OLD ORCHARD BEACH—Jake LaPlume (Old Orchard Beach/St. Joseph’s) logged a run and two RBIs for the Windjammers as they battled past the Patriots 3-0 at The Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.

“We played solid defense, got real good pitching; we just didn’t hit,” Patriots head coach Greg Coppeta said. “Their pitcher threw a real good game, and they didn’t have a ton of hits, but they got them when they counted.”

Jack Bean mans second base for the Patriots. Adam Birt / American Journal

Zack Mann (New Gloucester/Central Maine Community College) went 2-3 for the ‘Jammers, while Jordan Gosselin (Rochester, New Hampshire/Fisher) finished 1-4. Tyler Gendron (Milford, New Hampshire/New England College) finished 1-3 with an RBI, and Hunter Leroux-Porter (Greenland, New Hampshire/Eastern Nazarene) 1-3 with a run; Lucas Ham scored once.

Meanwhile, Christian Dow (Rochester, New Hampshire/Great Bay Community College) pitched a complete game for the ‘Jammers, striking out eight Pats while relinquishing just four hits.

Jack Lynch (Portland/Merrimack) led the Patriots’ offense, recording a pair of hits in three at-bats. Brayden White (Greencastle, Indiana/DePauw) went 1-3 for the team, picking up a double. TJ Carney-DeBord (Granville, Ohio/DePauw) also picked up a hit.

Owen Sullivan (Biddeford/Nichols) pitched the majority of the game for the Pats, giving up three earned runs on six hits. Sullivan also walked three and hashed three Ks. Daniel White (Augusta/Riviere) relieved him in the top of the seventh.

“Owen pitched real well,” Coppeta said. “Daniel came in, did a real good job. Jake Plikus (Oakdale, Connecticut/Nichols), who had to move over to shortstop, had a real good game defensively, and I don’t think we made an error. Again, I think we played solid. We just didn’t hit. That happens sometimes.”

The ‘Jammers jumped out front 1-0 in the top of the first: LaPlume took a pitch to the body and scooted to first as a result, then moved to second when Gosselin flied a single into rightfield. LaPlume scored two batters later, when Gendron lined a single into center.

Zack Mann, Windjammers second baseman, grabs a bouncing grounder. Adam Birt / American Journal

The Patriots had a good opportunity to even things up in the bottom of the third, when big-hitter Arlo Pike (Buxton/University of Southern Maine) stepped into the box. With the bases loaded – Jack Bean (Standish/USM) stood at third, Lynch at second and Carney-DeBord at first – Pike presented a major threat.

But the Patriots were down two outs, so when Pike grounded out to first – hey, they can’t all be homers – the inning ended.

The Pats threatened again in the bottom of the fourth; that’s when White belted his double into deep leftfield. But once more the team was already two outs in the hole, and couldn’t manage to convert on the opportunity.

The score lingered at 1-0 until the top of the seventh. Leroux-Porter kicked off the Windjammers’ final push – the push that earned them two additional runs – with a drive single into left. Sullivan then walked Ham, pushing Leroux-Porter to second: Two men on. Mann singled to short before LaPlume volleyed a two-RBI drive single into center-right.

LaPlume, it’s worth noting, also had quite the day defensively. He played centerfield for the ‘Jammers in both of their games, and turned in more than one highlight-reel-worthy catch at the position.

The Patriots had a last chance to come from behind, but succumbed in the bottom of the seventh in four batters.

Arlo Pike doesn’t quite reach first; Caleb Burpee gets him out. Adam Birt / American Journal

“I think that’s the first time we’ve lost to them,” Coppeta said, asked how his boys have fared against the Windjammers so far this summer. “They’ve gotten better as the season’s gone on, and that’s the goal of this League – to end up better off than when you started.”

The Windjammers currently occupy fifth, at 7-14, in the Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League standings. The Patriots occupy second, at 16-6.

The GNCBL was founded in 2017 to provide college players (including incoming freshmen) an affordable opportunity to hone their skills in the off-season. The League plays at The Ballpark, at USM, at St. Joe’s, at Southern Maine Community College and sometimes at area high school fields. The 27-game season begins at the start of June, and playoffs extend into mid-August.

Jake LaPlume fields a ball in center. Adam Birt / American Journal


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