STANDISH – Poland put Greely in the back seat for much of the 2007 season. The Rangers were determined to put themselves in the driver’s seat when it mattered.

Second-seeded Greely scored four times in the first inning, and Caleb Jordan made it stand up for a 5-3 win over No. 1 Poland in the Western Class B final at Larry Mahaney Diamond on the campus of St. Joseph’s College Tuesday.

“The third time was the charm,” said Greely coach Derek Soule, whose team lost a pair of 3-2 decisions to the Knights during the regular season. “We actually tied them, 9-9, on the scoreboard over the three games. These are two pretty evenly matched teams. If we had a seven-game series, it would go seven.”

Jordan went seven innings for the Rangers (17-2), yielding seven hits, two earned runs, fanning seven and walking one.

“He’s got a tender elbow and he’s just been pacing himself,” Soule said. “I thought he had plenty extra in the seventh inning. He just tried to pace himself for six innings. He saw that finish line in the seventh. You can’t say enough about how he’s competed all year for us.”

Greely will face Eastern Maine’s Winslow, which beat Bucksport, 4-2, at 5 p.m. on Saturday at St. Joe’s.

Poland starter Joe Douglass lasted just 1/3 of an inning, giving up a walk, two singles, an intentional walk, a hit batter (with the bases loaded) and double to the first six batters he faced. Matt Reade (three hits) had an RBI single and Nate MeCray a two-run double to give the Rangers the quick 4-0 lead. Jacob Pelletier, who beat the Rangers in both teams’ regular-season finale, stopped the bleeding.

The Knights (17-2) answered with two in the bottom of the first. Douglass led off the inning with a triple and scored on the first of two Tyler Merchant doubles. The left-fielder bobbled the ball while trying to retrieve it, allowing Merchant to go to third and score on Jackie MacVane’s ground out to third.

Poland’s bid to cut into the lead further in the second. With Will Griffiths at second and two out, and Douglass and the top of the order on deck, Jacob Sproul hit a tapper to second. Shawn Sanville’s throw to first was in the dirt, and Sproul was safe. Griffiths tried to take advantage by rounding third and heading for the plate, but Ryan Robb’s throw home was waiting for him when he got there.

“It was an aggressive play,” Poland coach Dave Jordan said. “I’d rather have the guys be aggressive than just sit back.”

“It turned out to be a big play because after a 4-0 lead, if they had tied it up, that certainly could have taken a lot of the momentum away,” Soule said.

Merchant doubled and eventually scored again on another MacVane grounder in the third to pull the Knights within one, but that’s as close as they would get.

Jordan enjoyed just one 1-2-3 inning, the fourth. Poland got the tying run on base in the fifth and sixth innings with one out, but couldn’t make the plays it had been making all season long.

“We had opportunities. We didn’t execute like we normally do,” Jordan said. “To me, the turning point in the game was our inability to get some bunts down and move runners up. That’s something that’s usually our strength.”

Greely finally got to Pelletier for an insurance run in the seventh on a double by Reade.


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