High school baseball

Graffam no-hits Black Bears as Windjammers sail to 6-0 win

Steady senior right-hander retires final 19 batters for Camden Hills
By Mark Haskell | May 01, 2014
Photo by: Mark Haskell Camden Hills senior pitcher Connor Graffam, shown working on the hill in an earlier game this season, tossed a no-hitter April 30 in the Windjammers' 6-0 high school baseball victory over visiting Maranacook of Readfield in Rockport.

Rockport — After his team lost two of its first three games of the new spring season, Camden Hills senior pitcher Connor Graffam gave his squad a significant boost of confidence Wednesday afternoon, April 30 against visiting Maranacook of Readfield.

Graffam, a tall right-hander, fired a no-hitter against the Black Bears in a dominant 6-0 shutout win for the Windjammers (2-2). Graffam walked just one batter and fanned 11 in the impressive performance on the hill.

Graffam's outing did not have the best of starts as he walked two of the first three batters he faced, but the senior struck out the fourth hitter and catcher Sam Gimlewicz promptly threw out a runner attempting to steal third base for the final out of the opening stanza.

The senior hurler, who also plays first base, then retired the next 19 batters he faced. It was his first no-hitter at any level.

“Connor was immense today,” said veteran Windjammer coach Jeff Hart. "[He] struggled in the first with his mechanics, but got out of it with a strikeout/throw-out double play and then dominated from there. Struck out the side in the second inning with a dominant fastball and the tone was set. After that we played great defense behind him and he kept [Maranacook hitters] off-balance.”

“It was just really great,” said Graffam of the no-hitter. “I felt really great out on the mound. Had a little struggle there in the beginning but finally calmed down. I don't know. I guess I pitched pretty well.”

The 17-year-old said getting out of the first inning the way the team did “was a huge boost.”

“I was struggling a little bit with the first couple batters then I ended up finding the strike zone,” said Graffam. “I struck out that guy then we got the double play to get out of the inning, which I was pretty happy about because I was starting to get down on myself a little. [I] just hoped I could get out of the inning and I finally did.”

Camden Hills spotted Graffam a 4-0 lead after three innings and added two insurance runs in the sixth, but at that point, the strong right-hander was on cruise control against the Black Bears.

“I just felt like I was on in the second inning,” he said. “The curveball was working pretty well and I just kept firing.”

Maranacook did not help its cause as the squad committed six errors to none for Camden Hills.

Leading the Windjammer offense were Aubrey Pennington (2 singles, run), Chandler Crans (single, run, 2 RBIs), Michael Wolff (2 singles, run), Graffam (double, run, RBI) and Gimlewicz (single).

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Camden Hills (2-2, 6.8359 points) is second, while Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston (4-0, 8.0078 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

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