CUMBERLAND — Trevor LaBonte did what he does best – pound the strike zone – to lead York to a 4-2 victory against Greely in a Western Maine Conference baseball game Friday.

“Greely is uncharacteristically young and we knew if Trevor threw strikes, they would be hard-pressed to put up anything offensively,” York Coach Chuck Chadbourne said.

LaBonte, a right-hander who will start a postgrad year at Bridgton Academy in the fall, allowed four hits, struck out eight, walked three and hit a batter.

“I’m a competitor, and I just want to go out there and attack the strike zone,” LaBonte said.

LaBonte was aided by a blustery wind that blew in from center field.

“LaBonte was tough,” Greely Coach Derek Soule said. “You know, he had a nice wind behind his back and he’s already tough enough. (The wind) held up some of theirs and some of ours, but it was a nice wind behind a pitcher who already has great stuff.”

It was the third consecutive loss for the Rangers (8-4) and the fifth straight win for the Wildcats (9-2).

“We didn’t swing the bats too well today, but we were sharp in the field, defensively,” LaBonte said. “We’re playing some good baseball right now.”

York had seven hits and most of them were timely.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in top of the first. Chris Neilson led off with a single, stole second and came home when Dawson Gundlah grounded a two-out second through the left side of the infield.

York took a 3-0 lead in the fourth. With one out, LaBonte, Gundlah and Riley Linn each singled to a produce one run. An infield error brought the other run in.

The Rangers scored both of their runs in the bottom of the fourth when LaBonte had a momentary lapse in his control. With one out, he walked one batter and hit another. Will Neleski drove in one run with a single, the first hit off LaBonte. The other run scored on a fielder’s choice.

The Wildcats added a run in the seventh. With one out, Shane Pidgeon walked, then beat a throw to second after Neilson sent a chopper back toward the mound that the Greely pitcher Zach Brown was unable to field cleanly. Andrew Rodrigues singled sharply to left to drive in the run.

LaBonte was denied a complete game because of the Maine Principals’ Association rule that limits pitchers to 110 pitches. He had to stop pitching in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and a runner on first.

“I gave a couple free bases away (in the fourth), and any time you do that your pitch count is going to be high,” LaBonte said. “It came back to hurt me. I couldn’t finish what I started.”

Neilson struck out Brown to earn his first save.

“I’ve been coming (to Greely) for 10 years, and with the exception of the magical run four years ago when we won a state title, we never won up here,” Chadbourne said. “You don’t come here and beat (Soule). He’s got a young team, but nobody is going to want to play them come tournament time.”

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