SACO — Bryce Afthim tossed a four-hit complete-game shutout as Windham eked out a 1-0 win over Thornton Academy in an SMAA baseball game Thursday afternoon.

Afthim walked one batter, hit one batter and struck out three in throwing 93 pitches.

“I just went out there and tried to throw strikes, make (Thornton Academy) put the ball in play,” said Afthim.

“(Afthim) is a tough kid. He had a good summer last year and I expect big things from him this spring,” said Windham Coach Brody Artes.

Windham (3-2) scored in the top of the second on a single by right fielder Derek Foss. Tanner Bernier led off the inning with a four-pitch walk, then stole second base.

Bernier advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Foss’ single.

Thornton Academy (3-2) came close to tying the game in the bottom of the sixth. With Brogan Searle-Belanger on third and two outs, Trojan second baseman Tim Smith sliced a line drive to right field that looked like it was going to fall for an RBI single, but Foss made an incredible diving catch to preserve the lead.

“(Foss) has been playing steady defense for us all year and he got the base hit today to score the run so it was a good day for him overall,” said Artes.

Smith reached base twice for Thornton Academy, including a fourth-inning double.

Windham had two great chances to extend its 1-0 lead. In the top of the sixth, after a one-out single by Bernier, Kyle Herzig laced a double into the left-center field gap. A strong relay throw from Trojans shortstop Luke Chessie beat Bernier to the plate for the second out.

Thornton Academy pitcher Lambert induced a groundout on the next pitch to end the inning.

“It was the perfect play that (Thornton Academy) needed to make to get (Bernier),” said Artes.

In the top of the seventh, the Eagles loaded the bases with nobody out and their 2-3-4 hitters up. With the infield in all around, Windham center fielder Cameron McCartney hit a hard ground ball to shortstop that turned into a double play (shortstop-catcher-third baseman). Lambert got Bryce Afthim to fly out to right field two pitches later to end the inning.

Lambert pitched well in relief for the Trojans, tossing four scoreless innings and scattering five hits. Lambert hit one batter and struck out three.

“Brady (Lambert) did an excellent job and our defense played well, so I’m very happy with that part of the game,” said Thornton Academy Coach Jason Lariviere.

Thornton Academy had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh after a leadoff single by Toby Pydych.

Grant Dow came on to pinch run and stole second before Afthim got the next three batters to pop out to and seal the win.

“I was just looking to keep throwing strikes, let our defense do some of the work,” said Afthim. “This game was entirely on our defense.”

“Our situational hitting has got to get better. It’s been like that all year,” said Lariviere.

Windham backstop Brady Afthim collected a pair of hits, walking once and stealing a base.


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