Gilboe gave up a ground-rule double to the first batter he faced — Adam Eutsler. Ollie Brown singled Eutsler in two batters later and the Panthers (4-6) had a quick 1-0 lead.

The hits didn’t stop coming against Gilboe, who allowed lead-off hits in each of the first five innings, but the runs did for the Panthers. Gilboe stranded runners in scoring position three times, including twice at third base, while scattering nine hits across seven complete innings.

Gilboe said he had to take things slow in the first inning to not let the wind and cold affect him. He rarely slowed down after that.

“If I’m pitching pretty well, I like to keep a fast tempo, just to get the rhythm. Try to keep the batters off balance,” Gilboe said. “Once you get the first out, you can get that rhythm going.”

Despite a propensity for putting lead-off batters on, Gilboe always followed that up with an out.

On the flip side, the Phoenix (4-6) offense did the opposite. After leaving a pair of runners in scoring position in a scoreless bottom of the first, the Spruce Mountain bats made sure to turn those opportunities into runs over the next three frames.

Sebastian Lombardi led off the second with a triple over the head of Ben Turner in right field. Ian O’Donnell followed that up by reaching on an error to tie the game 1-1. Gilboe later laced a single up the middle to bring in O’Donnell, but the Panthers prevented another run by gunning down Noah Preble at the plate on the play.

Consecutive walks, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly from Lombardi drove in another run in the third to make it 3-1. Gilboe made it 4-1 in the fourth by singling in Shane Pelletier, who led off the frame with a single of his own.

“The other day we had to bunt people into scoring position,” Phoenix coach Brian Dube said. “Today once we got them on we were able to steal and got runners in scoring position, picked up the single when we needed it.”

Helping the Phoenix’ cause was that they didn’t strike out once against Medomak Valley starting pitcher Nicholas DePatsy or Eutsler, who pitched the sixth.

“We’ve always been aggressive,” Dube said. “We’ve worked more on making contact, and now that we’re in the middle of the season it’s starting to show.”

Gilboe struck out six batters, three of which came in the last two innings. Dube said his starter “wasn’t overpowering” but he was able to locate where he wanted to.

He also got help from a Phoenix defense that kept everything in front it.

“I thought the outfield did really well, with the wind blowing like it was,” Dube said.

Preble showed off an extra gear patrolling center to get to some fly balls in the gaps. Pelletier in left and Landon Brochu in right also got the better of the swirling wind.

The Phoenix committed just one error to the Panthers’ three, and it proved to be a harmless one in the sixth.

“I’d just like to thank my defense,” Gilboe said. “They were ready to play and helped me out a lot.”

Gilboe called a second straight win “huge” for the Phoenix, who are trying to stay in the Class B South playoff hunt. They’ll look to go for three in a row at Belfast on Wednesday.

“We really needed (the win),” Dube said. “We’re not happy where we’re at right now, but we are playing better ball.”

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