BASE RUNNER Hunter Lohr of Highland Green slides back into first base on a pick-off attempt as Yankee Ford first baseman Matt Riggle looks to make the tag during a Zone 3 American Legion baseball game in Topsham on Saturday.

BASE RUNNER Hunter Lohr of Highland Green slides back into first base on a pick-off attempt as Yankee Ford first baseman Matt Riggle looks to make the tag during a Zone 3 American Legion baseball game in Topsham on Saturday.

TOPSHAM

Over the years, Highland Green has battled the likes of Rogers Post of Auburn, Pastime Club of Lewiston and others in Senior American Legion baseball action.

This season, the team from Topsham moved to Zone 3, meaning the schedule featured squads from southern Maine, teams that have seen success over the years.

HIGHLAND GREEN PITCHER Alex Larson of Brunswick fires a pitch during Saturday’s Zone 3 baseball opener in Topsham.

HIGHLAND GREEN PITCHER Alex Larson of Brunswick fires a pitch during Saturday’s Zone 3 baseball opener in Topsham.

So far, Highland Green has struggled, and after dropping both ends of a Saturday doubleheader to Yankee Ford, 4-1 and 11-4, the squad is now 2-5. If Highland wants to make a postseason run, it is going to have to figure things out quickly as only the top two teams in the zone advance to the playoffs after a 20-game slate.

Yankee Ford, made up of players from Portland, Falmouth and Bonny Eagle programs, improved to 6-2.

In the opener, a three-run second inning put Highland Green into an early hole. Starter Alex Larson of Brunswick zipped through a 1-2-3 first on just 13 pitches, but threw 43 in the second. With two outs, walks to Alex Livingston and Matt Riggle set the table for Yankee Ford. Marshall Peterson slapped an RBI single to right field, and Nate Ingalls drove in a pair with a single for a 3-0 lead for the visitors.

Highland Green had its chances against Yankee Ford pitcher Griffin Kelley. A pair of hit batters in the first put two runners on, and the hosts tallied its lone run in the second when Hunter Lohr singled with the bases loaded to plate Brendan Emmons.

However, Highland left the bases full and finished with eight runners left on base.

“We had our chances to score, and when you get that many runners on base, you should score more than one run,” said Highland Green coach Bob Neron. “We are not getting that big hit when we need it.”

Kelley went the distance, allowing four hits, hitting four batters, walking one and striking out six.

Yankee Ford added an unearned run on Larson in the third, with Riggle picking up an RBI. Larson went four innings, with four strikeouts, two walks and five hits allowed. Emmons kept Highland Green in the game with two scoreless frames, finishing with two punch-outs, one walk and two hits allowed, with Cam Grant tossing a 1-2-3 seventh thanks to a diving catch by center fielder Haven Cutko.

“We were in the first game all the way, and all that we really need is some offense to get us there,” said Neron. “Hitting has been our problem. You can go all the way back to April (during Mt. Ararat’s high school slate) and we struggle to get that big hit.”

Lohr was the lone repeat hitter for Highland Green, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Ingalls was 3-for-4 for Yankee Ford.

Second game

Yankee Ford took advantage of Highland Green starter Mike Stewart’s wildness to take control early in the nightcap. Stewart walked eight over 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two and permitted four hits.

In the opening frame, Riley Hasson walked, fol- lowed by singles by Ben Conti and Arlo Pike (RBI) for a 1-0 Yankee Ford lead.

The visitors batted around in the second and for the second straight game plated three runs. Four Yankee Ford hitters walked, with Ingalls and Pike each driving in a run, and Nolan Brown scored from second on a wild pitch.

The lead grew to 5-0 in the third, with Riggle scoring on a wild pitch.

Lohr relieved Stewart and pitched two-thirds of an inning before leaving with an upper body injury. Grant threw the final four frames for Highland Green, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Trailing 8-0, Highland Green picked up a pair of runs in the fourth as Grant singled to score Cutko. Emmons came home on an error.

The hosts also scored two runs in the sixth, as Emmons scored on a double by Grant and Liam Huston trotted home on a throwing error.

“The second game, a lot of teams would have just mailed it in, but every inning we tried to make it close,” said Neron.

Marshall Peterson earned the win after throwing four innings on three strikeouts. Adam Peterson tossed a scoreless fifth, and Michael Doherty finished up with two frames.

Ingalls picked up two more hits to finish 5-for-8 in the twinbill, while Pike was 2-for-4.

Highland Green returns to action on Wednesday against Andrews Post.

Yankee Ford 4,
Highland Green 1

At Bruce Kingdon Field in Topsham
Game 1
Yankee Ford — 031 000 0 — 4-7-0
High. Green — 010 000 0 — 1-4-2
Griffin Kelley and Brogan McDonald;
Alex Larson, Brendan Emmons (5),
Cam Grant (7) and Cam Cox.
WP — Kelley; LP — Larson.
Repeat hitters — (YF) Nate Ingalls
(3); (HG) Hunter Lohr.
———

Yankee Ford 11,
Highland Green 4

Game 2
Yank. Ford — 131 320 1 — 11-12-4
High. Grn. — 000 202 0 — 4- 5-3
Marshall Peterson, Adam Peterson
(5), Michael Doherty (6) and Matt
Riggle, Brogan McDonald (5); Mike
Stewart, Hunter Lohr (3), Cam Grant
(4) and Danny Stewart.
WP — M. Peterson; LP – M. Stewart.
Doubles — (YF) Arlo Pike, Nate
Ingalls; (HG) Cam Cox, Cam Grant.
Repeat hitters — (YF) Arlo Pike,
Nolan Brown (3), Nate Ingalls; (HG)
Cam Grant.
Records — Yankee Ford 6-2; Highland Green 2-5.
Up next for Highland Green
Wednesday vs. Andrews Post at Falmouth Legion Field, 5:30 p.m.


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