York's relentless bats down Cape Elizabeth

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Cape Elizabeth senior Marshall Peterson delivers a first inning pitch during the Capers’ 8-3 home loss to York Friday.

BOX SCORE

York 8 Cape Elizabeth 3

Y- 010 421 0- 8 17 3 
CE- 000 003 0- 3 6 3

Top 2nd
LaBonte scored on error.

Top 4th
Pidgeon flew out to center, Carr scored. Kelley scored on fielder’s choice. MacDonald singled to left, Linn scored. Gundlah doubled to left, Nielsen scored.

Top 5th
Pidgeon singled to left-center, Nelson scored. MacDonald singled to right, Linn scored.

Top 6th
Linn singled to left-center, LaBonte scored.

Bottom 6th
Bowe scored on wild pitch. McAlister grounded out to second, Agrodnia scored. Tinsman scored on error. 

Repeat hitters:
Y- Linn 4, LaBonte, MacDonald 3, Carr, Gundlah
CE- Bowe 

Runs:
Y- LaBonte, Linn 2, Carr, Kelley, Neilson, Nelson
CE- Agrodnia, Bowe, Tinsman 

RBI:
Y- MacDonald, Pidgeon 2, Gundlah, Neilson 
CE- McAlister

Doubles
Y- Gundlah
CE- Sullivan

Stolen bases:
CE- Bowe, Tinsman 

Left on base:
Y- 13
CE- 5

Rodriguez and Gundlah; Peterson, Sullivan (5), Weare (5) and Tinsman

Y: 
Rodriguez (W, 2-1) 7 IP 6 H 3 R 2 ER 0 BB 2 K 1 HBP

CE:
Peterson (L, 1-2) 4 IP 7 H 5 R 0 ER 2 BB 2 K
* Sullivan 0 IP 3 H 2 R 2 ER 1 BB 0 K
Weare 3 IP 7 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 0 K 1 WP

* Sullivan pitched to four batters in the fifth 

Time: 1:56

CAPE ELIZABETH—York’s offense is potent enough without help.

When you give the Wildcats extra outs or let them off the hook when you’re at-bat, you’re doomed and Cape Elizabeth learned that the hard way in a midseason baseball showdown at Holman Field Friday afternoon.

The Capers were shaky defensively and on the basepaths early on, didn’t do senior starter Marshall Peterson any favors, and York soon seized control.

The Wildcats grabbed the lead for good in the top of the second inning, when senior first baseman Trevor LaBonte scored on an error.

York then seized control in the fourth, as one run scored on a sacrifice fly, another came home on a ground ball and RBI hits from junior third baseman Tim MacDonald and sophomore catcher Dawson Gundlah produced a 5-0 advantage.

The Wildcats weren’t done, as sophomore rightfielder Shane Pidgeon and MacDonald had RBI singles in the fifth and freshman shortstop Riley Linn drove in another in the sixth to make it 8-0.

In the bottom half, the Capers finally got to York senior starter Andrew Rodriguez for three runs, as one scored on a wild pitch, another came home on senior Brett McAlister’s ground out and a third scored on an error, but Cape Elizabeth could draw no closer and the Wildcats went on to an 8-3 victory.

York produced 17 hits total, led by four from Linn and three apiece from LaBonte and MacDonald, as it improved to 6-2, dropping Cape Elizabeth to 5-4 in the process.

“We put them in a good situation early on with errors and when we had runners on, we couldn’t get a bunt down,” lamented Capers coach Andy Wood. “We ran into an out on the bases. We have to be smarter than that. In a game like this, I hoped we’d show up better and compete.”

Steady improvement

Both Cape Elizabeth and York have lived up to the preseason hype and have positioned themselves as contenders in Class B South at the midway pole of the regular season.

The Capers started with a 2-0 home loss to Falmouth, then handed host Greely its lone loss to date, 4-3, before beating visiting Fryeburg Academy (5-2) and Poland (6-0). After an 11-1, five-inning loss at Falmouth and a 2-0 home setback to Wells, Cape Elizabeth downed visiting Kennebunk, 12-2, in six-innings, and Wednesday, beat host Freeport in a regional final rematch, 10-0, in five-innings.

