Oxford Hills’ Hunter LaBossiere gets tagged out by Camden’s True Crane in a rundown for the third out of the inning midway theough the game.

Oxford Hills’ Hunter LaBossiere gets tagged out by Camden’s True Crane in a rundown for the third out of the inning midway theough the game.

PARIS — Pitcher Colton Carson patiently held the high ground for six innings, knowing all along that Oxford Hills’ bats would eventually come around and take the pressure off him on a warm Thursday afternoon.

The No. 1 Vikings (13-3) finally got to Camden Hills pitcher Cole Anderson in the sixth inning, hammering out seven hits, including three doubles, to produce seven runs in Oxford Hills’ 9-1 victory over the eighth-ranked Windjammers in a Class A North baseball quarterfinal game at the Gouin Complex.

The Vikings host No. 4 Bangor in a semifinal game on Saturday. The Rams beat Hampden Academy 2-0 Thursday.

Carson grew stronger in the heat, striking out nine batters and giving up three hits in his seven-inning performance. He didn’t walk a soul, either.

“I knew if I threw strikes and I had a good defense behind me that our bats would wake up eventually,” Carson said. “We are a good hitting team…

“I felt better than I did in the first inning. I felt good. I felt like I had good command, just hit my spots and it worked out well.”

Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer’s confidence was high with Carson holding down the fort on the mound.

“He wanted the ball,” Slicer said. “You could tell yesterday, (when he asked) ’Am I pitching tomorrow,’ and we had made a decision a while ago that’s how it was going to go no matter who we faced. I think the biggest thing is he didn’t walk anybody today. His pitch count was great. He was just delivering strikes.

“We needed that inning. I think it was big. I don’t think we were nervous about the situation — you know when you get a playoff game with a pesky group, they have nothing to lose, and all the pressure is on us being the No. 1 seed — and we knew Colton was dealing, but the longer the game goes and gets closer, the tighter things could get. Just having that big inning just for the win, but also (helping us) move forward. “

Before Oxford Hills’ offense exploded in the sixth, it was still a 2-1 game, with both pitchers turning in stifling performances.

Thanks to heads-up base running, the Vikings were holding down a precarious 2-1 lead and didn’t get their first hit until the third inning.

The Vikings scored the first run in the first inning thanks to the hustle of centerfielder Cam Slicer, who got on with a walk, stole second and came home on a wild pitch. The Windjammers tied it in the second inning when Jason Greenleaf singled and scored on True Crane’s RBI single.

Oxford Hills was on the verge of scoring a couple of runs in the third inning, but Cam Slicer and Hunter LaBossiere got caught in rundowns between second and third base.

The Vikings took the lead again in the fourth when Ashton Kennison (two hits) singled. He was replaced by pinch runner Spencer Hurd, who came on a wild pitch.

With Carson holding his own, the Vikings came out in the sixth and delivered with a seven-run uprising and knocked the stubborn Anderson out of the game. LaBossiere, Kennison and Janek Luksza all launched one-run doubles, with Jackson Crane knocking in a run with his single.

“Pretty exciting; good season,” Camden Hills coach Paul MacDonald said. “I wish those guys luck in the season, that’s for sure. Like I said, Shane is a wonderful coach. They are well coached; they are a good team. They are a young team.

“Our performance was good right up until the sixth inning and then we had a couple of miscues and it kind of snowballed from there and they got some timely hits.”

Winning pitch Colton Carson rears back in the last inning.

Winning pitch Colton Carson rears back in the last inning.

Eventual winning run Malachy Hurd successfully steals second base.

Eventual winning run Malachy Hurd successfully steals second base.

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