HARRISON — Lewiston entered the top of the fifth inning of Tuesday’s Babe Ruth 15-year-old state tournament championship round game down by two runs and left it up by two runs. Yet Lewiston fans may have experienced a sinking feeling that it could have and should have done more.

By the bottom of the inning, that feeling turned into reality, as Biddeford rallied with three runs and used solid relief by Mike Vadnais to cool off Lewiston’s hot bats in an 8-6 triumph that bounced Lewiston from the double-elimination tournament.

Biddeford moved on to face Central Maine in the nightcap, needing to take the next two to reach the regionals in North Providence, RI.

“We had a tough time with these guys the first time out,” said Lewiston coach Terry Ricker, whose team dropped an 11-9 decision to Biddeford on Saturday. “Overall, the kids have really competed and played great baseball.” 

“They’re a good team, that Lewiston team,” said Biddeford manager John McKeown. “We had our way with them the first time, which was a fluke. I knew they’d come to play today.”

Trailing 4-2 heading into the fifth, Lewiston’s table-setters, Luke Cote and Tucker Beaudoin, led off the frame with back-to-back singles to set things up for the tournament’s hottest hitter, Corbin Hyde. Hyde ripped an 0-1 offering from Biddeford starter Cory Greenleaf the opposite way to left field to send them home and tie the game.

Ben Wigant then singled and Matt Bowen walked to load the bases and chase Greenleaf. Vadnais came on and got Berube to line out to second, then surrendered consecutive RBI singles to Chris Madden and Shawn Ricker that gave Lewiston a 6-4 lead. With the bases loaded and one out, Ben Chicoine hit a hard liner that looked promising off the bat but settled into the shortstop’s glove. Vadnais then got Cote to ground out to short.  

“(Chicoine) had a great at-bat and hit the crap out of it and almost knocked over the shortstop,” Ricker said. 

Biddeford regained the lead for good in the bottom of the frame against Lewiston starter Beaudoin (six innings, 10 hits, six earned runs). Cody Chalouf (three hits) and Vadnais singled to start off the inning and moved up a base when the center fielder bobbled Vadnais’ hit. Greenleaf then hit a hard grounder toward the third base line that Matt Bowen tried to backhand but had bounce off his glove and 25 feet into foul territory, allowing the tying runs to score. Greenleaf went to third and then scored the go-ahead run on passed balls.

“They hit the ball so well against us,” Ricker said. “We couldn’t seem to get the big kid out, but Tucker did a great job and defensively we played well other than a couple of little bumps in the road.”

Biddeford added insurance in the sixth on a Taylor Rouillard triple and Chalouf sacrifice fly. In its half of the sixth, Lewiston got the leadoff man, Beaudoin, on second with a single and stolen base, but Vadnais handled the heart of the Lewiston lineup, fanning Hyde and inducing pop outs by Wigant and Bowen. He then closed it out with a 1-2-3 seventh.

“He’s a strong kid,” McKeown said. “In the districts, he didn’t have his stuff at all. He only pitched maybe one or two innings. When he came in against Lewiston last game, I could see the old pop in his arm and I knew he was back. He battled well in this game.”

Biddeford got a practice round in by battling back from a two-run deficit in the first. A two-out error opened the door for a 2-0 Lewiston lead on RBI singles by Bowen and Berube. Biddeford got them back in the bottom of the first on two wild pitches, then took a 4-2 lead in the third when a dropped fly ball with two outs scored Chalouf and Vadnais.

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