AUGUSTA — The key to the Bangor baseball team’s success is simple to pitcher Peter Kemble.

“Pitching and defense,” said Kemble, a senior for the Rams. “Can’t lose if they don’t score.”

Kemble struck out 12 batters in Wednesday’s Class A North championship at Morton Field, guiding the fourth-seeded Rams to a 3-0 victory over No. 7 Mt. Ararat (for their fourth straight regional title.

Bangor (15-4) will play Falmouth (18-1) at 2 p.m. in Saturday’s state championship game at Morton Field – a rematch of last year’s Class A final that the Rams won, 5-0. They have won the past three state titles.

“They’re a good defensive team. They don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Mt. Ararat Coach Bob Neron said. “We were trying to score early, take the pressure off of our pitching so our defense could relax a little bit. But it never got to that.”

The Rams haven’t allowed a run in three playoff wins.

On Wednesday, Zach Cowperthwaite drove in all three Bangor runs.

Bangor got on the board in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Cowperthwaite hit a ground ball to second, which scored Noah Missbrenner.

Cowperthwaite drove in his other two runs with a double in the fourth.

The Eagles (11-9) came close to scoring in the top of the fifth by capitalizing on rare mistakes by Bangor.

Mt. Ararat loaded the bases with one out following a Kyle Brennan single and two Bangor errors. Hunter Lohr then hit a soft line drive to shortstop Zach Ireland, who made the catch and threw to second baseman George Payne for the third out.

“(Ireland has) done that all year long,” said Bangor Coach David Morris. “In that situation, we were hoping they would do something on the ground. But he got that in the air and really set his feet and made a good throw to second base.”

Kaileb Hawkes had two hits for Mt. Ararat, which snuck into the regional final as a seventh seed by notching upset wins over No. 2 Brewer and No. 3 Edward Little by scores of 3-2 and 4-2 in the quarter and semifinals. The Eagles lost to both of those teams in the regular season and fell to Bangor 10-0 on May 12.

“We would have liked to have made it to the next game but we’re not disappointed,” Neron said, noting his team ended its 2015 season 1-15.

“Edward Little and Brewer – those were not easy games, and we expected this to be the same way.”

Bangor has totaled 12 Class A titles. The Rams upset top-ranked Oxford Hills 7-0 in the semifinals, rectifying a 5-2 loss to the No. 1 seed in the regular season.

“There’s definitely a lot of resiliency over there,” Morris said of Mt. Ararat. “We knew they weren’t just going to back down and that it was going to be a battle.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or at:

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