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High school baseball

Ring the Bell: Windjammers walk off with comeback prelim playoff win

Hunter Bell's one-out infield grounder in bottom of seventh inning plates Aiden Schecter with decisive run
By Ken Waltz | Jun 05, 2021
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills' Hunter Bell throws the ball to the pitcher after a pickoff attempt against Brunswick on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. Bell had the game-winning ground ball in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Windjammers a 7-6 Class A North prelim playoff victory.

Rockport — In sports, teams that realize extended postseason success often look back and point to a signature victory that propelled it to loftier heights.

Camden Hills baseball certainly had many "important" and "team-building" wins en route to its 14 regular-season victories, but none were at the level of Saturday afternoon's dramatic home playoff decision.

Well, because it kept the Windjammers' impressive season alive and in state Class A championship contention.

Not too shabby after the 2020 spring high school seasons were canceled due to the pandemic. Now sports life has returned to some semblance of normalcy and a dramatic, walk-off win in the postseason is one to cherish and celebrate.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning of a Class A North prelim playoff encounter on June 5, No. 13 Brunswick (3-14), which trailed early but pushed ahead in the middle of the contest, and No. 4 Camden Hills (15-2) were tied 6-6.

Watch video and see 40 photos below.

Aidan Schecter, who led the frame with a hit, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out, stood 90 feet from home plate as the winning run. Hunter Norton, who blasted a long home run earlier in the game, was intentionally walked.

That is when Hunter Bell, a freshman, stepped to the plate. With the Dragon infield pulled in to try to cut Schecter down at the plate on a ground ball, Bell put the ball in play with a grounder up the middle. The Dragon shortstop fielded the ball and threw home, but the toss was off-target and Schecter scored the decisive run.

The Windjammers led 2-0 early, but the Dragons responded to take a 6-2 advantage. The hosts scored one run in the fourth, on a long home run to left-center field by Norton, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and the decisive tally in the seventh.

Logan Putansu, the starter, and Liam O'Neal pitched for the Windjammers. The two combined to allow seven hits, three walks, hit a batter and struck out nine.

Hank Burnham started on the bump for the Dragons, and was followed by Cal Wilba and Tanner Rapza, as the group allowed 12 hits, three walks, hit batter and fanned one.

Sam Moody (single, run), Liam O'Neal (3 singles, run), Matt Kremin (single, double, 2 runs), Schecter (single, 2 runs), Obie Miller (double), Norton (home run), Bell (2 singles, RBI) and Cam Brown (single) keyed the hosts' offense.

Cal Wilba (double, 2 runs), Burnham (single, run), Decklin Lay (hit, run), Tom Harvey (2 singles), Wes Cooper (single), Sam Masse (single), Adam Nussbaum (run), Quinn McCaffey (single) and A.J. Wolverton ( run).

The Windjammers scored two runs in the first inning, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth and seventh frames. The Dragons plated three in the third and fourth innings.

"This was a great team win today," said first-year Windjammer coach Ben Rollins, a former Camden Hills athletic standout. "We put up a couple runs early and then found ourselves in a bit of a hole by the fourth inning. Our guys have shown a lot of toughness all year and today was another prime example.

"We knew we just needed to chip away at their lead since there was quite a bit of game left. Putting up a run in each of the last four innings was exactly what we needed. Liam O’Neal was huge at the plate and on the mound today. He wants that big moment and that’s something you can’t really teach. The energy from the dugout was another big factor in getting the win today. I’m incredibly proud of my entire team."

The Windjammers will host No. 5 Bangor (11-6) on Thursday, June 10 at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Oxford Hills of South Paris (14-2) is the top seed in Class A North.

Camden Hills did not play Brunswick, Bangor or Oxford Hills during the regular season.

Brunswick at Camden Hills baseball
Camden Hills hosts Brunswick on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Zack Miller)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Scene from Brunswick at Camden Hills on June 5 in high school baseball in Rockport. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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