AUGUSTA, Maine - The Hampden Riverdogs live to play another day at the American Legion state baseball championships, thanks in part to Mother Nature.
A heavy rainstorm at Morton Field about 5:20 p.m. forced the Zone 1 champions’ elimination game against Bessey Motors of South Paris to be suspended after 1? innings.
The game, which Bessey Motors leads 2-0 after scoring single runs in each of its first two at-bats, will resume at 11 a.m. today on adjacent McGuire Field in the Capitol Area Recreation Association complex.
Also suspended Monday was an elimination game between Gayton Post of Lewiston and Libby-Mitchell of Scarborough. That game was halted in the seventh inning with Gayton leading 9-3, and will be resumed at 2 p.m. today at McGuire Field.
A winners’ bracket game between 3-0 Nova Seafood of Portland and 2-0 Gardiner will be played on Morton Field at noon, today, and two additional games are set for 3:30 and 4 p.m. pending the outcome of the earlier contests.
In one of two games that were completed earlier Monday, Zone 3 champion Gayton Post of Lewiston ended Steamboat Petroleum of Waldo County’ s postseason run, scoring five runs in the last two innings to rally for an 8-5 victory over the Zone 2 runner-up.
Steamboat Petroleum (17-11) pounded out 17 hits for the second straight game, but 15 were singles as the Wildcats stranded 12 baserunners against Gayton righthander Eddie West, who didn’ t allow a run over the final four innings.
“It comes right down to not getting that timely hit,” said Emery Shute, who is stepping down after 12 years as Steamboat Petroleum’ s head coach. “We had [West] on the ropes, two or three times they had somebody warming up and I guarantee you if we had gotten one more hit he’ d have been out of the game.”
Miles Davee paced the Wildcats with a double, three singles and two RBIs, while Nate Adams doubled and singled and Jack Davis, Jake Arthers, Tyler Miles, Phil Curll and Ethan McHatten each singled twice.
Steamboat Petroleum also got a solid pitching effort from righthander Gabe Blodgett, who worked into the eighth inning before tiring. The Camden Hills of Rockport product yielded 10 hits while striking out four and walking four.
Nickerson singled home Davee in the first inning for a 1-0 Steamboat Petroleum lead, but West got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam without giving up another run.
Gayton took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on RBI singles by West and Mekae Hyde, but Davee hit a two-run single after McHatten had singled home a run as Steamboat Petroleum regained a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the inning.
The teams traded runs in the fifth, with Greg Labonte singling home a run for Gayton and Curll singling home Miles for Steamboat Petroleum.
Gayton (18-7) took the lead with three runs on four hits, a wild pitch and an error in the eighth. Travis Dyke singled home the go-ahead run with two outs.
The Lewiston team added two insurance runs in the ninth, as West doubled and scored on a triple by Hyde, who then scored on a single up the middle by Robbie Leeman.
West and Hyde each had three hits for Gayton.
Steamboat Petroleum finished with 47 hits in three games during its first state tournament appearance since 1997, an effort featuring an 8-for-15 performance by Davee.
“To come down here and hit the ball the way we did, I’ m pretty tickled,” said Shute. “We had 11 kids who worked very hard, and I’ m proud of them.”
In Monday’ s other early elimination game, Bessey Motors lost a five-run lead to Zone 5 runnerup Kennebunk in the top of the ninth inning, but scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to salvage a 14-13 victory