CAPE ELIZABETH – Will Leblond survived a rocky first inning to pitch a four-hitter and lead Cape Elizabeth to a 2-1 victory against York in a Western Class B game Wednesday at Holman Field.

After pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, Leblond allowed only two runners until the Wildcats threatened in their last at-bat.

“He threw 29 pitches in the first inning and probably 60 pitches for the next six innings,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Chris Hayward said. “He did a good job.”

“In the first inning, (Leblond) seemed jacked up and a little jittery and we took advantage of that,” York Coach Tony Robinson said. “After that he got into a groove. Once he got into a groove, it was tough to get back on him and he didn’t give us any pitches to hit.”

Leblond, who struck out two and walked three, retired nine straight before surrendering a fourth-inning single to Devin Merritt. Then he retired six of the next seven batters before York tried to rally in the seventh.

“We were hitting spots,” Leblond said. “Kyle (Danielson), the catcher, was making great calls. Lots of ground balls. Not many strikeouts. We have a great defense.”

York (7-7) scored in the first. Anthony Sciaudone led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on Tim Connolly’s sacrifice and scored on Chris Cole’s single.

The Wildcats had a chance to score more in the first. With two outs, they loaded the bases on a walk and an error. But left fielder Jack Barber caught Merritt’s sinking liner to end the threat.

The Capers (11-3) made it 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Cam Brown led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on Barber’s grounder to second and scored on Danielson’s infield hit.

Cape snapped the tie in the third, scoring an unearned run. With two outs, Barber singled up the middle, moved to second when Danielson walked and scored when Sciaudone was unable to field Bob Macdonald’s hard grounder to shortstop.

The Capers turned a defensive gem for the final out of the game. Brown, who plays shortstop, fired a relay throw to the plate in time to get pinch-runner Jon Warner, who tried to score from second on Connolly’s line single into left field.

Barber fielded the ball cleanly and fired a strike to Brown, who turned and threw it to home.

“It’s a play that high school kids just don’t get to make a lot,” Robinson said. “You’ve got to get a run and you don’t know if you’re going to have another chance. I didn’t want to strand him. You know, it was a great play by them. The guy hit the cut, and it was a great throw to the plate.”

Zach Leal of York scattered six hits, struck out two and walked one.

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