AUGUSTA – At this time of year, it doesn’t matter how good you look, how many hits your batters have, how many strikeouts your pitcher has or even how many errors you make.

All that matters is you win.

And that’s why you won’t find anyone from Morrill Post moaning about how they defeated Bessey Motors on Wednesday in the opening round of the American Legion baseball state tournament at Morton Field.

Morrill, comprised of players from South Portland, was outhit by Bessey and scored two runs on wild pitches and two more on hit batters with the bases loaded in an 8-4 victory.

Morrill ace Andrew Richards struggled at times but made enough quality pitches and got enough defensive help to earn the complete-game decision.

“We did enough to win the game,” said Morrill Coach Mike Owens. “And at this time of year, that’s all you can ask.”

Morrill plays Bangor at 4 p.m. today at McGuire Field. Bessey Motors (Oxford Hills) plays Ramsdell-Rogers Post at 11 a.m. at McGuire.

“You get (15) hits, you give up (nine) and you wonder how this happens,” said Bessey Coach Joe Oufiero. “Give them credit. They kept their composure and made plays.”

Morrill took advantage of mistakes by Bessey, especially in the second inning when it scored five times on just two hits.

Zach Horton led off by reaching on a wild pitch after he struck out. Evan Indorf singled him to second and he went to third on a wild pickoff throw by pitcher Erik Henderson.

Brendan Horton walked to load the bases before Matt DiBiase and Shawn Shannon were each hit by a pitch, forcing in the first two runs.

Paul Reny singled to drive in the third run, and the fourth scored on an outfield error on Reny’s hit. The fifth scored on a wild pitch.

Bessey rallied to within 7-3 and had the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh, with the fourth and fifth batters coming up. At that point, said Richards, “I was just thinking they were not going to score. I wanted to keep the ball low and get a ground ball.”

First he got a strikeout, one of his seven. Then he got the ground ball, which second baseman Jack Lano turned into a 4-6-3 double play.

“I was hoping to get maybe one or two runs there,” said Oufiero. “What do I do? Squeeze a run in? We had our four and five hitters coming up. I hoped for the best. He pitched out of the jam.”

As he did throughout the game.

“They were aggressive,” said Owens. “They kept coming at us. But (Richards) made pitches when he needed to.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH