GRAY – Left-hander Sam Thompson, returning to baseball after a two-year absence, allowed four hits through five innings and his defense turned three double plays Thursday as Greely downed Gray-New Gloucester 10-1 in a Western Maine Conference game.

Gray-New Gloucester, playing its first game, committed four errors and a couple of base-running mistakes.

The Rangers (2-0) used two big innings to put it away. They scored four runs in the third and five in the seventh. They scored their other run in the fifth.

Dan O’Brion of Greely had two triples and four RBI. Thompson picked off two runners at first.

He used a tailing fastball to right-handers and finished with four strikeouts.

“My two-seam fastball was working to right-handers,” said Thompson. “My catcher, Peter Stauber, likes to call it. When you’re on the same page as your catcher, it really helps.”

Thompson picked a runner off first base in each of the first two innings.

“I have good communication with my first baseman, Luke Booth,” he said.

Thompson hadn’t pitched in a baseball game since his freshman year with the junior varsity. He switched to lacrosse for his sophomore and junior years, then decided to return to baseball as a senior.

It was a good thing because the Rangers graduated several players.

“We have some seniors but not a lot of varsity experience,” said Thompson.

Ben Shain relieved to start the bottom of the sixth.

“Sam had thrown a lot of pitches,” said Greely Coach Derek Soule.

“It was his first start.”

Thompson got things started in the four-run third, leading off with a single. He scored on Brad McKenney’s double to right-center.

Stauber doubled home McKenney and two batters later, O’Brion tripled to right-center, driving in two more runs.

The Rangers sent 11 men to the plate in the seventh. O’Brion drove in another two runs with his second triple.

The Patriots put runners on in every inning but couldn’t deliver the big hit.

They had the bases loaded in the sixth, but Shain struck out the last two batters.

The Patriots avoided a shutout by scoring in the seventh. Aaron Grondin, who singled, came around and scored from third on a passed ball.

“Mental errors killed us early,” said Gray-New Gloucester Coach Nolan Beckwith. “Then physical errors killed us later. You can’t do that against a team like Greely.”

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]