Wells rallies to hand Yarmouth first loss in 10-inning marathon

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Yarmouth senior Conor O’Donnell steals second as Wells shortstop Liam Bell fails to come up with the throw during the teams’ marathon Monday afternoon. The Clippers couldn’t hold a 6-4 seventh inning lead and suffered their first setback, 8-7, in 10 innings.

Chris Lambert photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Wells 8 Yarmouth 7 (10 innings)

W- 040 000 210 1- 8 12 6
Y- 203 100 010 0- 7 13 2

Bottom 1st
Snyder reached on infield single, Cawley scored. Harnett scored on error.

Top 2nd
Skeats singled to right, Nick Cousins scored. Liam Bell tripled to right, Skeats scored. Liam Bell scored on error. Ramsey singled to center, Charlie Bell scored.

Bottom 3rd
Cawley and Harnett scored on error. Kinsman singled to left, Klenda scored.

Bottom 4th
Snyder singled to center, Harnett scored.

Top 7th
Ramsey reached on infield single, Liam Bell scored. Cam Cousins hit sacrifice fly to right, Charlie Bell scored.

Top 8th
Liam Bell hit into force out, Skeats scored.

Bottom 8th
Snyder reached on infield single, Cawley scored, Harnett thrown out at home. 

Top 10th
Cody Cousins hit into force out, Wrigley scored. 

Repeat hitters:
W- Charlie Bell, Liam Bell, Nick Cousins, Ramsey, Wrigley
Y- Harnett, Kinsman, Snyder 3, O’Donnell 

Runs:
W- Charlie Bell, Liam Bell, Skeats 2, Nick Cousins, Wrigley 
Y- Cawley, Harnett 3, Klenda 

RBI:
W- Liam Bell, Ramsey 2, Cam Cousins, Cody Cousins, Skeats
Y- Snyder 3, Kinsman

Doubles:
W- Charlie Bell, Wrigley
Y- Kinsman

Triple:
W- Liam Bell 

Stolen bases:
Y- Klenda, O’Donnell

Left on base:
W-12
Y- 12

N. Cousins, Ramsey (5), C. Bell (8) and Wrigley; Klenda, Harnett (8), T. Waaler (10) and Snyder

W:
N. Cousins 4 IP 9 H 6 R 1 ER 3 BB 3 K 3 WP
Ramsey 3.1 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 2 BB 1 K
C. Bell (W, 3-0) 2.2 1 H 0 R 1 BB 3 K 2 HBP

Y:
Klenda 7 IP 9 H 6 R 5 ER 3 BB 5 K 2 WP
Harnett 2 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 1 HBP
T. Waaler (L, 0-1) 1 IP 1 H 1 R 0 ER 1 BB 1 HBP 

Time: 2:44

YARMOUTH—Yarmouth’s baseball team has had almost everything go its way this spring, but the Clippers’ luck finally ran out Monday afternoon in a home tilt versus Wells which went on and on and on.

On a day which saw Yarmouth commit errors in the field and on the basepaths and fail to come up with the big hit, an undefeated record proved to be the casualty.

The Clippers got off to a fast start in the first inning, when, after senior ace Luke Klenda stranded two runners in the top half, Yarmouth scored twice in the bottom half, as senior catcher Jack Snyder singled home a run and a second scored on an error.

The Warriors then hinted that it might not be Yarmouth’s day in the top of the second, when they got an RBI single from third baseman Drew Skeats, an RBI triple from shortstop Liam Bell, an RBI single from second baseman Sam Ramsey and a fourth run on an error.

As they so often do, the Clippers clawed right back on top in the third, as an error scored the tying runs and an RBI single from senior second baseman Andrew Kinsman put them ahead, 5-4.

Yarmouth tacked on a run in the fourth, on an RBI single from Klenda, who set Wells down in the fifth and sixth innings, putting the hosts on the brink of victory, but the Warriors refused to go quietly.

In the seventh, an infield single from Liam Bell, followed by a ringing double from centerfielder Charlie Bell put the tying runs on. With one out, Ramsey singled off Klenda, scoring Liam Bell and a sacrifice fly from first baseman Cam Cousins scored Charlie Bell to tie the score and eventually force extra innings.

Wells went ahead, 7-6, in the eighth, as Liam Bell drove in Skeats, but in the bottom half, the never-say-die Clippers got a clutch two-out, infield RBI single from Snyder to tie the game again.

