Scots bested the Riots 10-3 on May 27; in fact, Bonny Eagle needed the win to reach the postseason at all. “We had no errors and couldn’t have played better (that day),” said Sirois. “Mistakes hurt us in the playoff game.”
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Sam Troiano rips a pitch toward the plate in South Portland’s prelims win over Bonny Eagle.
Anthony Perron dives back to first in South Portland’s prelims victory over the Scots.
South Portland third baseman Jimmy Dibiase chases down Scots runner Will Whyte.