AUBURN — It was a week the Lewiston baseball team wanted to use as a springboard.
With the regular season winding down, the Blue Devils wanted to finish strong and let that surge carry over into the postseason.
"It's been a long week," said Lewiston coach Todd Cifelli, whose club has played three games in four days. "This was our pennant stretch this week. We had Oxford, Erskine and then EL, all worth a lot of Heal Points. We have Hampden next week, and I think the kids responded to the idea of wanting to play our best baseball going into the playoffs."
After blanking Oxford Hills and edging Erskine, the Blue Devils finished off the week in fine fashion with a 13-1 win over the Red Eddies in a five-inning game shortened by the mercy rule.
"It's always tough coming into the night game," said Cifelli. "We always call it going into the Lion's Den. We wanted the defense to be tough tonight and we were. Luke (Cote) was gritty on the mound, and we had some quality at-bats."
Lewiston (12-3) seems to have a firm hold on the second spot in Eastern A. EL (8-8) is currently in the ninth and final spot in the standings and will have to wait to learn their tourney fate.
"I have no idea," said EL coach Scott Annear. "Optimistically, I say if we can get to .500, historically, .500 will get you there. I really think we still have a good shot at it, but it is the Heal Points."
EL was hoping a win Thursday would boost their standing, but Cote's pitching was key in nixing that. He pitched a two-hitter. He struck out three and walked none. EL got hits from Luke Farrago in the second and Nate Blais in the fifth. The only other runners got on from an error and two catcher interference calls.
"I just wanted to get ahead in the count," said Cote. "That was pretty much the key. Then I could work away."
Lewiston provided plenty of offense against three EL pitchers, taking advantage of a wealth of EL mistakes. Chris Madden drove in two runs with a pair of hits. Eric Soucy and Matt Bowen also had a pair of hits and drove in a run each.
"It was a big-time challenge against Erskine," said Cifelli, whose team edged the Eagles 2-1 Wednesday. "We only had three or four hits, but we're very capable as an offense. Sometimes you have to tip your hat against a pitcher that's being successful against you."
Lewiston took a 1-0 lead in the second when Madden doubled in a run. The Blue Devils made it 5-0 in the fourth, taking advantage of one hit and two EL errors. One error, on a Madden grounder, allowed Bowen and Shawn Ricker to score. Then Madden scored on a wild pitch. Another miscue on a Corbin Hyde grounder plated David Cusson.
"That changed the dynamic of it," said Annear. "We've said we have to take care of details, especially when you're not hitting well. Cote was right there. We weren't effective at the plate. Then you really need to be strong at pitching and fielding. We made some blips in the field."
Then Lewiston blew the game open in the fifth with eight runs and five hits. Bowen, Madden and Soucy all delivered RBI doubles. Nate Berube had a two-run single. Hyde scored on a wild pitch, and Ricker singled in a pair to make it 13-0.
"We smashed a couple to the fence right in a row," said Cote. "We were able to string some hits together. I was hoping we'd get that 10th run so we could shut them down after."
EL got its lone run in the bottom of the fifth. Gage Clavet reached on an error and scored on a Blais double.
"We were looking for something to grab onto for momentum," said Annear. "This game is always such a back-and-forth game of momentum swings. We couldn't get anything rolling for us."