After both teams left runners on in the ninth, the Warriors got a one-out double from catcher Michael Wrigley in the 10th and eventually loaded the bases. Designated hitter Cody Cousins’ ground ball was hit too slowly for a double play and Wrigley crossed the plate with the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 10th, senior first baseman Conor O’Donnell was hit by a pitch leading off, but he never advanced, as senior rightfielder C.J. Cawley, junior leftfielder Gibson Harnett and Klenda all struck out swinging against Charlie Bell, who had a terrific relief stint, and Wells prevailed in a 2-hour, 44-minute marathon, 8-7.

The Warriors improved to 5-2, got a sought-after signature victory and dropped Yarmouth to 6-1-1 in the process.

“We didn’t play our best, but it’s a big win for us and one we can build on,” said Wells coach Todd Day.

“We’ve had a lot go our way so far and I’m confident we’ll bounce back,” said Clippers coach Marc Halsted.

By any means necessary

Yarmouth has become notorious under Halsted for doing whatever it takes to prevail. The Clippers are always aggressive on the basepaths, use their whole roster and sometimes even turn to the most unlikely of characters to take the mound or hit in a key spot.

All of that has remained true this spring as Yarmouth impressed from the get-go. The Clippers had to go nine innings to take the opener at Wells, 4-2, then won at home over Freeport (4-1) and Fryeburg Academy (9-0) and at Gray-New Gloucester (8-5). Last Tuesday, Yarmouth settled for a 4-4 tie at Greely (in a game which saw the Clippers go on top, 7-4, in the top of the 10th, only to see the game called by darkness, forcing the score to revert back to what it was after nine innings and the teams split the Heal Points). Yarmouth then won, 9-7, at Lake Region last Wednesday behind O’Donnell’s first career start and downed visiting Poland Friday, 13-3.

Wells opened with a 4-2 (nine-inning) home loss to Yarmouth, then handled visiting Fryeburg Academy (9-1) and Gray-New Gloucester (8-0). After a 4-3 loss at Greely, the Warriors held off visiting Lake Region and Poland by identical 3-2 scores.

Last season, the Clippers beat the visiting Warriors, 7-4.

Monday, on a 54-degree day with a brisk 15-mile-per-hour blowing out to rightfield, Wells saved its best for last and came away with a key victory.

Klenda started the game by getting Liam Bell to fly out to right, but Charlie Bell drew a walk and Cody Cousins singled to right. Ramsey then hit the ball hard, but it was right at senior third baseman Joe DeFusco for the second out. Klenda then struck out first baseman Cam Cousins swinging to end the frame.

Yarmouth got right to work in its half of the first, as O’Donnell led off by going the other way, singling into the hole between shortstop and third base. After O’Donnell stole second, Cawley reached when Liam Bell couldn’t handle his ground ball. When Harnett hit the ball to Skeats at third and he mishanded it, the bases were loaded with none out. Klenda had a chance to strike a big early blow, but he hit the ball right back to Wells starter Nick Cousins, who threw home to Wrigley for one out and Wrigley threw on to first to complete the double play.

That brought up Snyder, who has been a Wells-killer this school year. In November, Snyder ran for a touchdown and caught a long TD pass in the Clippers’ 17-14 win over the Warriors in the Class C South Final. Last month, he had the go-ahead RBI in Yarmouth’s nine-inning win at Wells. He salvaged the inning by lining a single off Nick Cousins’ leg, bringing home Cawley. Ramsey threw the ball away in an attempt to catch Snyder at first and the third error of the inning allowed Harnett to score too. DeFusco grounded out to short, but the Clippers had a quick 2-0 lead.

It didn’t last.

In the top of the second, Nick Cousins led off with an infield single. He was wild pitched to second and after leftfielder Tim Barnard grounded out to the pitcher, moving Cousins to third, Skeats singled to right to cut the deficit to one. Wrigley flew to right for the second out, but Liam Bell got a hold of a pitch and lined it over Cawley’s head in right for an RBI triple. Charlie Bell walked, then took off for second. When Snyder’s throw went through, Liam Bell raced home and Charlie Bell took third on an errant throw. Cody Cousins walked and Ramsey followed with an RBI single to left. Klenda retired Cam Cousins on an excuse me swing grounder to third, but the Warriors had batted around and took a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom half, Kinsman struck out swinging and junior shortstop Chris Romano was robbed by a nice stab at third by Liam Bell for the second out. After senior centerfielder Noah Pellerin drew a walk, O’Donnell grounded into a force play to end the frame.

Klenda settled down in the third, getting Nick Cousins to look at strike three, Barnard to ground out to second and Skeats to also ground out to Kinsman.

