AUBURN — A seven-run fourth inning was the difference for Augusta in beating Rogers Post in a battle to determine third place in Zone 2 of American Legion baseball Monday.

Augusta broke open a one-run game with the big inning for a 9-2 win at the Auburn-Suburban complex. The victory sends Augusta to a play-in game against Zone 3 third-place finisher Staples Crossing on Thursday in Gorham for a spot in next weekend’s state tournament.

Augusta put two runs on the board in the top of the first, thanks to a lead-off single by Austin Stebbins, an error, and a Cole Lockhart sacrifice fly. Rogers Post got one run back in the bottom half of the inning when Austin Brown scored on Giles Paradie’s double.

Augusta sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth, starting with Aric Belanger, who reached on a wild-pitch third strike. Dean Jackman followed with a single before Rogers Post starter Gavin Bates induced a pair of pop-ups. But the next seven batters all reached — four via walks and singles by Belanger and Jackman sandwiched around a bases-clearing double by Ryan Kappelmann — to plate the seven runs before reliever Tim Albert struck out Jarred Schmidt to end the inning.

Again, Rogers Post got one run back in the next half-inning. Paradie led off with a single, and Bates and Tyler Blanchard also singled against Augusta pitcher Jay Lauter, who scattered five hits in a complete-game outing.

Ethan Brown finished out the game on the mound for Rogers Post, and he presented a last glimmer of hope for the hosts in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out double, but Lauter struck out his 10th and final batter to end the game.

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