POLAND – Scoring runs won’t likely be a problem for Gray Post 86 this summer.

The problem – if you can call it that – is which players coach Aaron Talon will have in the lineup to score him all of those runs.

Hitters five through nine scored six runs, and pitcher Artie Winship made that stand up with six-plus innings of four-hit ball to lead Gray to a season-opening 7-4 win over Gilman Electric of Mechanic Falls (Post 150) on Tuesday evening.

“Having these kids on the team from Windham this year adds a whole new dimension to this team,” Talon said. “It’s like having on-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three in the lineup all the time.”

Winship, meanwhile, struggled a bit early, allowing three hits and a run in the home half of the first inning. But from there, he allowed just one hit before being lifted with no outs in the seventh.

“I always do that, start slow,” Winship said. “It takes me an inning to get into it, and at the end I was getting a little tired, I guess, and losing a bit of my control.”

But his work was enough. After the one run in the first, Gilman Electric managed a run on two walks, a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch in the fifth, and then two in the seventh before Lucas Chase came in to shut the door with the tying run at the plate.

“He had good stuff, had a good fastball and changed speeds well,” Gilman coach Walter Cary said. “It seems like we hit the ball well, but we couldn’t make anything happen.”

Gilman clung to a 1-0 lead early, though, thanks to back-to-back-to-back hits.

Tyler Merchant lined a double to the gap in right-center, Jackie MacVane singled Merchant to third and Kyle Mullins drove Merchant in with another single. In the fourth, after Mullins stymied Post 86 the first time through, Gray found its hitting stroke.

Five of the first six batters in the inning scored to put Gray ahead 5-1. One inning later, against stopper Jacob Pelletier, Gray (1-0) posted two more runs.

Gilman Electric (1-1) threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Matt Whalen led off with a six-pitch walk, and Joe Douglass followed with a perfect bunt for a single.

Whalen scored on an Eric Picard double, and Douglass came home on a Merchant sacrifice fly.

Three batters later, Brent Cary came to the plate with runners on first and third, and hit a soft liner to second base to end the game.


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