LEWISTON — Brewer and Lewiston battled for 11 innings at Joseph Deschenes Field at Lewiston High School on Saturday.

Brewer scored three runs in the second inning and Lewiston tied the game with one in the fourth and two in the fifth. Neither team scored again until, finally, Jed Gilpatrick drove in the go-ahead run in the top half of the 11th and the Witches added one more to secure a 5-3 victory.

“It was a great game for the fans,” Brewer coach Dana Corey said.

Pinch hitter Maddox Torrey led off the decisive 11th for Brewer (2-2) and was hit by a pitch, then Kaiden Morin singled to put runners on the corners. Two batters later, Gilpatrick shot a grounder between Lewiston’s third baseman and shortstop to score Torrey and give Brewer a 4-3 lead. 

The Witches’ next better, Grady Vanidestine, legged out an infield single to shortstop, scoring Morin and stretching the lead to 5-3. 

“We finally got some guys on and were able to do some things,” Corey said. “The base running was kind of scary and we kind of messed up a couple signals in the 11th. The ball got to short and they messed up a bit and it allowed us to score. If our guy had slowed down figuring he was out, they would have had time to get him.”

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The Blue Devils (2-2) had a chance to score runs in the bottom half of the 11th. 

Joseph Dube drew a two-out walk and then advanced to third on a double by Evan Knowlton, putting two runners in scoring position. But Brewer ended the threat there and escaped Lewiston with a victory.

Not capitalizing on scoring opportunities was the story of the game, Blue Devils coach Chris Reed said.

“We had every opportunity to finish it, but we just didn’t earn a break — or get a break, either,” Reed said. “That’s baseball, some days you can’t buy one. We had an opportunity to win it on a number of occasions but just couldn’t.”

Lewiston stranded 10 runners on base throughout Saturday’s contest.

SCORING SPURTS

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The Witches started the game by leaving a runner in scoring position when Blue Devils starter Josh Murphy got out of a first-inning jam with Gilpatrick standing at second base.

Brewer had better luck in the second inning, plating three runs.

Noah Tibbetts singled, Kaiden Morin walked and Andrew Hodgins singled to load the bases. Gilpatrick hit a fly ball into left field, and the charging outfielder couldn’t keep the ball in his glove. All three base runners scored and, after making it to second, Gilpatrick was awarded third base on an errant throw. 

Murphy ended Brewer’s inning with a strikeout. He then settled in, pitching four more innings of scoreless ball and tallying 12 punch-outs. 

“Josh is Josh. When he’s dialed in, no one is touching him,” Reed said. “We had that one inning where, if we squeeze that ball then they don’t score. He battled back, but the problem is he is struggling with his pitch count. If he can dial in his pitch count we can keep him out there longer.”

Lewiston answered with a run in the fourth inning when Michael Dymkoski tripled and drove home Damon Bossie to cut the deficit to 3-1. Dymkoski and Bossie each tallied a team-high three hits.

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The Blue Devils added two more runs in the fifth. Ethan Blue led off the inning with a walk, and, two batters later, Evan Knowlton reached base. A fly out by Tanner Anctil advanced Ethan Blue and Evan Knowlton into scoring position, then Murphy hit a high fly ball near the left field wall for a double that scored both base runners and tied the game at 3-3. 

Vanidestine settled in on the mound for Brewer after that and pitched another four innings before being replaced in the ninth by Maddox. 

“I thought (Vanidestine) stayed within himself, and at a couple points he got frustrated but settled back in,” Corey said. “He struggled over a couple innings, but found a rhythm.”

Lewiston created a couple of chances in the extra innings, but it stranded two runners on base in the eighth inning, and an inning later, Brewer first baseman Anderson Clifford turned an unassisted double play to end the ninth. 

“For whatever reason, we couldn’t see the ball well,” Reed said. “They got big outs in big times, battled back and got strikes in big spots, and that was critical.”

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