Nate Ingalls threw eight Ks and Bryce Hewitt tallied two RBIs for the Capers at Gray-New Gloucester on Monday afternoon, May 9, leading their team to a 3-1 victory. 

“I think we had seven hits,” Cape head coach Andrew Wood said. “Their pitcher kept us off-balance a little bit; hitting routine fly-balls. We’ve got to do a better job of staying on top.”

“The situation kind of dictates what we do,” said G-NG head coach Brad Smith of his team’s approach to a matchup with one of the conference’s top teams. “A lefty’s going to keep us maybe a half-step closer to the bag than normally…And they had a very, very good catcher behind the plate; lot of respect for him.” Brendan Tinsman is the Capers’ ace catcher.

The Patriots held the Capers silent – and vice versa – through the first. Cape, however, went up 1-0 in the top of the second on a Marshall Peterson run. G-NG’s Jake Winchester notched a single in the bottom of that inning, and reached as far as second, but his teammates couldn’t quite bring him home again. Ingalls whiffed Daulton Corthell and Brady Darnell to end the ups.

The Capers went one-two-three in the third, but in their next at-bat, the Patriots again stranded a runner, this time Zack Mann, who reached on a single.

“They didn’t give us many opportunities,” said Smith. “They played good defense.”

Faced with an opponent who’s strong in the field, “You rely on the kids at the plate,” Smith said. “We’re becoming more of an aggressive team; we’re swinging more than we’re watching, and we’re putting the ball in play. I can’t fault the kids for that.”

“By and large, we’ve taken our strikeout totals and greatly diminished them,” said Smith – impressive, considering his team is quite young. “Which I believe is because we’re putting ourselves in more of an offensive stance, instead of sitting back and trying to guess on pitches. We spend a lot of time on pitchers’ counts, batters counts’. We chart every pitch. Little by little, I think it’s paying off.”

Then, in the fourth, Cape pulled further ahead. Peterson kicked things off with a single; Sean Agrodnia then walked onto base, and both boys eventually scored as teammates Pat MacDonald and Bryce Hewitt added singles as well.

“We’ve got to get our one and two hitters going; I think Ingalls is batting .217 right now,” said Wood. “Tinsman, the three-hitter, and Dylan Roberts, are kind of carrying us. Bryce had two of the big RBIs, but one through nine, we really haven’t had a solid game yet.”

The Patriots finally got on the board in the fourth. Tanner Mann reached first on balls, second on a Winchester sac bunt and home on a Corthell single to left.

That would prove the sum total of the game’s scoring: Through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, both teams continued to play relatively solid defense, and successfully kept each other shut up. G-NG ended Cape’s fifth on a double-play, but they couldn’t quite figure out Ingalls, who tallied four more Ks as the game wound down.

The Patriots did threaten in a big way in the seventh: Darnell reached on a walk (Eric Gilbert stepped in to pinch-run for him), Evan Plummer knocked a surgical gapper single into left-center and John Henry Villanueva reached first when he grounded to short and the Caper there erred.

Alas, G-NG couldn’t maintain the momentum; the team already had two outs hanging over their heads when Zach Mann stepped to the plate and flew out to center on first-pitch contact.

“We had a situation, bases loaded, bottom of the seventh, and [Zach] puts it in play,” said Smith. “The centerfielder makes the put-out, but you can’t fault the [Zach] for that.”

Should Mann have swung on that first pitch? Smith thinks so. “Most high school pitchers want that first pitch to be a strike,” he said. “If you’re a batter, and you know that first pitch is going to be a strike, I want my guys to go after it. And most high school kids are fastball hitters. The minute they get behind on the count, it’s an indication the pitcher’s going to throw an off-speed pitch, which most kids have trouble with. They’d just as soon see that fastball.”

Wood praised Ingalls in simple language. “Nate just pitched a pretty good game,” he said, matter-of-factly.

Cape jumps to 6-1 on the season; the Capers’ only loss thus far has come at home versus the unbeaten Falmouth, an 8-2 result. The team is currently first in B South, ahead of Leavitt (4-3) and Yarmouth (6-0). They hosted Greely (fourth at 4-1) on Wednesday, May 11, after Current Publishing’s print deadlines, and will welcome Lake Region (last in B South at 0-7) on Friday the 13th. 

“We’ve yet to play our best game,” said Wood, who nodded to a few sloppy infield moments. “We keep making errors in the infield. We’ve played kind, of, the weaker opponents so far, and we expect to win against them…I’m excited about the record, 6-1, great. But we should be playing a little bit better.”

