WINDHAM—Eagle Cam McCartney knocked a walk-off shot into rightfield vs. visiting Topsham on Saturday morning, June 29: McCartney’s contact ushered teammates Ryan Sargent and Cam Seymour across the plate to bump Windham from down 1-0 to up 2-1.

“Seeing their pitcher for the third time, he was probably getting tired, leaving the ball up a little bit,” Windham assistant coach Nick Dubay said, asked what allowed his lineup to surge in the end. “And we had the meat of our order – four, five, six – coming up in the seventh, that were right on him all game.”

Bryce Afthim pitched a strong game as usual. Adam Birt / The Forecaster

The first several innings elapsed quickly and scorelessly. Bryce Afthim started on the mound for Windham. Afthim has hurled many a standout inning for WHS in recent years, and he looked sharp once again on Saturday, recording 10 strikeouts in the contest.

Afthim threw his first K in a one-two-three first; he then threw two more in a four-batter second (when he also gave up a walk). He collected another in a one-two-three third, yet another in a four-batter fourth (when Topsham recorded their first actual hit, a double) and two in a one-two-three fifth. He notched three final Ks in the top of the sixth – but the top of the sixth is also when Topsham managed to inch out front on a single and a double. 1-0.

Cam McCartney’s teammates heap love on him after his game-ending, two-RBI hit. Adam Birt / The Forecaster

“Just really good pitching, both guys,” Dubay said, asked about the game’s long, 0-0 stalemate. “Bryce was commanding the zone, throwing strikes early and getting ahead of guys, overpowering with his fastball. He had a good move in his curveball, had them off-balance for a while. And their pitcher was throwing good, too. He had us off-balance, mixing it up constantly, throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes, kind of get us behind. So, hitting 0-2, 1-2 all the time, just hitting little dinky ground balls. So it was a good pitchers’ duel.”

The Eagles made a first push to come back in the bottom of the sixth: With one out, Caleb McCartney sliced a single into rightfield; Afthim followed McCartney to the plate and connected as well – but connected into a 4-6-3 double-play that ended the inning.

“Fielders made the plays,” Dubay said, elaborating on the tightness of the action. “We hit balls right at people every time. Finally things kind of broke open at the end there for both of us.”

Topsham threatened to tack on a second run in the top of the seventh, getting a man all the way to third. But Seymour, Afthim’s relief on the mound, choked off the opportunity with another strikeout for the Eagles, bringing his boys back to the plate for their final ups.

Cam Seymour slides across the plate, scoring the second of Windham’s two runs in the 2-1, walkoff win. Adam Birt / The Forecaster

That’s when Sargent, leading off, grounded a single into center for one on. Brady Afthim then flied out; Seymour, though, took a Topsham pitch in the elbow to reach first and shunt Sargent to second. Cam McCartney hit next – and connected hard, sending the ball into wide right and giving Sargent and Seymour time to arrive home, Seymour sliding in and beating a desperate Topsham throw.

“It definitely helps,” Dubay said, asked just how nice it is to win on a walk-off hit. “It’s actually a double-header. You go down, lose that game 1-0, start hanging your heads almost. We played such good pitching, such good defense, but to still lose could kind of carry over to the second game. But now you get that exciting win, that momentum, so it should help us.”

Windham’s momentum did help them: They won the second game too – in fact, they did it on another walkoff, 6-5. The pair of triumphs bumped the Eagles to 5-2 in the American Legion Standings.

Topsham represents Legion Post 202 this summer; the team is coached by AJ Booty.

Ryan Sargent crosses home for the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Birt / The Forecaster

 

 


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