Patriots’ season ends with a bang

15 years ago

    The season ended with a bang for the Presque Isle Patriots Sunday.
    The local American Legion baseball team amassed its season-high output for runs and hits in a game in game two of a doubleheader against Penquis played at the James E. Dyer Field at PIHS. The offensive star was Ted Walker, who ripped three home runs in the contest, including two which came as part of an 11-run fourth inning. The Caribou native finished with eight RBIs in the game, won by Presque Isle, 24-8.
    The Patriots banged out a total of 26 hits in the seven-inning game. Logan McLaughlin of Mars Hill had four hits, Mitch Folsom of Mars Hill had two doubles and a single and three RBI, Pat Thibodeau of Caribou homered and singled and knocked in three, Wilder York of Presque Isle notched three singles and Hunter Caron of Houlton had a pair of doubles and three RBI.
    Matt Chasse was the starter. The Presque Isle native allowed seven runs in the second inning, but settled down nicely before giving way to Walker, who came on in the sixth and pitched shutout baseball during his stint.
    In game one of the afternoon twinbill, the Patriots led 6-4 after four innings, but Penquis scored 12 runs over the final three frames to prevail, 16-10. Kasey Brewer of Mars Hill was the starter but was chased in the sixth inning, with Folsom inserted in at that point and finishing the game out.
    Presque Isle had 14 hits, but committed four errors. Leading the offense was Manny Martinez of Mars Hill with four hits. Chasse contributed a three-run double, while York singled three times and Dan Brewer of Mars Hill doubled and singled.
    The doubleheader turned out to be meaningless as far as the post-season is concerned. That’s because a surprising doubleheader sweep by Motor City of Bangor over Trenton the previous afternoon guaranteed Motor City the sixth and final playoff position in American Legion Zone 1.
    Motor City finished 10-10, while Presque Isle ended up 8-12 and in seventh place.
    After winning just twice in their first 10 games, the Patriots rebounded to go 6-4 down the stretch. Coach Richard Parsons said the team developed confidence as the season progressed.
    “They came together and started playing like they could,” Parsons said. “They realized they could play against anybody. Plus the hitting really started to come around at the end.”
    The Patriots had three games earlier in the week. Last Tuesday, PI scored eight times in the sixth inning to defeat Motor City at home, 16-9. Kasey Brewer’s two-run double was the key blow in the rally. Thibodeau had four singles and three RBI and winning pitcher Hunter Caron, who relieved starter Chasse in the sixth inning, had a triple and a single. Walker ripped a three-run homer in the first inning.
    The next night in Millinocket, Presque Isle lost to Lincoln, 8-6. Caron hit a two-run homer and also singled, while Thibodeau, Folsom and McLaughlin all had two hits.
    On Thursday, Thibodeau scored the winning run on a balk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as the host Patriots outlasted Lincoln, 10-9. Presque Isle tied the game earlier in the inning on a run-scoring single by Thibodeau and an RBI fielder’s choice by Walker.
    Thibodeau got the win after pitching a clean seventh inning in relief of starter McLaughlin.
    The Patriots’ final individual statistics have been calculated, with Thibodeau leading the team in batting average at .473. He also smacked three home runs and knocked in 21 runs. On the mound, he went 2-1 with one save.
    Walker had a big year with eight homers and 26 RBI, both team bests. He ended up with a .338 batting average.
    Caron (.323, four homers, 15 RBI), McLaughlin (.333, one homer, nine RBI), Folsom (.276, team-high five doubles), Dan Brewer (.400) and York (14 hits, 11 bases on balls) were other statistical leaders.