HAMPDEN, Maine — With the postseason just a week away, high school baseball teams are looking to solidify their positions in the standings and prove they can rise to challenges.
The Messalonskee Eagles did so Friday against Hampden Academy.
With both teams bound for the postseason, it was an opportunity to show what could be expected from each team in a playoff atmosphere and the Eagles seized the opportunity as they earned a 10-3 victory.
The teams played fairly even until Messalonskee broke the game open with a seven-run fifth inning.
Hampden starter Dillon Corliss kept his team in the ball game into the fifth, but lost his momentum after Messalonkee’s Zach Mathieu lined a single directly into Corliss’ upper thigh to lead off the inning.
Corliss was able to walk it off and stay in the game, but the Eagles were able to take advantage of the weakened pitcher and defensive lapses.
Messalonskee sent 10 men to the plate following the play, scored seven of them, and took advantage of five Hampden errors.
The game was tied 2-2 until Gage Landry reached on an error that brought home Mathieu to give the Eagles the lead.
Jake Dexter then hit an RBI single and Travis St. Pierre added a two-run double to extend the Eagles lead to 6-2. Devin Warren’s RBI single to left, followed by consecutive scoring errors, upped the lead to 9-2.
Messalonskee tacked on its final run in the sixth when Landry scored on a Trevor Gettig fielder’s choice, making it 10-2.
Gettig got the scoring started in the first with an RBI single and St. Pierre added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Gettig and Jake Dexter led the way for the Eagles with two hits apiece, while St. Pierre contributed three RBIs.
The Broncos took advantage of early struggles from Eagles starter Reid Nutter who issued a bases-loaded walk to Logan Steward in the first inning, cutting Messalonskee’s lead to 2-1.
Fred Knight tied the game up in the third with an RBI single, but Nutter settled down after that and silenced the Broncos offense.
Hampden’s Cooper Antone picked up an RBI single in the sixth to make it 10-3 and give hope for a rally, but Eagles reliever Jake Dexter ended that, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings to seal the victory.
The Eagles improved to 10-5, while the Broncos slipped to 8-7.