Sanford’s Brad Bouchard delivers a pitch in the fifth inning Monday.

Sanford’s Brad Bouchard delivers a pitch in the fifth inning Monday.

SANFORD — The Sanford baseball team opened its season with a heartbreaking, extra inning loss to the visiting Windham squad Monday afternoon at Goodall Park.

Both teams presented solid pitching along with outstanding play in the field, however Windham’s late inning bats were enough to push the Eagles past the Spartans.

The star of the game was Windham pitcher Tanner Bernier, who pitched seven innings – allowing only one hit and one earned run. Bernier also struck out three batters on the day.

Sanford coach Mark Boissonneault was impressed with Bernier’s performance on the mound.

“You have to give the kid credit, he pitched a great game. I don’t think we helped ourselves a whole lot with our bats but we knew he would throw strikes and we would have to get hits off of him. (Windham) also played well in the field… it was a just a good opening high school baseball game to start the year,” said Boissoneault.

Windham coach Brody Artes was also pleased with his starter’s performance, along with the defense behind him.

“(Bernier) pitched great today. He had a bit of a mental lapse in (the fifth) inning balking the run home. A lot of that was because he had just given up his first hit, but he did a good job of battling back and settling down after that inning,” said Artes. “He didn’t strike a lot of batters out but he got ahead a lot and let the defense do the work behind him.”

Sanford starting pitcher Frankie Veino opened the first four innings, allowing five hits and two runs while also striking out two. Brad Bouchard then pitched three innings in relief, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out two.

James Roche pitched the final inning for the Spartans, allowing three hits and two runs.

The game was scoreless heading into the fourth inning, however Windham struck first, beginning with an RBI single from Dylan Koza. Koza would later make it to third on a fielder’s choice, then after make it home on a throwing error to first, bringing the score to 2-0 Eagles.

Bouchard got the only Sanford hit with a double into left to lead off the fifth inning. Bouchard would later reach third on a passed ball and after make it home on a Bernier balk.

Later in the fifth, Keith Kerrigan hit a sacrifice fly to left-center to score Xavier Chase from third to tie the score.

The sixth and seventh innings were a grind for each club, which would lead to no runs scored and extra innings.

The Eagles offense took off immediately in the top of the eight inning, beginning with a single by Mitch Eskilson, followed by a walk for Blake Houser. Dylan Koza put the Eagles ahead with a single that brought Eskilson home.

Evan Coughlin added some insurance by knocking in another run off a single later in the inning.

Although Sanford was able to respond for most of the game, the Spartans went down 1-2- 3 in the bottom of the eighth.

Despite the loss, Boissonneault was happy with the Spartan’s effort and looks forward to the rest of the season.

“The thing about baseball is you have to get ready for the next one. We are facing Scarborough Friday and will battle them. I think that is what our team is going to be about, we are going to battle and hopefully be in games like this,” said Boissonneault. “Although we lost I’m pleased with our effort.

— Sports Staff Writer Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282- 1535 ext. 323.

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