York began with wins at Kennebunk (10-4) and at home over Sacopee Valley (5-1) before losing at Yarmouth, 4-3. After edging visiting Wells, 1-0, the Wildcats handled visiting Fryeburg Academy, 11-1, in five-innings. A 2-1 loss at Wells followed, but Wednesday, York beat visiting Kennebunk, 5-2.

Last year, the teams split, both winning on the road, Cape Elizabeth 16-4, in six-innings, at York, and the Wildcats, 6-3, at the Capers.

Friday, York won at Cape Elizabeth for the third year in a row.

Peterson got senior centerfielder Chris Neilson to ground out to short to start the game, but Rodriguez followed by reaching on an error. MacDonald bounced into a force out and Peterson got Gundlah to ground out to third to get out of the frame.

In the bottom half, Capers junior shortstop Finn Bowe grounded out to short and junior second baseman Sean Agrodnia was out on a slow roller to short. Junior catcher Brendan Tinsman then hit a sharp ground ball to Linn at short, who couldn’t handle it for an error, but Peterson grounded sharply to third, where MacDonald made a nice backhanded stab before throwing on to first to retire the side.

The Wildcats took the lead in the second, thanks to some Capers’ largesse.

LaBonte led off with an infield single to the hole between short and third and he was sacrifice bunted to second by junior designated hitter Tommy Carr. Peterson fanned sophomore second baseman Jake Nelson, but Linn followed with a single to right. LaBonte was going to be held at third base, but the throw back to the infield from senior Jack Misterovich got away for an error and LaBonte scored. Pidgeon ended the inning by grounding into a force out, but York was ahead to stay.

In the bottom half, McAlister led off by reaching on an error and junior designated Ryan Weare followed with a single to center, but Cape Elizabeth wouldn’t score.

Junior third baseman Carson Sullivan hit the ball hard, but MacDonald dove to his left to make a nice catch, junior first baseman Val Murphy popped out foul to the catcher and junior leftfielder Jack Glanville grounded out to third.

Peterson escaped a jam in the top of the third to keep it a one-run game.

After Nelson popped out to second, Rodriguez reached on an infield single and MacDonald walked on a full count pitch. Peterson then got Gundlah to ground to third for a force out and LaBonte to line to right.

In the bottom half, the Capers ran themselves out of an opportunity to tie.

Bowe led off and reached on an infield single. With Agrodnia at the plate, Bowe easily stole second and Gundlah’s throw was high and rolled into centerfield. Bowe hesitated, then took off for third and was thrown out by a strong peg from Neilson. Agrodnia and Tinsman then grounded out to Linn at short.

In the fourth, York gained some breathing room, thanks to four hits, a walk and a Cape Elizabeth error.

Carr started the uprising with a single to center. Sophomore Jack Kelley pinch-hit and grounded to Bowe at short, who threw to Agrodnia for a force out, but Agrodnia dropped the ball and both runners were safe. Linn followed with a bloop single over Agrodnia and the bases were loaded.

Pidgeon then gave the ball a ride and forced McAlister to run it down in deep center, allowing Carr to score easily on the sacrifice fly. Kelley moved up to third on the play and he would score when Neilson grounded to Sullivan at third and Sullivan’s throw home wasn’t in time. After Rodriguez flew out deep to left, MacDonald singled to left, scoring Linn for a 4-0 lead. Gundlah followed with a doubled down the leftfield line, scoring Neilson and putting runners at second and third, but after LaBonte was walked intentionally, Peterson struck out Carr, the 10th batter of the inning, to end the frame with the score 5-0.

Rodriguez preserved the lead with a quick bottom of the fourth, getting Peterson to look at strike three, McAlister to fly out deep to center and Weare to line out to center.

Sullivan took over on the mound to start the fifth, but he didn’t record an out.

