In pivotal clash, Windjammers avenge early-season loss to rival MarinersCamden Hills wins four games in five days, Oceanside drops second straight
Rockport — Four games in five days is a daunting task for any high school baseball team, let alone winning all four.
Consider the challenge conquered for Camden Hills, as the Windjammers hosted Midcoast rival and top-ranked Oceanside on Friday afternoon, May 16 in a pivotal regular-season showdown.
The Windjammers, who dropped a 5-4 decision to the Mariners to start the campaign, got a bit of revenge as the hosts bested Oceanside 5-3 on Friday.
It was Oceanside's second straight loss after starting the season 8-0.
Friday's game featured a strong pitching matchup in Windjammer Chandler Crans and Mariner Nick Mazurek. Both hurlers' numbers were nearly identical as each struck out four batters, while Crans walked one and Mazurek two. Both pitchers went the distance for their respective squads.
Pitching has been the name of the game all week for Camden Hills as coach Jeff Hart only had to go to his bullpen once in four games. Daulton Wickenden went seven strong innings in a 7-0 win over Medomak Valley of Waldoboro May 12, while Sam Berry did the same in a 5-0 win over Gardiner May 14.
“Tribute to our pitching staff,” said Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart. “Our three and four guys went out and got shutouts this week and allowed us to stay within our rotation. I think Mazurek is a great pitcher, but he looked like a guy throwing on three days rest to be quite honest. He battled the whole day. He's quite a prospect.”
Leading Camden Hills at the plate Friday were Connor Graffam (double, single, 2 runs), Crans (single, run), Sam Gimlewicz (single), John Hall (run) and Michael Wolff (run).
For Oceanside, Mazurek, Travis Frye, Thomas Curtis and Ryan Allender collected singles, while J.T. Tobin, Zac Roman and Zach Peaco scored one run.
Camden Hills scored three times in the second inning as did Oceanside, but the Windjammers added insurance tallies in the third and sixth frames, respectively.
The clubs committed a combined five errors in the second inning as the game was tied 3-3 before Graffam doubled and later came around to score on another Oceanside fielding miscue in the third inning. Gimlewicz rapped an RBI-single in the sixth inning to wrap up the scoring.
Both teams committed three errors on the afternoon.
Oceanside, like Camden Hills, had a busy week on the baseball diamond. The Mariners defeated host Winslow 4-1 May 12 before dropping their first game of the season 6-2 May 14 to visiting Waterville.
Mariner coach Don Shields said he thought his team played well, but “an inopportune error” in the second inning opened the door for the Windjammers to get back into the game.
“They did the little things today basically from the bottom of the second inning on,” said Shields of the Windjammers. “We knew how good these teams are in this conference. We just got done playing the three other teams with us. There are four teams that I think are the best in the KVAC and when you play them right in a row like that, Winslow, Waterville and Camden [Hills], you hope to win two out of three and we didn't. Give them credit.”
Mazurek went the distance against Winslow in a 5-2 win May 12 prior to Friday's game against Camden Hills. Shields said he plans to give the sophomore a week off of the mound before throwing him again Friday, May 23 against visiting Gardiner.
As far as the Windjammers are concerned, Hart said his team has “got to keep rolling.”
“The best part about it is we've been playing great defense, [but] we really struggled in that second inning and we didn't let it get to us,” the veteran coach said. “We came right back and we put runs up ourselves.”
In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (8-2, 53.9063 points) is first and Camden Hills (7-3, 46.2891 points) second in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.