The loss drops G-NG to 2-7. The Patriots picked up their pair of wins against Poland, 5-4 to begin the season and 9-3 a week and a half later. They’re ranked 11th in B South at the moment, behind Spruce Mountain (2-5) but ahead of Mountain Valley (1-4); they matched up at Freeport (No. 6 at 3-4) on Wednesday the 11th, and will visit Fryeburg on Saturday, May 14.

Patriot Nick McCann leads off second in his team’s home matchup vs. Cape Elizabeth on Monday.

Josiah Rottari started on the mound for G-NG vs. Cape on Monday.

Brady Darnell, at first for the Patriots, leans forward to receive the throw as a Capers’ runner races the ball to the bag.

John Henry Villanueva pulls down an infield fly for the Patriots in Monday’s matchup with visiting Cape Elizabeth.

Nate Ingalls threw eight Ks and Bryce Hewitt tallied two RBIs for the Capers at Gray-New Gloucester on Monday afternoon, May 9, leading their team to a 3-1 victory. 

“The situation kind of dictates what we do,” said G-NG head coach Brad Smith of his team’s approach to a matchup with one of the conference’s top teams. “A lefty’s going to keep us maybe a half-step closer to the bag than normally … And they had a very, very good catcher behind the plate; lot of respect for him.” Brendan Tinsman is the Capers’ ace catcher.

The Patriots held the Capers silent – and vice versa – through the first. Cape, however, went up 1-0 in the top of the second on a Marshall Peterson run. G-NG’s Jake Winchester notched a single in the bottom of that inning, and reached as far as second, but his teammates couldn’t quite bring him home again. Ingalls whiffed Daulton Corthell and Brady Darnell to end the ups.

The Capers went one-two-three in the third, but in their next at-bat, the Patriots again stranded a runner, this time Zack Mann, who reached on a single.

“They didn’t give us many opportunities,” said Smith. “They played good defense.”

Faced with an opponent who’s strong in the field, “You rely on the kids at the plate,” Smith said. “We’re becoming more of an aggressive team; we’re swinging more than we’re watching, and we’re putting the ball in play. I can’t fault the kids for that.”

“By and large, we’ve taken our strikeout totals and greatly diminished them,” said Smith – impressive, considering his team is quite young. “Which I believe is because we’re putting ourselves in more of an offensive stance, instead of sitting back and trying to guess on pitches. We spend a lot of time on pitchers’ counts, batters counts’. We chart every pitch. Little by little, I think it’s paying off.”

Then, in the fourth, Cape pulled further ahead. Peterson kicked things off with a single; Sean Agrodnia then walked onto base, and both boys eventually scored as teammates Pat MacDonald and Bryce Hewitt added singles as well.

The Patriots finally got on the board in the fourth. Tanner Mann reached first on balls, second on a Winchester sac bunt and home on a Corthell single to left.

That would prove the sum total of the game’s scoring: Through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, both teams continued to play relatively solid defense, and successfully kept each other shut up. G-NG ended Cape’s fifth on a double-play, but they couldn’t quite figure out Ingalls, who tallied four more Ks as the game wound down.

The Patriots did threaten in a big way in the seventh: Darnell reached on a walk (Eric Gilbert stepped in to pinch-run for him), Evan Plummer knocked a surgical gapper single into left-center and John Henry Villanueva reached first when he grounded to short and the Caper there erred.

Alas, G-NG couldn’t maintain the momentum; the team already had two outs hanging over their heads when Zach Mann stepped to the plate and flew out to center on first-pitch contact.

“We had a situation, bases loaded, bottom of the seventh, and [Zach] puts it in play,” said Smith. “The centerfielder makes the put-out, but you can’t fault the [Zach] for that.”

Should Mann have swung on that first pitch? Smith thinks so. “Most high school pitchers want that first pitch to be a strike,” he said. “If you’re a batter, and you know that first pitch is going to be a strike, I want my guys to go after it. And most high school kids are fastball hitters. The minute they get behind on the count, it’s an indication the pitcher’s going to throw an off-speed pitch, which most kids have trouble with. They’d just as soon see that fastball.”

The loss drops G-NG to 2-7. The Patriots picked up their pair of wins against Poland, 5-4 to begin the season and 9-3 a week and a half later. They’re ranked 11th in B South at the moment, behind Spruce Mountain (2-5) but ahead of Mountain Valley (1-4); they matched up at Freeport (No. 6 at 3-4) on Wednesday the 11th, and will visit Fryeburg on Saturday, May 14.

Having already tagged out G-NG runner Nick McCann, Matt Riggle, on third for Cape, flings a ball toward first, hoping for the DP.

Caper Dylan Roberts scoots back to first as G-NG baseman Brady Darnell reaches low for the throw.

Nate Ingalls threw eight strikeouts in the Capers’ 3-1 win at G-NG on Monday.