Yarmouth retook the lead in the bottom half, sending eight batters to the plate.

Cawley got the uprising started with a single to right and Harnett beat out an infield single. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Klenda then hit a sharp grounder to Ramsey, but the ball got through him for an error and both runners came home to tie the game. After Snyder struck out, Klenda stole second and took third on an error. DeFusco walked and Kinsman followed with a single to left, plating Klenda for the go-ahead run. Romano walked to load the bases, but Pellerin wasn’t able to break the game open, hitting into a pitcher-to-catcher-to-first double play to keep the score 5-4 after three innings.

Klenda started the fourth by getting Wrigley to ground out to second on a 3-2 pitch. He then struck out Liam Bell, but Charlie Bell beat out an infield single on a ground ball to short. Klenda then fanned Cody Cousins to end the threat.

The Clippers added to their lead in the bottom half.

O’Donnell led off with a single to left on an 0-2 pitch. Cawley struck out swinging, but Harnett beat out an infield single. On the play, however, Skeats caught O’Donnell off second and picked him off for the second out. Klenda kept the inning alive with a single to right and Snyder followed with a single up the middle to plate Harnett. A wild pitch put runners at second and third, but again, Yarmouth couldn’t get the big hit to break the game open, as DeFusco grounded out to third keeping the score 6-4.

Klenda cruised along in the fifth, getting Ramsey to fly out deep to left, Cam Cousins to fly out to right and Nick Cousins to line to center.

In the bottom of the fifth, Nick Cousins was replaced by Ramsey, who allowed an infield single to Kinsman leading off. Romano laid down a nice sacrifice bunt, but Kinsman tried to go to third on the play and Cam Cousins threw to Liam Bell to tag him out, with Bell making an acrobatic leap in the process. Pellerin lined out to second to end the inning.

Klenda got even stronger in the sixth, again retiring the Warriors in order. Barnard grounded out to short, Skeats grounded out to third and Wrigley hit a ground ball to second to get Yarmouth within three outs of victory.

O’Donnell led off the bottom half of the inning with a sharp ground ball that appeared ticketed for centerfield, but Ramsey snared it with his bare hand, only to throw it away, allowing O’Donnell to reach. Ramsey didn’t allow any further damage, as Cawley struck out, Harnett grounded into a first-to-pitcher putout and with O’Donnell at second, Klenda grounded out to second to end it.

Wells roared back to tie the score in the seventh.

Liam Bell led off with a grounder to second, which appeared to be the first out, but Bell raced out of the box and beat Kinsman’s throw by a half-step. Charlie Bell then made solid contact, lacing a double over Pellerin’s head, putting the tying runs in scoring position. Klenda fanned Cody Cousins swinging, but Ramsey singled off Klenda’s leg, scoring Liam Bell and putting runners at the corners. Cam Cousins then hit a fly ball deep enough to right to score Charlie Bell to tie it. Nick Cousins grounded out to third, but the score was 6-6 and the game headed to the bottom of the seventh.

There, the Clippers had a chance to end it, but after both Snyder and DeFusco grounded out to third and Kinsman doubled to left-center and Romano walked, junior pinch-hitter John Thoma’s line drive to right was caught to send the game to extra innings.

Wells built on its momentum by taking the lead in the top of the eighth against Harnett, who replaced Klenda on the mound.

Barnard flew out to right leading off, but Harnett hit Skeats and Wrigley singled to right to put runners at the corners. Liam Bell then appeared to single to right, but Cawley threw to second for the force out. Regardless, Skeats scored for the lead. Charlie Bell then lined out to short, but the Warriors were on top.

They couldn’t hold the lead.

O’Donnell grounded out to second leading off the bottom of the eighth, but Cawley drew a walk and Harnett singled to left to bring up Klenda. Day pulled Ramsey in favor of Charlie Bell, who didn’t have much time to warm up, but he did get Klenda to ground out to third, with the runners moving up. That set the stage for Snyder, who, on an 0-2 pitch, hit the ball slowly to short and he stretched to beat the throw. Cawley scored to tie the game, 7-7, and Halsted send Harnett home to try and win it, but Cam Cousins’ throw home was in plenty of time to catch Harnett and send the game to a ninth inning.

“We’re always going to be aggressive,” Halsted said. “There’s nowhere to hide on the diamond. We’re going to try and take an extra base on a bunt. We’re going to send a runner home from second on a ground out. Today, it just didn’t work.”

