“The first time I threw over there, I was just checking up on him,” Elwell said.

A moment later, Elwell had more than just a hunch to go on.

“The second and third time, we actually picked up that they were going to steal,” Elwell said. “I don’t tend to throw my best pickoff moves until we really need it.”

At this point, Maranacook really needed it. Protecting a one-run lead with the tying run on and nobody out in the bottom of the sixth, Elwell threw to first just as the Hornets’ Nate Rousseau broke for second. The Black Bears tagged Rousseau out after a brief rundown to keep the lead, then added a little extra cushion with four runs in the top of the seventh to pull away for an 8-4 win Monday.

Elwell tossed a tenacious complete game, allowing just one earned run, seven hits and two walks while striking out four to hand Leavitt (3-2) its second loss in a row.

“I had a pretty good mix of pitches,” Elwell said. “My knuckle-curve was really on today, and I got two good submarine pitches in that caught them way off-guard.”

“He’s our No. 1 guy,” Maranacook coach Eric Brown said. “We needed a big outing today and he gave it to us.”

Leavitt enjoyed a solid outing from freshman Marshall Weiss, who bounced back after giving up RBI singles to Tucker Whitman and Matt Delmar (3-for-4, four RBIs) in the top of the first.

“He did a great job,” Leavitt coach Dave Bochtler. “He’s got a lot of composure. He’s a lot older than his age.”

The Hornets tied the game with two unearned runs in the bottom of the first, but could have had more except they ran into a double play on an attempted double-steal to end the inning.

The play turned out to be even more costly for the Hornets because cleanup hitter Levi Morin was ejected for creating contact with the catcher without attempting to slide at home plate.

Weiss and Elwell both settled down to hold the opposition scoreless over the next three innings. Maranacook (2-3) took the lead for good with a two-out rally, sparked by Luke Ruffing’s walk, Elwell’s single and a passed ball that sent both into scoring position. Delmar followed with a two-run single to make it 4-2 and chased Weiss for reliever Tyler Hutchinson.

Leavitt was able to execute the double-steal effectively to get one run back in the bottom of the frame. An errant throw to second on the double steal sent the tying run to third with one out, but Elwell stranded the runner there by getting Hutchinson to pop out to short and Drew Gosselin to ground out to short.

RBI singles by Elwell and Delmar in the top of the seventh provided more than enough breathing room for a tiring Elwell, who surrendered an RBI single to Brian Bedard (2-for-4) but kept the tying run in the on deck circle.

“The biggest difference is defensively they played so much better than us in the infield,” Bochtler said. “I thought we hit the ball hard, or harder than they did. They just made all of the infield plays and backed up their pitcher defensively a lot better than we did.”

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