CAPE ELIZABETH—Cam MacDonald scored both of Bonny Eagle’s runs in the first game of a double-header at Cape Elizabeth on Monday, July 1. Two runs, though, left the Scots trailing the Capers – who tallied six of their own – at the end of the outing.

“They kept getting their leadoff guys on,” said Bonny Eagle head coach Rick Hession. “Whether it was hits, errors or walks, the first five innings they had the leadoff guy on. It’s tough, especially against an aggressive team like they have, to keep them off the board. They executed very well, took extra bases, and we did not adjust as well. Their pitcher did a great job of locating and mixing up to keep us off-balance.”

Elias LeBlanc watches an incoming pitch sail past. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Cape claimed a 1-0 in the bottom of the second on a sac grounder to short. The Scots then pulled even with their hosts in the top of the third. Cam MacDonald kicked the inning off with a shot into center; the Cape outfielder there dove after the incoming ball, but couldn’t extend far enough to make the grab.

MacDonald stole second during Cam Phinney’s at-bat, then zipped to third when Mason Ryan sac-bunted. He arrived home, finally, on a Shaun Brilliant volley into right-center: 1-1. But Cape leapt further out front in the bottom of the third, hashing two, and still further in the bottom of the fourth, hashing three more. 6-1.

Carter Gagnon takes a turn at the plate for the Scots. Adam Birt / The American Journal

The Scots tore a small chunk out of Cape’s advantage in the top of the sixth – MacDonald scored on a passed ball during Ryan’s at-bat – but they’d fallen too far behind. They did threaten a bit: Ryan reached scoring position, landing on second when Brilliant singled into leftfield, and Emerson Garison arrived at second in the top of the seventh when John Dugan bounced a grounder back at the Cape pitcher, who erred when he tried to end the game on 1-6-3 double-play.

But Elias LeBlanc then flied out. Carter Gagnon followed him into the box and grounded: The Cape third basemen flinched, faced with the skittering, tumbling shot, and it bounced over his glove into left. Bonny Eagle had bases loaded – but they had two outs, too. Their hopes died on a routine groundout, a piece of MacDonald contact to short.

Hession commended both MacDonald’s and Ryan’s efforts, as well as those of his reliever, Nate Morse: “Mason played well,” he said, “both in the field and at the plate. He had very good at bats all day. Cam MacDonald on the mound and pitched pretty well. Gave up four runs, two earned, over four innings. He didn’t give up a lot of hard-hit balls; Cape just made the most of their situations. Nate gave us a chance with shutting them down for the last two innings.”

The contest unfolded as part of the CMG Mortgage Summer League, a developmental organization for players who’ll be returning to their high school teams next spring. The League is in its third year now, and has found great success. It’s a less travel-heavy off-season option than some, and allows member lineups to both nurture their chemistry and hone athletes’ individual skills.

Despite the loss, Hession is satisfied with his boys’ growth this summer. “I’m very happy with the progress. We’re making baby steps, but we’re close to where I would have hoped we would be at this point. Guys are coming ready to play and ready to be coached. There’s some potential with this group, and plenty of spots to be won for next spring, so it’s great to see guys stepping up and making the adjustments asked.”

Cam MacDonald hurls for the Scots. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Scot Cam Phinney mans first base. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Thomas Reegan leads off second. Adam Birt / The American Journal

BE shortstop Mason Ryan waits on an incoming throw as a Cape runner slides for second. Adam Birt / The American Journal

BE first baseman Thomas Reegan leans out to grab a throw as a Cape runner makes for the bag. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Nate Morse closed on the mound for Bonny Eagle. Adam Birt / The American Journal

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