AUBURN — Pitcher Adam Gwarjanski gave some of the credit to his mom’s home cooking for his winning and impressive performance on the mound on Thursday afternoon.

Her chicken dinner apparently played a role in Gwarjanski’s dozen-strikeout performance that led to Poland’s 8-3 victory over Gray-New Gloucester in a Western Maine Conference baseball opener at Central Maine Community College.

The pitcher only walked two batters and gave up seven hits across six innings.

“I was pumped up for the game,” Gwarjanski said. “Prepared myself well the day before. I ate well. I mean, mom made a great dinner.”

He was also proud of his team and its impressive play on offense.

“I feel like we batted well all around,” Gwarjanski said. “We did well on what we worked on, like three practice bunts before, and I think we laid down three bunts today, so I feel like we did well.”


The Knights kept inching away from the Patriots throughout the game, building a 4-1 lead going into the sixth before Poland collected four more runs in the top of the frame.

“That’s what we are trying to do,” Poland coach Charlie Pry said. “We know we are going to scratch (out) runs. If we can get a run an inning, we can be a dangerous team, but we are going to have to do the little things to get those runs.

“We are not going to hit three-run homers. We are probably not going to be a big doubles team either, so we are going to have to do a lot of small ball.”

Pray also had a lot of confidence in his winning pitcher.

“Adam is one of the best pitchers in our conference,” Pray said. “We know coming in that we are going to ride him and we knew we could get a lot out of him. I don’t know if we wanted him to go six (innings)…” 

Several Patriots errors helped the Knights’ cause in top of the sixth inning. 


Alex Mains got on with a fielder’s choice and Parker Hackett reached on an infield error — and both came home on Sam Paladino’s two-run single. Paladino scored when Aiden MacFawn got on with an error in left field. MacFawn kept on the move and hustled to third base, where he later scored on a passed ball, giving the Knights an 8-1 lead.

Paladino also closed out the last inning to preserve Gwarjanski’s win. Paladino had two hits and three RBIs, while MacFawn and Travis West also pounded out a pair of hits.

The Patriots made a small run in the bottom of the sixth, picking up two runs with the help of four hits and an error.

Ian Libby was tagged with the loss after going five innings. He struck out 11 batters and walked one while allowing four unearned runs, and he was also the Patriots’ leading hitter, going 3 for 4 with an RBI triple in the first inning and smacking two singles. Nick Geer finished out the last two innings, giving up four runs — with only two of them earned.

For the day, the Patriots made seven errors and had nine hits.  Poland collected seven hits and had one error.

“We were playing great, but we seemed to have a thing where they struggled to throw the ball to first and our first baseman glued himself to the bag,” Gray-New Gloucester coach Seth Johnson said. “Those are simple errors that we continually made in these games, but we are working every day in practice to get better.”

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