LEWISTON — In two games that will go down as highlights of the Elliot Ave. Little League season, Elite Auto and Melanson Paving split two contests in a four-day period while battling for first place.

Elite prevailed in the first encounter, 3-2, in a major division contest that took only one hour and six minutes.

Down 1 1/2 games in the standings to Melanson to enter the night, Elite sent Jared Rubin to the mound hoping to ride his right arm to a win. Evan Cox grounded back to Rubin to start the game but the throw escaped the first baseman, allowing Cox to advance to second. Rubin was definitely on his game as he came back to strikeout the next three to end the threat.

Damien St. Pierre drew the starting assignment against Elite for the third time this season. His control was also spot on, striking out the first batter before Jalen Allison reached on an error at first. Another strikeout later, Grant Hartley drove a ball into deep left to score Rubin and later scored on a passed ball for two unearned runs before St. Pierre shut the door with another punch-out.

The next inning was a quick one as Rubin and St.Pierre traded strikeouts.

Melanson threatened in the top of the third when Owen Cox singled and was moved to second on a Gabe Escobar base knock. Rubin then fanned the next three to escape the inning. St.Pierre returned the favor, striking out three in the last of the third.

Melanson finally broke through in the fourth. With two outs, Dalton Wing singled, stole second and third before St. Pierre walked and took second. One costly passed ball evened the score at two.

Rubin reached on an error to open the bottom of the fourth before Hartley singled to center moving Rubin to third. Hartley took second on defensive indifference and Rubin scored on a passed ball to make it 3-2 Elite.

The Pavers could not generate any offensive support in the top of the fifth. And despite singles by Brodi Farinas and Hunter Steele, Elite would score no more as St. Pierre struck out three more to raise his total to 14 on the day.

Hartley relieved Rubin in the top of the sixth and struck out the side to end the game and grab the save.

If anyone arrived at the field on Sunday expecting either Melanson or Elite to run away with a victory, they would have been sorely disappointed. As it turned out, it took two extra innings before Melanson came out on top, 5-4.

Dalton Wing toed the rubber for Melanson and came out strong, striking out two of three to set Elite down in the first. Not to be outdone, Elite starter Grant Hartley duplicated the feat to keep the score 0-0 through one. Wing then struck out three sandwiched around two full-count walks in the second. Again, Hartley roared back with 3 whiffs of his own.

The score remained deadlocked at zero until the top of the fourth when Elite’s Jared Rubin singled to open the inning. Hartley doubled in the game’s first run before Wing shut the door, throwing to Tony Beaupre at third to snuff out a steal attempt and striking out the next two. In Melanson’s half of the fourth, Evan Cox doubled to deep left-center, but was stranded.

Wing pitched well into the fifth inning before running into the pitch count wall, but did manage to strike out eleven in all before being relieved by Cox.

Melanson bats awoke in the fifth as Wing singled but was thrown out attempting to steal second. Ben Gosselin then singled to center and Owen Cox tripled to plate a run, tying the score at one apiece.

Elite fought back in the top of the sixth, nearly salting the game away. Jalen Allison doubled to start the frame, Rubin tripled, Hartley doubled, and Brodi Farinas singled to plate three runs, pushing Elite into the lead 4-1.

With one chance left to save them from the jaws of defeat, Melanson would not say die. Hartley also ran up against the pitch count in the sixth after allowing a single to Gabe Escobar and a walk. Jalen Allison relieved Hartley before Evan Cox singled to drive in two. He later scored on a single by Wing to push the contest to extra innings, tied at 4.

Each team had hits in the scoreless seventh, Alex Beaulieu for Elite and Owen Cox for Melanson. Elite mounted a threat in the top of the eighth when Rubin walked, Hartley singled, and Farinas got plunked to load the bases, but E. Cox shut the door with a punch-out.

Heading into the bottom half, C.J. Santomango singled and Jay Gumprechte reached on an error. E. Cox grounded to third, where Santomango was retired. A wild pitch later, with runners at second and third, Allison struck out the next batter before Wing came to the plate looking to end it.

He hit a sharp grounder to second. Farinas came up with the ball and threw to first, where it was mishandled, allowing the winning run to score.

Melanson (11-3) wins the season series with Elite (9-4) three games to one, securing the top seed in the upcoming playoffs.

Auburn Suburban

AUBURN — East Auburn defeated Pepsi, 13-12, in a Saturday slugfest in Auburn Suburban Little League majors.

Ryan Kappelmann and Gavin Bates led Pepsi offensively with three hits apiece. Ben Cassidy had three hits in the winning effort, while Giles Paradie, Jaelen Coney, Mason Aube and Timmy Torres all had two hits apiece. Jaelen Coney came on in relief in the top of the sixth inning and retired two batters. Ben Cassidy then struck out the final batter to preserve the victory.

Gifford’s outscored Hardy, Wolf & Downing, 9-2, in another Saturday majors contest. Patrick Fogerty and Caleb Hebert shared pitching duties for the win. Jacob Dubuc, Mason Brushwein, and Bobby Tremaine shared the mound for HWD. Ethan Brown and Caleb Hebert were repeat hitters for Gifford’s.

On Sunday, Gifford’s edged East Auburn 7-4 in a hard-fought game. Ethan Brown and Nick Hathaway shared the mound duties for the win. Ben Cassidy and Jaelin Coney pitched for East Auburn. Mason Aube, Giles Paradis and Donnie Peterson all contributed East Auburn hits. For Gifford’s, Nick Hathaway had two hits while Austin Brown, Caleb Hebert, Patrick Fogerty, and Seth Kolreg all added a hit.

In a minor league rookie division ontest, Team ENEFCO vaulted to an 8-3 record with a win over Hammond Lumber, 16-7 on Saturday.

Jacob Jackson led Enefco’s offense, doubling in the first, second and third innings. Jackson followed that in the fourth with a single, netting six RBIs on the game.

Finnegan Thistle had three base hits on the day while RJ Nichols, Jon Shea and Matthew Scholer added to the hit tally with a pair of singles each.

Nichols also put in a solid fielding effort at first base, making all three outs single-handedly in the fourth inning.

Konnor Simson made his pitching debut for ENEFCO in the bottom of the fifth, striking out the first batter he faced. Meanwhile Jackson, Scholer and Shea also aided ENEFCO from the mound, adding 6 more K’s to the scorebook.

Hammond’s Sam Leighton led his team’s batting with a double and three base hits on the day. Alex Pape also put in a solid hitting performances with three hits. Alex Avila logged a pair of hits and Brady Cox, Jon Meserve and Alex Thistlewaite all tagged singles in the game.

Leighton also put in a strong performance on the pitcher’s mound in the top of the fifth inning, shutting ENEFCO down, allowing only one base hit and striking out three batters.

In a wild minor division game, Hammond Lumber took a 14-3 lead but saw Dillingham and Son erupt for 23 runs for the remaining four innings to triumph, 26-15.

Dillingham’s offensive outburst was spurred by George Romano, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles and five RBIs, and Daniel Cifelli, who also had three hits and four RBIs of his own. Nate McBride also shined for Dillingham, going 4-for-4 and knocking in four runs.

Hammond’s Sam Leighton pitched well, striking out the side in the first. The Lumbermen were led offensively by Matt Trischler’s four hits and Alex Avila, who cracked two hits. Alex Pape had two doubles for Hammond.

Apple Valley Babe Ruth

Maranacook outslugged Leeds, 9-8, behind a Brochu home run and the mound efforts of Lyon. N. Delmar added a single for Maranacook. Calder doubled and singled for Leeds. Damon also had two hits.


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