GRAY — When it rained it poured for Poland on Friday — but in a good way.

Amidst a mostly sunny day, the rain descended on the baseball field at Gray-New Gloucester High School, and when it did the visiting Knights started pouring on the hits and runs in a doubleheader sweep — winning the opener 18-7, and the second game 13-1 in five innings — of the rival Patriots.

Things started out cloudy for the Knights (5-5) in the first game. They fell behind 5-2 after one inning, and eventually the deficit grew to 6-2. Then came the top of the fourth inning — and the rain — and Poland pushed across eight runs to take control of the game. They held onto it the rest of the day.

“It was tough. We had that 6-2 lead and we had our ace going, and we just didn’t have our best stuff today,” Gray-NG coach Jon DiBiase said. “We just got to make more routine plays, and you just got to hit the ball better. They put up (31) runs in two games, it’s hard to win that way.”

The Knights’ rally was started by the bottom third of the order. No. 7 hitter Regan Cohen hit a one-out single in the fourth and Adam Gwarjanski followed with a double. The next two batters walked and two runs came home on wild pitches by Wyatt Kenney. Dylan Sellinger was hit by a pitch to bring home another run, and Brody Keefe’s two-run single gave Poland the lead. Hunter Gibson drove in two more with a single that ended Kenney’s time on the mound.

Drew Reynolds came on in relief and was greeted by a Grady Hart RBI sacrifice fly that finished the eight-run blitz.

“Just momentum,” Cohen, a freshman, said. “Got to get one thing and it’ll just keep rolling.”

The Patriots had a chance to take momentum right back in the bottom of the fourth against Poland reliever Mitchell Bean, loading the bases with no outs, but a pop-out was followed by a fly-out, which turned into a double play when Austin Albert (lead-off single) was gunned down at home to end the inning.

The Knights produced four-run frames in both the sixth and seventh innings. Gwarjanksi had three hits in the game, including two doubles, and Cohen, Keefe and Gibson all had multiple hits as well.

In the bottom of the seventh, Kenney led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to round out the scoring.

He had a rough start to his outing in the top of the first, hitting the first two batters. The first run of the game scored on a wild pitch and the second came on Hart’s RBI single.

Sellinger was equally as off for the Knights early in the game. He walked three straight batters with one out in the bottom of the first, then after a strikeout, gave up a two-run single to Zachary Winchester and a two-run double to Connor Saunders. Another run came home on a double steal.

The Patriots went up 6-2 in the third thanks to Ben Wildes’ one-out walk and Saunders’ two-out RBI double.

“I think the kids showed a lot of real intestinal fortitude to be able to have probably our best pitcher on the mound … and it’s a little bit of a letdown, it’s hard for kids their age to not be let down when Dylan goes out there and doesn’t have his best stuff, and they get to him,” Poland coach Charlie Pray said. “And they do, they smack us around. But I think the kids did a great job of taking a deep breath and knowing that we’re putting the work in to be a good offensive team. Now, we were going to be able to score some runs, and we talked about not being able to hit a six-run homer but being able to get to first base, and they responded and did a great job with that.”

Cohen, who was Poland’s catcher for both games, said Bean had control of pretty much everything. Pray praised Bean for stepping up and pitching four innings of relief, during which he allowed three hits and no walks.

Keefe also stymied the Patriots on the mound in game two, scattering three hits and one walk while striking out four in the mercy rule-shortened five-inning game. The defense behind him made his job easier.

The bottom of the first was a trio of difficult defensive plays by the Knights. Left fielder Sam Paladino caught a foul fly on the run, Gibson made a leaping catch of a liner at shortstop, and Bean made a diving catch of a fly to center.

“It just makes everybody have more confidence,” Cohen said. “Just more confidence so everybody else feels like they can make the same play.”

Tough defensive plays ended the next two innings, as well. In the second, Gwarjanski ran down a foul fly at third, and, in the third, Gibson sprinted to make a leaping catch in the shallow outfield with a runner on second.

The Knights seized control in the top of the second — when the rain picked up again. Gibson, Hart and Cohen opened the inning with singles, and Gwarjanski drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double. Bean drove in two with a single, Drew Sayler singled in another run and a sixth run came home on an Albert wild pitch.

“These guys (Poland), they can swing it, they can swing it, absolutely,” DiBiase said. “They must have had maybe 30 hits between these two games. I mean, that’s ridiculous.”

Cohen made it 7-0 in the third with an RBI single, then a balk from reliever Ian Libby and a Gibson RBI single in the fourth made it 9-0.

The Patriots got one run back in the bottom of the fourth when Kenney reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error, and then scored on Michael Sweeney’s sacrifice fly.

Sweeney then made a running catch in center to open the top of the fifth, but Gwarjanski started a string of five hits in six batters with a double. Paladino had an RBI single, Sellinger doubled in a run, and Keefe singled home two more to give Poland the 12-run cushion.

Keefe worked around a one-out double by Nick Geer in the bottom of the fifth to retire the side and secure the sweep.

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