SANFORD — Sanford High senior pitcher Tanner McCann could see that Kennebunk senior lefty Drew Sliwkowki was essentially unhittable Tuesday at sunny Goodall Park.

That just pumped McCann up.

“I’m competitive so when I see someone going at it I definitely have to elevate. I don’t like seeing someone beat me,” McCann said.

McCann pitched a complete-game, eight-inning five-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning as Sanford (9-2) took a 1-0 victory against Kennebunk (7-4), which lost its third straight game.

“Anything I can do to help my team win, I’ll do,” McCann said.

McCann led off the eighth inning. He struck out swinging at an outside slider. However, Sliwkowski’s 15th strikeout pitch hit the plate and eluded Kennebunk catcher Brady Stone, allowing McCann to race to first. That ended Sliwkowski’s pitching effort because he had reached the 110-pitch maximum.
The only hit Sliwkowski allowed was a bunt single in the first inning.

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Relief pitcher Max Andrews got the first out on a sacrifice bunt by No. 9 hitter Brady Adams. Tyler Sevigny hit an infield single deep into the shortstop hole. Beckett Barlow was intentionally walked to load the bases and Ben Gill lofted a fly to medium center, plenty deep enough for McCann to score on the sacrifice fly. It was just the second Sanford batted ball to leave the infield.

“Coach told me to not try to do too much but to go up there with a plan. Try to see something up and drive it to the outfield,” Gill said. “We practice it every day, you know. Go through the scenarios. So you do that work in practice, in pregame, and I was just ready for the moment.”

Several Sanford players showed they were capable of performing in tense situations. McCann was at his sharpest in the fifth through seventh innings, retiring nine straight with five strikeouts.

In the fourth and eighth innings Kennebunk put its leadoff hitter on base. Both times Sanford catcher Matt Hebert eliminated them with strong throws when they tried to steal second. Sanford also threw out Joe DiGiovanni (2 for 3) at the plate to end the second inning when Scott Robitaille cut off Django Tachibana’s sharp single to right, quickly got the ball to first baseman Gill, who made a strong throw home to Hebert who applied the tag.

Sliwkowski, a hard-thrower, had trouble with his fastball command in the first inning and made two throwing errors that created a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Sliwkowski got out of the jam with two strikeouts and an inning-ending grounder. Over the next six innings Sanford had one baserunner, a walk by Gill. Scott Long’s flyout to medium center to end the third inning was the only ball to leave the infield.

Sliwkowski gave credit to McCann after the game and noted that sometimes breaks don’t go your way. In the top of the eighth with two on and one out, Kennebunk’s Max Andrews pulled a liner over the right-field fence about eight feet foul. McCann struck out Andrews looking at the next pitch. Then Sliwkowski hit a sharp grounder that went foul before driving a ball about 340 feet to right center that Robitaille camped under for the final out.

“Tanner was great today. He was pretty immaculate to be honest,” Sliwkowski said. “I don’t think we’re going to sweat the hitting too much. We just got a little unlucky. That’s baseball, though.”


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