AUBURN — For the third consecutive year, the Winthrop High School Ramblers traveled to St. Dominic Academy in the Western Class C baseball playoffs.

In 2012, the Ramblers won a back-and-forth, two-run game in the quarterfinal round. Last year, the Saints came away with their own two-run victory in the regional semifinal.

On Thursday, the No. 3 Saints pounded No. 6 Winthrop 12-2 in a five-inning Western Class C quarterfinal win.

Mitch Lorenz went all five innings on the mound for St. Dom’s, allowing only one earned run and fanning six batters.

“I kept my cool and took my time in between pitches and made sure I hit my spots and I knew I would be all set,” Lorenz said.

“He had good command today, he lived on the outside part of the plate and was able to come in with his curve and slider,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “He really mixed it up and kept them off balance.”

The Saints’ (13-4) bats got going with two outs in the bottom first after an unassisted double play turned by Winthrop first baseman Ben Allen, who caught Mike Richard’s line drive right to him and tagged Caleb Dostie before Dostie could get back to the bag.

Lorenz crushed a ball into the outfield for a triple and Michael Bryant drove him in with a triple of his own. Bryant scored when Ryan Harvey reached second base on an error.

“It was extremely important,” Blackman said. “We played (at Winthrop) two weeks ago and they shut us out (10-0). It was very important, we had two solid days of practice. We prepared for (Winthrop pitcher Jared Hanson), we knew what we wanted to do, we wanted to stay inside the baseball and hit the ball the other way. The boys stayed to it and squared (the ball) well today.”

Winthrop (11-7) picked up a run in the top of the second as Ben Allen had a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dakota Carter.

St. Dom’s put runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning by stealing bases. They capitalized on those chances, and on Winthrop mistakes in the inning. Two of the four runs scored in the bottom half of the second came on a wild pitch and an ensuing throwing error by the catcher.

“This week we worked on offense, mostly situational hitting and clutch opportunities,” Dostie said. “That’s what exactly what we did today, we kept our cool and our heads in it.”

“We gave them too many opportunities,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said. “What did we have, five-six errors? Jared (Hanson) wasn’t on as we would like him to be today. His curveball wasn’t snapping to well and we weren’t getting any calls from the umpire. The umpire had a pretty small strike zone. It just wasn’t in the cards today.”

After Lorenz struck out the side in order in the top of the third, the Saints added three more runs, including Mike Richard’s two run single to make 9-1. It marked the end of the day for Winthrop starter Jared Hanson who went three innings allowing seven hits and two walks. Zach Steele and Jacob Hickey came on in the fourth in relief.

The Saints stretched the lead to 12-1 in the fourth after another three-run inning, which included a two-run double from Dostie.

Winthrop picked up its second run in the top of the fifth after two consecutive throwing errors by Dostie at shortstop.

The Saints will travel to Dirigo to face the Cougars on Saturday for a berth in the regional final next Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College.


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