Cody Cousins grounded out to second and Ramsey grounded out to a diving DeFusco to start the ninth, but Cam Cousins walked and Nick Cousins hit a ground ball single up the middle which bounced over both Harnett and Romano’s gloves. Barnard then sent a drive deep to left, but Harnett ran it down to retire the side.

DeFusco was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the ninth, putting the winning run on and Kinsman walked to make victory even more likely, but with Romano at the plate, Wrigley picked Kinsman off. Romano and Pellerin then both grounded out to short and it was on to inning number 10.

There, Wells finally secured victory.

Senior Tyler Waaler came on to pitch for Yarmouth and got Skeats to ground back to the mound leading off, but Wrigley doubled to the gap in left-center and DeFusco couldn’t handle Liam Bell’s sharp grounder to put runners at second and third. Charlie Bell was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a force at home, but Cody Cousins managed to hit the ball slowly to short and even though Romano threw to second for one out, Kinsman’s relay to first was too late for the double play and Wrigley scored for the lead. Ramsey was hit by a pitch to reload the bases, but Cam Cousins’ line drive to right was caught to keep it a one-run game.

O’Donnell led off the bottom of the 10th by being hit by a pitch, giving the Clippers a chance to rally once more, but Charlie Bell saved his best for last, striking out Cawley, Harnett and Klenda swinging in succession and at 6:42 p.m., after nearly three grueling hours, the Warriors were 8-7 victors.

“Yarmouth is a very good team,” Day said. “I’m proud of how my guys kept fighting.”

Wells’ offense featured two hits apiece from Charlie Bell, Liam Bell, Nick Cousins, Ramsey and Wrigley. Charlie Bell, Liam Bell and Skeats all scored two runs, while Nick Cousins and Wrigley touched home once each. Liam Bell and Ramsey both drove in a pair of runs and Cam Cousins, Cody Cousins and Skeats also had RBI.

The Warriors stranded 12 runners, but overcame.

Charlie Bell improved to 3-0 after earning the win thanks to 2.2 innings of shutout relief. He allowed one hit, one walk and hit two batters, but struck out three. Nick Cousins gave up nine hits and six runs (just one earned) in his four inning starting stint. He walked three, threw three wild pitches and fanned three. Ramsey allowed a run on three hits in 3.1 innings. He walked two and struck out one.

“Charlie pitched very well,” Day said. “I thought I might have brought him in too quickly, since he didn’t have time to warm up, but he only got stronger and was tough at the end. I thought Sean Ramsey pitched really well in his relief stint and Nick overcame some errors early. We usually field better than that.”

Yarmouth got three hits apiece from Harnett, Kinsman and Snyder and two from O’Donnell. Cawley and Harnett both scored three runs, while Klenda scored once. Snyder had three RBI and Kinsman drove in a run. Klenda and O’Donnell had stolen bases. 

The Clippers left 12 runners on base.

Waaler fell to 0-1 after giving up the one unearned run on one hit in one inning. He walked a batter and hit another. Klenda surrendered six runs (five earned) on nine hits in seven innings, walking three, throwing two wild pitches and fanning five. Harnett gave up a run on two hits and a walk in two innings of relief. He hit a batter and walked another.

“Wells is a good team,” Halsted said. “They fought hard. We had the right guys up in the right spot and I’m confident that next time they’ll come through.”

Second half kickoff

Wells (now fifth in the Class B South Heal Points standings) continues its road trip Wednesday at York and visits another undefeated squad, Falmouth, on Friday.

“We think we have a team that can play with anybody,” Day said. “We’ve been competitive. It won’t get any easier.” 

Yarmouth (now third in Class B) is in the hunt for a high playoff seed, but there is a lot of business to take care of first, starting with a home game versus York Friday. The Clippers host Falmouth for a showdown Monday, then have to travel to Kennebunk, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Poland in succession. Home games against Gray-New Gloucester and Cape Elizabeth close the season.

Yarmouth expects to quickly bounce back.

“Tuesday’s our fun day,” said Halsted. “We’ll have fun tomorrow at practice, then get back at it. We have some tough games coming up. We’re right in the thick of things.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

Yarmouth senior starter Luke Klenda delivers a pitch early in the game. Klenda went seven innings, but didn’t earn a decision.

Yarmouth senior rightfielder C.J. Cawley makes contact.

Yarmouth junior shortstop Chris Romano soars to catch a line drive.

Yarmouth senior second baseman Andrew Kinsman fields a ground ball.

Yarmouth senior rightfielder C.J. Cawley catches a fly ball.

Yarmouth junior Gibson Harnett is greeted by senior Joe DeFusco after scoring a run.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.