Mainers second baseman Drew DeMartino throws the ball to first baseman Brandon Lankford to complete an inning-ending double play against the New Bedford Bay Sox on Friday at Goodall Park. The Mainers won 10-9 on a walk-off in the ninth. (SAM BONSEY/Journal Tribune)

SANFORD — Comebacks have become part of the norm for the Sanford Mainers this season.

Last Saturday, Sanford rallied from eight runs down to beat the Marthas Vineyard Sharks. Then, on Thursday, they erased a 4-3 lead by scoring five runs in the eighth to take down Winnipesaukee.

So it was only fitting that Sanford did it again Friday night at Goodall Park in Sanford.

The Mainers trailed by as many as six runs and faced a 9-7 deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth. But Reece Armitage, of Falmouth, hit a two-out, two-run homer to tie the game, then Ryan Turenne, a sophomore at the University of Maine, hit a walk-off single up the middle, scoring Nick Howie, to beat the Bay Sox 10-9 in an NECBL baseball game.

Despite delivering the winning hit, Turenne was quick to mention how important his teammates were in the rally, and he thinks Friday’s game topped the Mainers comeback against Marthas Vineyard.

“For me, it’s No. 1,” Turenne said. “But as much as it is nice for me to say that I got the walk-off, (tonight) was definitely a team effort.”

Alex Brickman put New Bedford ahead 9-7 in the ninth with a two-run double after Shane Marshall had tied the game for Sanford with a two-run double of his own in the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth, reliever Matthe Stansky got the first two outs but allowed a single to Drew DeMartino to bring up Armitage. Stansky quickly got two strikes on the left-handed hitter,  but Armitage fouled off a couple of tough pitches before taking Rodgers deep on a hanging slider.

“(Rodgers) was throwing me mostly sliders, and a lot of the guys were talking about sitting on that,” Armitage said. “I guess I just got a hold of one. It’s one of those moments when you don’t really know what’s going on … I blacked out a little bit.”

The Baysox (4-10)  appeared to break the game open in the fifth, scoring four times behind a two-run shot from Jack Winkler to take a 6-0 lead. Zachary Buck led off the inning with a single, took second on another single from Bryan Hart, then scored on a wild throw from Turenne after advancing to third a pitch in the dirt from Sanford starter Darren Williams. Tommy Seidl followed with an RBI single, scoring Hart, then Winkler blasted his homer to put the Baysox ahead 6-0.

But Sanford (7-9) didn’t go away.

After the Mainers put up two runs in the sixth, Shane Marshall hit an RBI triple and Robbie Armitage crushed a two-run home run to left to cut it to 7-5 in the seventh. Then with DeMartino and Howie in scoring position the eighth, Sanford finally tied it when Marshall doubled to right center.

Even though it was one of the most exciting wins of the season for Sanford, Turenne knows that they’ll have to play a more complete game going forward to gain more consistency going forward.

“We just need to take what we had going those last few innings and try to start off a game like that,”  said Turenne. “Lately, it’s either been that we have the pitching going or the hitting going … We haven’t been able to click with both yet.”

Armitage, who admitted he’s been struggling at the plate lately, hopes his performance — in one of the best games he’s been involved with in his playing career — carries forward.

“I think (tonight) was one of the best comebacks I’ve ever been a part of,” Armitage said. “It was really fun … and to do it with so many fans, and with my friends and family here, it meant a lot.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Before the game, Sanford celebrated the 18th birthday of Broose D’ Moose, the Mainers mascot, by having him throw out the first pitch to Slugger the Sea Dog.

UP NEXT: The Mainers host the Upper Valley Nighthawks (8-7) today at 6:30 p.m. at Goodall Park.

Sanford celebrated the 18th birthday of Broose D’ Moose, the Mainers mascot, by having him throw out the first pitch to Slugger the Sea Dog. (SAM BONSEY/Journal Tribune)

 

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