OLD ORCHARD BEACH—Arlo Pike (Buxton, Maine/University of Southern Maine) led as the Patriots cruised past the Norsemen at the Ballpark on Saturday afternoon, July 13: Pike hashed three hits – including a late-game homer – for five RBIs in the 8-1 outing.

“We played a pretty clean game defensively,” said Patriots head coach Greg Coppeta. “It was a good team game. These guys are good kids; they like playing baseball. It makes it real fun.”

Justin Coppeta (Westbrook, Maine/Assumption) collected three hits as well for the victorious Pats. Norsemen Brody Dupuis (University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Andrew DeGeorge (Saco, Maine/Ithaca) tallied a hit apiece in the contest, both of them singles.

Arlo Pike arrives home after smashing a two-run homer. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Owen Sullivan (Biddeford, Maine/Nichols) started on the mound for the Patriots, and threw five innings; Daniel White (Augusta, Maine/Rivier) relieved him, finishing the game. Impressively, the two of them combined for 15 strikeouts – Sullivan had 11 and White four.

“Any time your pitchers throw strikes, you’re doing something right,” Coach Coppeta said, asked what went right for his boys over the course of the game. “Not giving them free baserunners. And getting timely hits.”

Meanwhile, Luke Klenda (Yarmouth, Maine/St. Joseph’s) started on the mound for the Norsemen. Klenda threw four innings, giving up five hits and recording four Ks.

The Norsemen went down one, two, three in the top of the first – that’s when Sullivan notched his first two Ks. In the bottom of the inning, then, is when the Patriots jumped on top: TJ Carney-DeBord (Granville, Ohio/DePauw) reached first on a dropped third strike (a wild pitch) and moved to second when Jack Lynch (Portland, Maine/Merrimack) made contact and the Norsemen defense erred in response. Carney-DeBord came ‘round to home on Pike’s first hit of the day, a line-drive single to center: 1-0.

Sullivan gave up DeGeorge’s single to kick off the top of the second, then walked two consecutive Norsemen. He settled into a groove after that, however, and retired (on strikeouts!) the next three opponents he faced.

The Patriots put up their second point in the bottom of the third: Coppeta grounded hard into leftfield and earned himself a double, then scored on a Blane Cook (Fort Wayne, Indiana/DePauw) single, another grounder into left. 2-0. The Pats made it 5-0 an inning later, Coppeta chopping a single towards short to bring home Cam King (Portland, Maine/USM) and Pike smashing a first-pitch double into left to bring home Carney-DeBord and Coppeta. Phew.

“I think we’re 2-1 against them,” Coach Coppeta said of the Patriots record vs. the Norsemen so far this summer. “Last time we played them, we lost on a walkoff in the bottom of the seventh, 4-3. So they’ve got a very good team.”

Luke Klenda picked up four strikeouts in four innings on the mound for the Norsemen. Adam Birt / The American Journal

The Norsemen found their way onto the board in the top of the sixth, when Patrick Sawyer (Saco, Maine/Nichols) contacted and reached second on a dropped ball in leftfield. Sawyer rounded to home shortly thereafter on a Dupuis single into right-center. His boys, though, were still down – and by no small margin: 5-1.

Coppeta padded that margin by doubling into right in the bottom of the stretch and soon crossing the plate. 6-1. Lynch followed Coppeta onto base on a walk, then zipped around to third when Norsemen pitcher Charlie Graffius (Portland, Maine/Colby-Sawyer) tried to pick him off at first, only to see his throw miss baseman DeGeorge and skip over towards the fence.

Pike then stepped to the plate; Lynch took his good old time en route to home when Pike connected, because Pike’s connection was a rocket, a two-RBI homer over the rightfield wall and into the trees.

“He’s swinging the bat well,” Coach Coppeta said of Pike. “I think we had eight hits today. He had three of them, and Justin had three of them. Key hits at the right times.”

The Patriots are currently 11-4, and occupiers of second place in the GNCBL standings; the Norsemen, at 3-7-1, sit in fourth. Since some of the League’s teams have played more games than others, it’s hard to guess exactly how the playoffs will shake out. The Nor’Easters (11-3) hold the No. 1 slot at present.

“It’s going to be interesting as we get down the home stretch here in July,” Coach Coppeta said.

Cam King leads off second for the Patriots in their win over the Norsemen. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Jack Bean (Standish, Maine/USM) takes a cut at the plate for the Patriots. Adam Birt / The American Journal

Justin Coppeta put up three hits for the Patriots in their win. Adam Birt / The American Journal


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