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Expos edged out by Bethel
RUMFORD -- Sometimes the opportunities simply are limited and that was the case for the Rumford baseball team in a Pine Tree League game last Wednesday evening.
Terry Collins hit a towering two-run homer, which proved to be the eventual winning runs in the fifth inning and veteran pitch made it stand up as Bethel walked away with a 4-3 win against the Expos at Hosmer Field. It was the second straight loss for Rumford after having began the season with four wins.
The game certainly started out on a high note as Justin Staires cracked a two-run homer in the first inning. Ed Paterson had beat out an infield hit. The fast start turned south as Brown settled into a groove.
“I feel pretty good for 54 (years old),” said Brown. “There’s no secret out on the mound because you just need to throw strikes. It’s when you start walking batters that you find yourself running in to trouble. I’m just glad I’m not pitching to a bunch of 24 year olds.”
Brown retired nine of the next 10 batters before the Expos put two runners on with no outs in the fourth inning. Rich Todd walked and Aaron McPhee singled, Steve LaPointe laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Brown struck out Keith Brennick and Bob Russell.
Rumford broke through in the sixth, Todd doubled to the right-centerfield gap and scored when LaPointe’s infield hit was thrown away.
Rumford starter Mark Palmer had breezed through the first two innings, however, the junk ball specialist ran in to trouble in the third. Collins ground ball bounced left past Expo second baseman Ryan Palmer and one out the batter reached on an infield single. Collins scored on a single and Bethel tied the score on a wild pitch.
“I’d like to have two pitches back,” said Mark Palmer, who will be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame later this month. “That wild pitch was a knuckle ball that I had tried to throw at an angle, but it bounced in the dirt. Then the home run ball I really grooved. It was supposed to be pitched outside, but it was right down the middle.”
Rumford had three runners on base in the last two innings, but was unable to muster a key hit. The defense turned a 1-6-3 double play and Brennick caught three foul balls from behind home plate.