Ethan Blue, left, and Jeffrey Randall of Lewiston react after Blue and Randall crossed the plate to put Lewiston up 4-2 over York in the top of the sixth inning on Friday.

LEWISTON — For the second time in the Maine State Little League 11/12 Baseball Tournament, Lewiston and York played to a 5-3 final score that came down to the sixth and final inning.

The second time around Lewiston didn’t let a loss happen on its home field, holding off York’s bottom-of-the-sixth rally at Giroux Field.

The two teams will play a third time in the tournament Saturday at 10 a.m., with the winner taking the state title and a spot in the New England regional tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.

With the game tied 2-2 entering the sixth Lewiston plated three runs in the top half of the frame. York starter Alex Taylor finished his outing with a strikeout of Lewiston slugger Joe Dube — who opened the scoring with a first-inning solo home run — but Lewiston greeted reliever Parker Murch with three runs on three hits over five pitches.

“I had a lot of confidence in Parker Murch coming in. He throws pretty good heat. … I ran out of pitches with Alex, so I had to bring (Parker) in to close it out,” York manager Ed Gullison said. “(Lewiston hitters) like the fastball apparently.”

Jeffrey Randall first faced Murch with one on and two out, and he sent the first Murch offering through the left side of the infield for a single that put two on, with Ethan Blue going to second. Michael Caron then drove in two runs with a triple inside the first-base line.

“The whole game we were telling (Michael) that, because he’s had tendencies of dipping his shoulder, hit the fly ball to right,” Lewiston manager Jim Caron said. “I said ‘Just keep your head still, go back, hit the ball flat, we’ll be good,’ and it worked. I’m proud of him.”

Mason Laflamme followed with a single through the infield to score Caron and make it 5-2.

Caron took the mound in the bottom of the sixth — his fourth inning of work after Ethan Pelletier gave up two runs on two hits in the first two innings — and he quickly got two outs, including leaping back to catch a pop-up to start the frame. An error kept York’s hopes alive, then three straight walks (Murch, Taylor, Brody Gullison) drove in a run to make it 5-3.

Caron finally got Jack Joyce to ground out to Randall at short, who fired to Dube at first for the final out.

“We were rolling, and then we made it interesting on ourselves,” Jim Caron said. “But this team is very, they’re tight, and they have each other’s back. My biggest fear was it ending on something like that. But we had no doubts.”

Caron didn’t allow a hit in relief, but he did walk six batters to offset the five strikeouts he delivered. He finished with 86 pitches, which allowed Lewiston to save Randall and Dube for Saturday’s winner-take-all game.

“Now we’re both in the same situation, it’s an even match,” Gullison said. “When you’re running a state tournament I don’t think you could ask for anything better. You want two really good teams.”

The teams were evenly matched through five innings, after Dube’s first-inning homer was followed by a Randall double and a Caron RBI single in the first. York answered in the second with a bases-loaded double from Murch, who drove home Ryan Cummins and Jon Jacobsohn.

Gullison said Taylor was “a little nervous starting off the game” and missed on the pitch that Dube sent out of the park, but he recovered to scatter eight hits in 5.2 innings, striking out four and walking two.

Lewiston squandered the bases loaded in the second and York did the same in the third.

Jeffrey Randall and Ethan Blue, foreground, of Lewiston react after Randall and Blue crossed the plate to put Lewiston up 4-2 over York in the top of the sixth inning on Friday.

Lewiston shortstop Jeffrey Randall fields a ground ball during Friday’s game against York.

Andrew Theriault, left, of Lewiston is hugged by his teammate Jeffrey Randall after Theriault make a difficult carch in left field against York on Friday.

York shortstop Ryan Cummins makes an overhead catch in short left field during Friday’s game against Lewiston.  

Lewiston closing pitcher Michael Caron is surrounded by teammates after he made a diving catch for an out during the sixth inning against York on Friday.  

Ryan Cummins, right, and John Jacobsohn of York react after Cummins and Jacobsohn crossed the plate to tie the game up 2-2 during the second inning in Lewiston on Friday.  

Dylan Whitlow of Lewiston keeps his eyes on his third base coach as he rounds second base during Friday’s game against York.


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