AUGUSTA – A strong lineup of hitters and a deep pitching staff has served the Windham American Legion baseball team well this season.
Both attributes were on display Saturday as Windham defeated Madison 12-4 in a play-in game for a spot in Wednesday’s state tournament.
Windham (16-6) will face Westbrook in its opener Wednesday in Augusta while Madison finishes at 14-9.
Windham collected 16 hits off three pitchers, including home runs by Calvin Field and Joey Francoeur. Field led off the game with a home run off Madison starter Brandon Lehay and Windham never trailed, adding a run in the second inning and four in the third.
“They’re some big kids, good athletes,” Madison Manager Peter Kirby said. “They have four or five kids there who are close to 200 pounds. We’ve only got one or two of those kids.”
Windham starter Shawn Francoeur pitched six strong innings before he was relieved by his twin brother, Joey. The right-handed Shawn allowed two runs, scattering eight hits, striking out eight and hitting a batter. Joey allowed a pair of unearned runs and Cody Dube pitched a scoreless ninth.
“I’m a reliever most of the time,” said Joey, a left-hander. “My brother’s the one that starts most of the time. We have quite a pitching staff.”
Lehay opened the third inning by walking the first two batters and paid for it when Joey Francoeur drilled a three-run homer over the fence in right-center just to the left of the 350-foot sign. Shawn Francoeur, who had three hits, doubled and scored on base hit up the middle by Tanner Laberge.
If not for strong defense, Madison might have been knocked from the game earlier. It turned three double plays, including a rare third-to-first-to-third in the eighth, and catcher Garrett Emery threw out two players attempting to steal second. Still, it wasn’t enough.
“We had a very successful high school season,” said Brody Artes, who also coached the Windham High team this year. “We have a lot of experience. This same group has kind of moved up together and they’ve had a lot of success.”
Lehay gave way to Chase Malloy in the third inning and he escaped further damage before pitching a scoreless fourth. But he was tagged for four runs in the fifth, the key a two-run single by Ethan Petty.
BANGOR COMRADES 10, MOODY’S COLLISION 0: Curtis Wallace held Gorham (17-3) to four hits while pitching Bangor (23-3) into a berth in the state tourney with a play-in win at Augusta.
Sam Houston hit a two-out, three-run double in the fifth inning as Bangor stretched a 4-0 lead to 8-0. Bangor added single runs in the sixth and eighth to invoke the mercy rule.
JUNIOR LEGION TOURNAMENT
BRUNO’S 8, CAPE ELIZABETH 5: Nick DiPalma got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to earn the save and also hit a two-run single during a four-run first inning as third-seeded Portland (15-4) held off sixth-seeded Cape Elizabeth (13-7) in the opener of their best-of-three quarterfinal at Portland.
Leading 5-3, Portland broke the game open with three runs in the fifth, including a two-run single by Owen Pence.
Silas Corman, Dom DiMillo and George Chaison-Lapine had two hits apiece for Portland.
Tim Brigham had two hits and drove in two runs for Cape Elizabeth.
SOUTH PORTLAND 8, LYMAN EAGLES 0: Brad Sowerby finished with eight strikeouts and one walk while throwing a no-hitter, and also hit a grand slam as eighth-seeded South Portland (13-7) downed second-seeded Lyman (14-5) in the opener of their best-of-three quarterfinal at Lyman.
South Portland opened the scoring on a two-out, two-run single by Alex Livingston in the second inning.
Ben Conti added a pair of hits, including a double, and scored twice for South Portland.
FAIRFIELD POST 14 7, BIDDEFORD SAVINGS BANK 2: Cody Martin pitched a one-hitter and struck out 13 to lead top-ranked Fairfield (17-2) past 10th-seeded Biddeford (10-11) in the opener of a best-of-three series at Fairfield.
Martin lost his no-hit bid when Sam Collins singled in the seventh inning.
Spencer Folsom led Fairfield with three singles and an RBI.