BANGOR, Maine — The sixth-seeded Messalonskee High School Eagles collected just four hits in Wednesday’s Eastern Maine Class A playoff quarterfinal game against third seed Bangor at Mansfield Stadium.
But the Eagles had two of them in a two-run fifth-inning rally, during which the Rams committed three of their four errors, and they received clutch relief efforts from Jake Dexter and Devin Warren to upset the Rams 3-2.
Messalonskee of Oakland improved to 11-6 and will face the winner of Thursday’s 4 p.m. quarterfinal between No. 2 Hampden Academy (14-2) and No. 7 Lewiston (10-6) in Saturday’s semifinals.
Bangor wound up 12-5 and, for the second straight year, the Rams were upset in the quarterfinals by a lower-seeded team they had beaten twice during the regular season. The Rams were the top seed a year ago and lost to Hampden Academy 3-2 in 11 innings.
With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Justin Courtney retired the first hitter he faced but the second one, Dexter, reached on an infield error.
Dexter stole second and continued to third when the catcher’s throw skipped between the legs of the second baseman.
He scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Jared Cunningham lined a single to left-center and eventually raced to third on an errant pickoff attempt.
Josh Woodard then poked a single to right past the drawn-in infield.
Bangor rallied for a run in the sixth on Hunter Boyce’s one-out single off reliever Nick Mayo, a walk to Kyle Stevenson and Carl Farnham’s sharp RBI single to center.
Stevenson motored to third and was safe on the throw.
But Warren came on and, after Farnham stole second, he induced a foul-out. After Anthony Capuano was intentionally walked, Warren struck out the next hitter to end the threat.
Warren retired the side in order in the seventh for his second save of the season.
Bangor took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first on a two-out double-error and a Sam Huston triple that was misplayed in right field.
Messalonskee tied it in the third when Trevor Gettig struck out but reached on a third-strike wild pitch, moved to second on Dexter’s base hit and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Cunningham’s groundout.
Bangor loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third against starter Ben Frazee on two hit batters and a walk but Dexter came on to induce an inning-ending pop-up.
Bangor left 11 men on base, going 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Cunningham had a double to go with his single and RBI fielder’s choice. Dexter and Woodard had the other hits.
Huston’s triple was Bangor’s only extra-base hit. Farnham, Boyce, Andrew Hiller and Capuano had singles.