Sabers roll into baseball semis

AMHERST – Kyan Bagshaw may have been the lead actor in Saturday’s 10-0 win over oyster River of Durham, and blowouts rarely feature one play that could rightly be referred to as game changing.

But one of Bagshaw’s longtime teammates, first baseman Dylan Dufour came up with one.

In the top of the sixth, with the Sabers leading 5-0, Oyster River looked poised to mount a threat for the first time since the second inning, beginning with its first hit of the game. After Deacon Throop led off with a double, the Bobcats’ Ben Laze stung what might have been OR’s hardest hit ball of the day, ticketed for a flight down the right-field line.

Dufour snared the line shot and tossed it over to second base for a double play.

Moments later, the Bobcats loaded the bases on a single and two walks, before Cam Helgenberger popped out to second.

With Southeyan scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth, the game ended via the 10-run mercy rule. And Sabers had their ticket to the Division II semifinals against St. Thomas.

“That’s the highest (Dufour) has ever jumped in his life,” Sabers coach Chris Metz said with a chuckle. “If that’s a base hit it’s second and third, and it was still 5-0.”

Bagshaw had an RBI single in the sixth-inning outburst, his fourth hit of the afternoon, which included an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the fourth.

Teddy Kastle spotted the Sabers a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single off OR pitcher John Federico, who worked into the sixth.

With Bagshaw on the mound the Bobcats fanned seven times. The lefty relied on his fastball as an out pitch.

It’s likely that Bagshaw would have called it a day after six if the Sabers’ had been stopped with a 9-0 lead. The risk of injury, however slight, was not the sole reason, Metz said.

“We have a great bullpen, I have great confidence in our bullpen,” he said.

So Skowhegan’s seniors celebrated their graduation Friday night, then played on the Bill DoD Field diamond for the last time Saturday. There had to be sentimentality for both events.

The Sabers were set to face St. Thomas, a 5-4 winner over John Stark, in the Division II semifinals Wednesday at Concord’s Memorial Field.

“If we can bring the intensity we brought today, bring the ‘want to win’ intensity to the next game, we’ll be on track to do what we want to do as a team,” Bagshaw said.