BANGOR, Maine – Top-ranked Bangor and Brewer will battle for the American Legion Zone 1 baseball championship Sunday.
But it’s the second-seeded Falcons who are in the driver’s seat.
Brewer remained undefeated in the double-elimination event by upending Bangor 6-4 in a winner’s bracket game Saturday at Husson University.
Bangor then advanced to the championship round by eliminating No. 4 Lincoln Lumber 23-3 on Saturday night.
Brewer (14-4) needs just one win Sunday to advance to the state tournament beginning July 28 at the Wainwright Complex in South Portland, while Bangor (16-3) needs to defeat the Falcons twice.
The Zone 1 runner-up will advance to a state tournament play-in game next Saturday in South Portland against the runner-up from Zone 5 (York County).
Brewer’s Kyle McLain scattered seven hits over eight innings to gain the pitching win over Bangor, with ninth-inning relief help coming from Chase Daniels.
McLain outdueled Bangor’s Nate Lewis, who allowed eight hits over 8 2/3 innings.
Brewer took the lead for good with four runs in the third inning, a rally that included three Bangor errors and was highlighted by a two-run double by Daniels down the left-field line.
Bangor crept within 5-4 with single runs in the third and fourth innings before Eric White tripled down the right-field line and scored on a groundout by McLain to give the Falcons an insurance run in the top of the fifth.
White finished with a triple, double and three runs scored for Brewer, while McLain singled twice and Daniels had three RBIs.
Anthony Capuano led Bangor offensively with a two-run double in the second inning, two singles and three total RBIs.
Joe Stanevicz added two singles for the Comrades.
Bangor then pounded out 18 hits in the nightcap, an attack led by Jordan Clarke, who tripled twice, doubled and drove home six runs in support of lefthander Curtis Worcester.
Worcester pitched a complete-game seven hitter with four strikeouts and just one walk.
Devin Lyshon added three singles and two RBIs for the Comrades, while Capuano and Cody McInnis each doubled and singled with two RBIs, and Seth Freudenberger singled twice and stole two bases.
Bangor sent 11 batters to the plate while scoring six runs in the second inning, then followed that up with five runs in the bottom of the third to take an 11-1 lead.
Ivan Voisine had Lincoln’s lone extra-base hit, a fourth-inning double.
The Lumber end their season with a 10-10 record.
In the day’s first game, Lincoln Lumber rallied from a nine-run third-inning deficit to eliminate sixth-ranked Hampden-Newport 15-13.
Lincoln scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth and seven runs in the seventh to erase a 12-3 deficit.
Ryan Beers and Dakota Sleeper each had an RBI single to highlight Lincoln’s fifth-inning rally, while Andy Kay hit a two-run single and Voisine and Logan McLaughlin each singled home a run in the seventh.
Hampden-Newport (9-10) scored twice in the first inning and three more times in the top of the second. After Lincoln countered with two runs in the bottom of the second, the Riverdogs erupted for seven runs in the top of the third, with Derek Amoroso hitting a two-run single and Cody Miller also singling home a run.
But Lincoln’s Lance Bernier came in on in relief in the third, and after escaping that Hampden-Newport uprising limited the Riverdogs to one run over the final six innings.