SANFORD — It was, in many ways, a typical Maine high school baseball opener: chilly, windy, error-prone and very close.
Will Whyte scored on a bases-loaded throwing error with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday as Bonny Eagle beat Sanford 4-3 to open the Class A South season at Goodall Park.
The Scots twice rallied to tie the score, in the sixth and eighth innings, each time aided by a Sanford error.
“A game like that, when both teams battle back and forth, it’s nice to come out on top,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Rick Hession. “It means a lot, especially against a good Sanford team. To come out and not let mistakes turn into a loss was very important. We’ve still got a lot of room to improve.”
Each team made five errors and every run was unearned. But there also was outstanding pitching: Brad Bouchard of Sanford went six innings, allowing two runs and two hits, striking out two (on 93 pitches); and Kolby Lambert of Bonny Eagle went seven innings, allowing two runs and four hits, striking out eight (101 pitches).
Each team also made sterling defensive plays at times.
“It was a decent high school baseball game,” said Sanford Coach Mark Boissonneault. “If we would have made a few simple plays, take some mistakes out, the outcome could have been different. But we competed for nine innings and they just made one more play than we did.”
Whyte’s game-ending run capped three Bonny Eagle rallies in the final four innings.
Down 2-1 in the sixth, it tied the game when Lambert, who reached on an error, scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Mains. The Scots threatened to end the game in the bottom of the seventh, but with two runners on, Sanford second baseman Ryan Connarton made a diving catch to his left to send the game to extra innings.
The Spartans took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth. They loaded the bases with one out and Frankie Veino scored on an error. But Whyte made a terrific play on the next batter to limit Sanford to one run. Whyte caught a fly ball for the second out and then threw home – on the fly – to catcher Christian Napolitano to get the runner out at the plate for the third out.
“You’ve got to think that you’ve always got a shot to make it,” Whyte said of his throw.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” said Boissonneault, “and for a high school player to make those kind of throws … they’re not going to make them on every play. And he did.”
Bonny Eagle tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Arlo Pike led off with a double and scored when Mains’ one-out single was bobbled in the outfield.
The Scots then won it in the bottom of the ninth.
With one out, they loaded the bases on a walk by Whyte, and singles by Brady Grass and Lambert. Whyte scored when Pike hit a grounder and the throw home was in the dirt, bouncing away.
“When it was coming in, I saw it in the dirt and then it dropped,” said Whyte. “This is my first varsity game. It was an awesome feeling to be able to win.”
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or: