2009-04-27 / Sports

Donovan, Graydon lead Rams past Tigers

Staff Writer

Kennebunk's Pat Graydon, left, tags out Biddeford's Travis Vigneault at third base during the sixth inning of their SMAA baseball season opening game, Saturday, in Kennebunk. The Rams won the game, 2-1. (CHRIS BROCKMAN/JOURNAL TRIBUNE)

KENNEBUNK — For six gritty innings, Kennebunk righthander Schulyer Donovan had pitched his heart out, pestering Biddeford with his repertoire of pitches while holding the Tigers to one lone run.

Yet, it appeared Donovan might be subjected to an unjust fate, as his teammates were unable to back him up with even modest run support.

It did, that is, until RBI singles by D.J. Stockbridge and Pat Graydon in the bottom of the sixth helped lift Kennebunk to a 2-1 SMAA season-opening triumph, Saturday.

“I knew we were going to score some runs at some point,” said Donovan.

His confidence was nearly repaid sooner, than later.

Yet, although the Rams got runners on base in each of the first four innings, Biddeford hurler Nate Cadorette found the out pitch in his glove each time.

Cadorette, who like Donovan, went the distance, stranded runners in scoring position in both the second and third frames.

In the third, Cadorette walked both Donovan and Christian Plunkett, then recorded a pair of infield outs to escape trouble.

“That's a great sign,” said Tigers coach Casey Roy. “He was around the plate. Didn't get us in any trouble, and didn't give them much over the meat of the plate. He kept them off-balance and gave us a chance to win.”

Biddeford snapped the scoreless tie with a run in the top of the fourth.

Cody Petit drew a one-out walk, then moved to third on Tyler Laverriere's single.

Trevor Fleurent followed by yanking a one-strike double down the left field line, that allowed Petit to trot home while Laverriere took second.

However, Donovan left both runners stranded in scoring position, when he got both Cadorette and Joey White to ground out.

“He battled,” said Brian Dill, Kennebunk's veteran coach. “He got behind hitters a few times, but he didn't give up. But I thought he battled, which is nice to see. He was in good command of his pitches. Not overpowering, but he kept control.”

The Rams finally got through to Cadorette, after Plunkett worked him for a walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth.

Plunkett swiped second, then moved to third on Bobby Rollins' infield out.

He then scored the tying run on D.J. Stockbridge's bloop single to center.

Two batters later, Pat Graydon laced a single to left that brought in Stockbridge with the go-ahead tally.

“That was huge,” said Donovan. “Huge.”

Donovan closed out the Tigers in the top of the seventh to earn the win.

“That's what coach (Dill) was saying,” said Donovan. “That we've got to win the first one.”

And eventually, largely due to breathing room given to them by Donovan, the Rams did.

Both teams will be on the road, Tuesday, with Biddeford heading to Gorham while the Rams will visit Cheverus.

— Contact Dan Hickling at 282-1535 ext. 318 or dhickling@gwi.net.

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