AUBURN — The tale of Thursday’s Class A North high school baseball quarterfinal game between sixth-seeded Mt. Ararat and No. 3 Edward Little was told in the first two-and-a-half innings.
The Eagles, looking for three consecutive playoff wins on Austin Field, hit into three double plays in the opening three frames.
On the other side, the Red Eddies used three run-scoring doubles in the second inning, building a 6-0 lead en route to an 8-1 victory.
“We really didn’t talk about the history of who we were playing and just focused on ourselves the last couple days in terms of bringing great effort to practice,” said EL coach Dave Jordan, whose Red Eddies were defeated by the Eagles in the postseason in both 2017 and 2018. “We had our best practice yesterday, not just this year but the last couple of years. It translated to today, and we fielded the ball well after Mt. Ararat hit the ball early.”
EL (12-5) advances to face Messalonskee at Auburn Suburban Fields Saturday morning in the semifinals, while Mt. Ararat saw its season end with a 9-8 record.
Mt. Ararat picked up four singles in the first three innings against Red Eddie hurler Ethan Brown. But, the hosts turned two traditional double plays in the first and third innings, while right-fielder Hunter Fisher hauled in a sinking line drive in the second and fired a bullet to first for two quick outs after an Eagle runner drifted too far off the bag.
Brown’s control was spot on. He didn’t walk a hitter and threw just 74 pitches. He struck out two Eagles.
“Last time I pitched I was wild, and today I was able to establish my fastball,” said Brown after his five-hitter. “I give a lot of credit to my team behind me. They played well in the field. We received big momentum boosts from those double plays.”
The Red Eddies gave the righty plenty of run support in the second inning. Against Mt. Ararat starting pitcher Hunter Lohr, the Red Eddies went to work as Brown and Chase Martin walked around a single by Jake Arel to load the bases with nobody out.
Christian Beliveau drove a 1-0 pitch inches inside the third-base foul line for a bases-clearing double and a 3-0 EL lead. Later in the frame, Austin Brown doubled to deep left field to score Beliveau and Colin Merritt, and a double by Ben Cassidy made for a 6-0 contest after two innings.
“That has been our problem the last few weeks, just seems to turn one mistake into several and it spirals on us,” Mt. Ararat coach Brett Chase said. “With a team as well-coached as Edward Little, you can’t do it. To give EL that type of momentum is something you can’t do in this type of game.”
“Everybody gained confidence off that. It was an awesome inning,” said Beliveau of his team’s approach to Lohr’s delayed windup. “We watched the ball coming out of his hand and we were aggressive. Mt. Ararat is really aggressive and never gives up. They just keep coming, so getting those runs was really big.”
Lohr rebounded, tossing three scoreless frames and retiring eight straight Red Eddie hitters.
“Hunter had to grind those first few innings and his pitch count was medium, and he had to battle hard mentally,” said Chase after Lohr went 5 1/3 frames on five hits, five strikeouts and five walks.
Mt. Ararat scored its lone run in the sixth as J.D. Dionne lifted a solo home run over the right-center field fence, drawing the Eagles to 6-1.
But, the Red Eddies finally knocked Lohr out of the game in the sixth after the senior issued a pair of walks. Ben Freeman relieved, allowing an RBI single to Austin Brown (2-for-4, three RBIs, run). Beliveau (1-for-1, two walks, double, three RBIs, two runs) also scored on a Mt. Ararat throwing error.
Ethan Brown set the Eagles down in order in the seventh for the complete game.
“He had confidence in our fielders. If I was a pitcher out there, I would have felt good, just looking to throw strikes,” Jordan said.
Now comes another Eagles team, as No. 7 Messalonskee (a 3-2 upset winner over No. 2 Hampden Academy) visits on Saturday. EL defeated Messalonskee on April 24 at Auburn Suburban, 5-2.

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