GORHAM—Gorham fell behind Westbrook early on Thursday afternoon, July 25 – Chris Kullman scored for the Blazes – but the Rams outlasted their guests, putting up three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to ultimately win 4-1.

“We scored three in one inning on a couple clutch hits,” Gorham head coach Dan Morin said. “We added another when Westbrook threw it around a bit. I was worried, down 1-0, that they would gain confidence, the deeper the game went. But once we started scoring they felt pressure – mound and field – and made some mistakes.”

Jack Stone started on the mound for Westbrook, and turned in a solid effort. Adam Birt / American Journal

Nick Williams pitched all seven innings for the Rams, throwing a total of 17 first-pitch strikes and striking out five before all was said and done. Two of those Ks, vs. Westbrookers Caden Dow and Shamus Dillon, came in the top of the first.

“Nick walked no one,” Morin said proudly. “Zero earned runs. Threw first strikes at 17 of 27 hitters and strikes on 66 percent of all his pitches. He pitched a real gem.”

Westbrook first baseman Garren Post gets beneath an infield fly as a Gorham opponent races towards base. Adam Birt / American Journal

Williams and Co. suffered a setback, keeping the Blazes from speaking their minds, in the top of the second. Max Dobkowski singled into center-right for an early hit, but got caught out on his way to second when Kullman grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice. Gorham second basemen Josh Ball fielded Kullman’s contact and flipped it to shortstop Bode Meader, who tried to relay the ball to first for a double-play. But Meader’s throw came in just a moment too late and Kullman landed safely on base.

Kullman stole during Garren Post’s at-bat, and rattled to home for 1-0 when Post grounded toward first. Rams first-basemen Colin McDonald picked up Post’s ball and underhanded it to Williams, rushing over to cover the bag. But Williams was still on the move as McDonald’s toss came his way and the ball tipped out of his glove. Post trucked onward to second.


Post wouldn’t reach home, however. In fact, Westbrook were done scoring for the day, as it would turn out. More Blazes did reach base: Lucas Knapton made it all the way to third in the top of the third, for example. Knapton grounded to short and beat (quick kid!) Meader’s 6-3 throw-out attempt, then stole second before advancing to third on a passed ball. But Knapton never made it across the plate. Nor, for the remainder of the contest, did any of his teammates.

Jack Stone started on the mound for the Blazes, and did a fine job holding Gorham silent through the first few innings. Stone gave up a double – a centerfield blast – to Sean Boylen in the bottom of the first, but otherwise struck out the batters he faced, or coaxed them into groundouts or flyouts.

Nick Williams pitched a complete game for the Rams, giving up no earned runs. Adam Birt / American Journal

Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Gorham surged. With Meader and Ball both on base, Jake Polchies singled, a pop-fly into the outfield. The shot dropped, Polchies gained first, Meader scored and Ball reached third: 1-1. Quinn Dillon stepped in to pinch-run for Polchies.

McDonald next singled – he lined into center – scoring Ball for 2-1 and ushering Dillon over to second. Dillon rounded to home and McDonald to third when Brandon Gordon lined a double into right. The Blazes escaped the fourth after that, but the damage was done.

“There were two outs and a man on second when Polchies hit a foul pop within reach of the third baseman,” Morin said. “Jake capitalized on his ‘new life,’ as the baseball saying goes, and hit a single to tie it at one. Two hits later we had a 3-1 lead – all RBI with two outs.”

As mentioned, Gorham inched further ahead in the bottom of the fifth. 4-1. The quarterfinals result ended Westbrook’s summer run. No. 3 Gorham moved on to face No. 2 Scarborough in the semis on Monday afternoon, July 29.

“Semis makes the summer successful, with how young we are,” Morin said. “It’s all gravy from here.”

The CMG Mortgage Summer Baseball League is a developmental league for athletes who’ll be returning to their high school squads the following spring.

Josh Ball, at second for the Rams, lays a tag on a Westbrook baserunner. Adam Birt / American Journal

Bode Meader fires from shorstop towards first. Adam Birt / American Journal

Colby Haynes connects with a pitch for the Blazes. Adam Birt / American Journal

Caleb Hendrix chases down an outfield ball. Adam Birt / American Journal

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