WINTHROP – On Sunday, the Downeast Dodgers forced Winthrop to battle from behind twice before the Red Sox ended the No. 11 Dodgers’ surprise run through the Pine Tree League baseball playoffs, 9-6.

Downeast jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Rusty Klobas singled in Harry Dwyer, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Klobas then scored on a Winthrop error.

Winthrop went without a hit through the first four innings against Dodgers starting pitcher Cornell Knight. The Sox knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Downeast went up 3-2 in th fifth before Winthrop took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times.

Brett Witherell got things started for the Sox with a single up the middle, followed by a walk to Matt Richardson. Eric Palleschi then advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Ian McCarth’s sacrifice fly, a single from winning pitcher Torey Carr and a double off the bat of Josh Nichols accounted for the offense.

Winthrop built a 9-4 lead going into the ninth, but the Dodgers did not go away easily. Two errors and two base on balls helped Downeast to score twice before Knight, the potential go-ahead run, grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Knight led all hitters on the day with a double and two singles. Kevin Oliveira, Max Arsenault and Eddie Crocker repeated for the Dodgers, who out-hit the Sox 10-7. Winthrop’s Mike House stroked a double and single. Palleschi added a double.

With the win, Winthrop advances to the best-of-three championship series for the third straight year. The Red Sox will face the Central Maine Green Wave of Winslow, which defeated the Rumford Cardinals, 4-1, in the other semifinal.

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