LEWISTON — This spring high school sports season has been a rough one for athletic directors. Between the cold weather and the rain throughout April and May, teams have been forced to play catch up, often playing on three consecutive days.

Lewiston faced that very situation this week, facing talented Messalonskee (a win) on Thursday and visiting rival Edward Little (a loss) on Friday.

On Saturday, the Blue Devils were at it again, hosting 2-12 Mt. Ararat, an Eagles squad coming off an 11-1 loss to Mt. Blue on Friday and just trying to play out the string.

Lewiston darted out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, watched the Eagles rally to tie it in the fifth before scoring the game-winning run in the sixth frame for a 5-4 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference victory.

To say the least, Dave Jordan’s 8-7 squad will enjoy the break on Sunday before hosting Brewer on Monday in the regular-season finale.

“It was a great start today, especially playing for the third straight day, and I thought we showed resiliency after they came back to tie it,” said Jordan.

It seemed like it was going to be an easy day for Lewiston despite dropping an 11-5 decision at Topsham on May 12. The Blue Devils received a pair of two-run, bases-loaded singles from Austin Wing and Kyle Ullrich for a 4-0 lead.

“Those four runs gave us a lot of confidence,” said the designated hitter Wing.

Mt. Ararat coach Bob Neron, after watching starting pitcher Ellison Etnier struggle through a 29-pitch first inning, had a relief hurler warming up when Etnier took the mound for the second. But, the lefty retired the Blue Devils in order on just six pitches and went on to go the distance, permitting just four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

“He showed a lot of character, and this team showed a lot of character in coming back, sticking together against a really good Lewiston team,” said Neron after his team dropped to 2-13 and hosts Oxford Hills on Monday. “Ellison hung in there, especially after he settled down, and he gave us a real good effort.”

“It was definitely not a good first inning for me,” acknowledged Etnier, who threw 97 total pitches. “I thought the second inning was key for me. I got my confidence going and my team came back.”

Mt. Ararat scratched a run across in the second against Ullrich (5.0 IP, six hits, five Ks, four Ws, four runs, three earned). Dylan Johnson and Bru Abreu singled to open the frame, and Cam Cox lifted a sacrifice fly to make for a 4-1 game. Lewiston catcher Gage Cote kept his team ahead by three, throwing out Abreu with the bases loaded at third base to end the frame. The Eagles had four baserunners thrown out in the contest.

Etnier pitched out of trouble in the fourth, stranding Ullrich (2-for-3) at third, and he did the same in the fifth as Cote was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a deep fly ball to center field and was stranded.

The Eagles tied the game in the fifth. Johnson (2-for-2, two runs scored) was hit by an Ullrich pitch and stole second. One out later, Jacob O’Neill singled to put runners on the corners and Cox picked up his second sacrifice fly ball to cut the Lewiston lead in half. A throwing error moved O’Neill to third and Griffin Stockford followed with an RBI single. After Stockford stole a base, Kevin Carter’s gap shot to left center-field tied the game.

But Lewiston scratched the winning run across in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Carter Chabot singled to open the frame and moved to second on a ground out. Corey Harvey entered the game to run for Chabot and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With the Mt. Ararat infield in, Brady Cusson chopped a slow roller to second, with the only play to first base as Harvey crossed the plate for a 5-4 Lewiston lead.

Mike Wong relieved Ullrich to start the sixth and spun two scoreless frames on one hit. He struck out two.

“Mt. Ararat’s pitcher was tough after the first inning and had us off-balance today,” said Jordan, who said his team didn’t take the Eagles lightly. “We take the approach that every game is important.”


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