SOUTH PORTLAND — Left-hander Nick DiBiase scattered six hits Thursday as two-time defending state champion Nova Seafood rolled to a 12-1 victory against Bangor to remain in the winners’ bracket of the American Legion baseball state tournament at the Wainwright Sports Complex.

Nova Seafood will play Gayton Post of Lewiston at 3:30 p.m. today in a matchup featuring the double-elimination tournament’s only two unbeaten teams.

Nova Seafood, made up primarily of players from Deering High in Portland, coupled DiBiase’s strong pitching with an opportunistic offense to win a game stopped after 61/2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

“We finally came and swung the bats,” said shortstop Nick Colucci, who drove in two runs with a pair of singles. “(Wednesday) we just weren’t there at the beginning of the game. We kind of came on late in the game.”

On Wednesday, Nova Seafood rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to pull out a 7-4 victory against Bessey Motors.

On Thursday, Nova Seafood led nearly from the outset and put the game away with a nine-run fifth.

Aside from the third inning, when Bangor collected three of its hits to score its lone run, DiBiase was in charge.

“Right off the gate, he was able to throw all three of his pitches, fastball, curve and change-up, for strikes,” Nova Seafood Coach Mike D’Andrea said. “The key to his outing was pounding the strike zone.”

DiBiase, who retired the first six batters and 11 of the final 13, had good control from the start. In the first inning, he threw 11 of 12 pitches for strikes.

“A couple of strikeouts were following up change-ups with fastballs,” D’Andrea said. “When his change-up is effective, it give his fastball a lot more giddy up.”

Nova Seafood took a 2-0 lead in the second inning without hitting the ball out of the infield.

Kyle Danielson led with an infield hit. After DiBiase walked, both baserunners moved up on a balk by losing pitcher Jesse Wood.

One run scored on Cam Brown’s infield hit and the other scored on Matt Bevilacqua’s grounder.

Nate Lewis drove in the Bangor run with a single after Christian Corneil led off the third with a single and stole second.

Jamie Ross made it 3-1 in the bottom of the third when he doubled with one out, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a throwing error.

In the nine-run fifth, DiBiase drove in two runs with the first of his two doubles. Travis Wade hit a two-run single and Colucci hit two run-producing singles during the inning as Nova Seafood sent 13 batters to the plate. A double by Johnny Miranda and two errors also produced runs.

“We just set the pedal down and we just kept going,” Ross said.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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