Nelson led off with a walk and moved to third when Linn singled to right. With the runners on the move, Pidgeon delivered a base hit to left-center to score Nelson to make it 6-0. Neilson beat out an infield hit to load the bases and Sullivan was replaced by Weare.

Weare got Rodriguez to hit a pop up back to the mound, but MacDonald lined a single to right to score Linn. Gundlah then hit the ball sharply on the ground, but it was right at Murphy at second, who tossed to Bowe for a force out and Bowe threw on to first for the double play, keeping the deficit 7-0.

Rodriguez again made quick work of the Capers in the bottom half, getting Sullivan to pop to short, senior pinch-hitter Nat Jordan to bounce back to the mound and Glanville to bunt back to the mound to retire the side.

York added one final run in the sixth, as LaBonte led off with a single to right, Carr followed with a single to left and after the runners moved up on a wild pitch and Nelson grounded out, Linn hit an RBI single to left-center for an 8-0 lead. Linn was out stealing, as Tinsman gunned him down by a couple of steps, and Pidgeon grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.

In the bottom half, Cape Elizabeth’s bats finally came to life and the hosts made things interesting.

Bowe started the frame by beating out an infield hit. Agrodnia then singled to right and Tinsman ripped a single to center to load the bases. Peterson struck out swinging, but strike three got away and Bowe came home with the Capers’ first run. McAlister then grounded to second to easily score Agrodnia and Tinsman came home when Weare’s grounder to third was booted. Sullivan doubled down the leftfield line to put runners at second and third, but the Capers couldn’t draw any closer, as Murphy bounced out to third, keeping the score 8-3.

Weare retired the first two hitters in the seventh, getting Neilson to ground out to second and Rodriguez to fly to center, but MacDonald singled to right-center, Gundlah singled to right and LaBonte reached on a single off Peterson’s glove. Weare finally got the third out when he got Carr to line out to third.

In the bottom half, Cape Elizabeth went meekly, as Rodriguez was able to close out his complete game by getting Glanville to ground out to short, Bowe to ground out to third and Agrodnia to fly to center to end the game in 1 hour, 56 minutes.

“We needed to make the plays,” Wood said. “That’s probably the best team all-around we’ve played. They’re solid defensively. Their third baseman made some nice plays. They hit the ball well and they weren’t scared to run.”

Peterson fell to 1-2 after allowing five unearned runs on seven hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out two.

“Marshall is the same person he’s been the past couple of years,” said Wood. “He’s our best pitcher. He pitched to contact. They had a ton of bleeder hits. When he’s not the first baseman, our infield is weaker.”

Sullivan didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced and surrendered two earned runs on three hits and a walk.

Weare gave up one run on seven hits in three innings.

Bowe paced the offense with two hits and a run scored. Agrodnia and Tinsman also touched home. McAlister had an RBI. Sullivan doubled and Bowe and Tinsman had steals.

The Capers left five runners on base.

For York, Rodriguez improved to 2-1 after allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. He didn’t walk a batter, threw one wild pitch and struck out two.

The Wildcats’ potent attack was paced by four hits from Linn and three apiece from LaBonte and MacDonald. Carr and Gundlah had two apiece. LaBonte and Linn both scored twice, while Carr, Kelley, Neilson and Nelson had one run each. MacDonald and Pidgeon both drove in a run and Gundlah and Neilson also had an RBI. Gundlah had the lone extra base hit, a double.

York left 13 runners on.

Big games ahead

York is back in action Monday when Freeport pays a visit. After hosting Traip Academy Wednesday, the Wildcats have a pivotal showdown at Greely next Friday.

Cape Elizabeth is on the road Monday, at Fryeburg Academy, and visits Gray-New Gloucester Thursday before hosting Greely May 22.

“The good news is that we have seven games left and we’re not playing our best baseball yet,” Wood said. “You remove Brett McAlister and Brendan Tinsman from the lineup, we’re batting .155. We have work to do. Hopefully we get it going. We just want to get in the playoffs and get hot.”

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

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