LEWISTON — Eddie Emerson’s start went so well Thursday, it paled in comparison to the chaotic nature of his pregame preparations.

Emerson pitched four shutout innings and helped Pastime blank Bessey Motors 5-0 in the regular-season finale. The victory helped Pastime clinch second place and earn a bye in the upcoming Zone III tournament.

“This time of year, everybody’s looking for the bye if you can get it,” Pastime coach Dave Jordan said. “It’s been a long season, and now it’s a grind with nine-inning games. It’s something we wanted, but at the same time, we went in with the plan that we weren’t going to burn anybody out today.”

Pastime (14-4) won’t have to play until Sunday. Bessey finishes third and  will host a tourney game Saturday against the sixth seed.

“Our approach wasn’t as crisp as it needed to be,”Bessey coach Shane Slicer said. “(Pastime) treated it like a playoff game. I was treating it as such. I’m not sure our players did. Their energy wasn’t the same as a playoff atmosphere for us.”

Emerson, Mike Wong and Corbin Hyde combined to limit Bessey (13-5) to just one hit. Emerson allowed that one and walked one in four innings of work and left with a 3-0 lead.

That was after a pregame in which he was almost pulled from his start.

“I was in the outfield long tossing and a bug flew into my ear,” Emerson said. “I could hear it in there. It wouldn’t stop buzzing around. I finally killed it in my ear.”

When his ear subsequently had blood in it, Jordan nearly started Wong instead.

“We thought we were going to have to switch him,” said Jordan. “We thought maybe we’d reverse the order. It was good. Nobody panicked. It was one of those things where you warm up the best you can. They were both ready just in case.”

It made for a crazy pregame, but once Emerson took the mound, he was ready.

“It was a little hectic,” Emerson said. “I was trying to get my warm up tosses in before I actually had to throw. Fortunately, I was finally able to get those in.”

Bessey’s lone hit came on a Riley Chickering single in the fourth. Matt Smith walked in the third. Both those innings ended with Pastime turning double plays. Wong walked a batter in the fifth and walked and hit a batter in the sixth, but Bessey couldn’t take advantage. Hyde finished off the sixth and struck out the side in the seventh.

“They pitched well,” said Slicer, whose team was shut out by Windham on Tuesday. “Hats off to them. We need to change our approach or we’re not going to be long for the tournament. We need to make some changes at the plate. We have to square up at the ball better. We haven’t done that the last two games. We faced some good pitchers, and we needed to respond to that.”

Pastime took a 3-0 lead in the first with three hits. Ryan Riordan, Alex Small and Brian Wigant each had RBI singles to stake the early lead.

“We’ve been jumping out on teams but have struggled to finish them off,” said Emerson. “Today, it seemed like we played a complete game.”

Pastime made it 4-0 in the fifth when a David Cusson infield hit plated Small. A Riordan single and error scored another run in the sixth. Riordan, Small and Caleb Dostie each had a pair of hits for Pastime.

“We knew coming in we wanted the bye because we’ve got some guys dinged up and it gives all our arms a rest before we start playing nine inning next week,” Emerson said.

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