|Nokomis Regional High School||Camden Hills Regional High School|
ROCKPORT, Maine — Kyle Olehnik hit a two-run home run and relief pitcher Caleb McFarland started a key double play in the top of the seventh inning as No. 8 Camden Hills held off No. 9 Nokomis of Newport 9-6 in an Eastern Maine Class B baseball prelim Tuesday.
The win advances the Windjammers (10-7) to a regional quarterfinal at top-ranked Presque Isle (15-1) on Wednesday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Nokomis, making its first postseason appearance in two decades, ends its season with a 9-8 record.
Olehnik’s home run, a two-run blast in the third inning after Adam Carlsen had hit a leadoff double, sparked a six-run uprising that gave coach Jeff Hart’s club a 6-0 lead. McFarland, Chandler Crans, Andrew Flanagan and Joe Chamberlain each added an RBI single during the rally.
Nokomis scored twice in the top of the fourth on an RBI triple to right by Justin Kasprzak and an RBI single by Justin Amoroso, but the Camden Hills lead grew to 7-2 in the fifth inning when Crans walked, raced all the way to third on a sacrifice by Flanagan and scored on a groundout by Alex Crans.
Carlsen, the Camden Hills starter, allowed just three hits through five innings before tiring in the sixth, and Nokomis capitalized with a four-run rally to pull to within 7-6.
Kasprzak led off the inning with a home run to right-center, and Chandler Foss later greeted reliever Elliot Grindle with an RBI single up the middle before Zach Ramsdell and Spencer Hartsgrove each drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a one-run game before Grindle got out of the inning by getting Kasprzak to ground out to second with the bases loaded.
Camden Hills scored a countering two runs in the bottom of the inning. Olehnik reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout and stole second before being cut down at the plate on a strong relay throw by Hartsgrove, the Nokomis shortstop, after a one-out single by McFarland.
McFarland reached second base on the play and scored when Connor Hart lined a double to deep center field. Hart then scored to make it 9-6 as Chandler Crans reached on an infield error.
McFarland came on in relief to start the seventh inning, but a walk to Amoroso and a single by Noah Kershner gave Nokomis two baserunners and plenty of hope with no one out.
But Jake Winslow hit a hard one-hopper right back to the mound, and McFarland threw to Carlsen at second base to ignite a momentum-killing double play before striking out the next batter to end the game and earn the save.
McFarland and Hart each had two hits to pace Camden Hills’ 10-hit attack, while Kasprzak and Winslow had two hits apiece for Nokomis, which had edged Camden Hills 9-8 in their only regular season meeting.
Carlsen earned the pitching win, scattering five hits over 5 ⅓ innings while striking out three batters and walking four.
Amoroso, the first of three Nokomis pitchers, took the loss. He allowed six earned runs on six hits in 2 ⅓ innings.