Spruce Mountain third baseman Devon Pomeroy (7) gets safely back to the back as Freeport first baseman Toby Holt waits for the ball during playoff game in Livermore Falls on Tuesday.

Spruce Mountain third baseman Devon Pomeroy (7) gets safely back to the back as Freeport first baseman Toby Holt waits for the ball during playoff game in Livermore Falls on Tuesday.

LIVERMORE FALLS — There were thoughts of the 10-run rule and perhaps a short Tuesday afternoon as sixth-ranked Spruce Mountain paraded across the plate with seven runs in first inning of a Class B baseball preliminary game against 11th-ranked Freeport.

That wasn’t going to happen against the obstinate Falcons (6-10-1), who climbed to within one run of the Phoenix before falling to Spruce, 13-8. The Phoenix move on to face host and third-ranked Wells High School (10-5-1) on Thursday in a quarterfinal game.

“We used all three of our pitchers today and they all contributed,” Spruce Mountain coach Brian Dube said. “This team (Freeport) wouldn’t go away. They kept battling back and I think that’s what the playoffs are all about.

“The same time we kept adding on and it was a good thing because in the end, we needed it. Like I said, these guys didn’t want to go away and they made it interesting in the end.”

After Spruce Mountain (12-5) starting pitcher Austin Gilboe got himself out of jam top of the first, the Phoenix opened up on the Falcons with four hits and seven runs in the bottom half. Center fielder Noah Preble, who went 4-for-4, drove in three runs and scored three, started the procession to the plate with a leadoff single.

The Phoenix knocked out starting pitcher Shea Wagner and he was relieved by Josh Spaulding with two outs left in that inning.

And before the Phoenix knew it, they built a 7-0 lead with the help Devon Pomeroy’s two-run double.

But the Falcons used heads-up base running and scored three runs and a handful of walks to close in on Spruce in the top of the second inning.

Freeport collected three more runs in the fourth inning to make it an uncomfortable 7-6 inning game for Spruce Mountain. Gilboe, the winning pitcher, was relieved by Nate Goodine in the fourth and Jordy Daigle closed out the game in the seventh inning.

“They actually were good hitters,” Gilboe said “We never played them during the season. Freeport, they have really good hitters. They were really disciplined. They didn’t really swing at bad pitches.

“It was a good hard effort and I want congratulate everybody. It was a good team win.”

But Gilboe kept it together on the mound and he credits his coach with helping maintain his composure during those heated jams.

“Basically, I have a coach on the bench…I look at him and he looks at me, he cracks a joke and I smile. He is really is good like that,” Gilboe said.

The Phoenix finally responded with a five-run uprising, using five hits in the fourth inning. The fireworks were capped off by shortstop Nick Lombardi, who unleashed a three-run homer over the left-field fence to make it 12-6. For the day, Tyler Poisson had three hits and drove in three runs.

“I was just hoping for a nice base hit and getting the runners in,” said Lombardi about his home run. “That is all I was hoping for. A home run is just an extra thing.

“We played phenomenal. We could have played a little better in the field but it doesn’t matter — we got the win.”

Preble scored in the fifth after getting on with a single in the fifth and the Falcons got a run in the sixth and seventh innings. Max Doughty had two hits for Freeport, which made it tough on the Phoenix.

“We have eight seniors. That has kind of been their four years,” Freeport coach Bill Ridge said. “They are kind of known for putting their backs against the wall and then they come out swinging.

“They did a good job. It was an overall team effort of just little things that started adding up to comeback. You could sense it was real and right there.”

Spruce Mountain shortstop Nick Lombardi leaps to catch a high throw as Freeport’s Shea Wagner (7) slides safely into second base as second baseman Landon Brochu (22) watches that action during playoff game in Livermore Falls on Tuesday.

Spruce Mountain shortstop Nick Lombardi leaps to catch a high throw as Freeport’s Shea Wagner (7) slides safely into second base as second baseman Landon Brochu (22) watches that action during playoff game in Livermore Falls on Tuesday.

Spruce Mountain first baseman Nate Goodine catches the ball as Freeport’s Josh Burke (14) is called safe during playoff game in Livermore Falls on Tuesday.


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