SKOWHEGAN — Another comeback simply wasn’t in the cards for Skowhegan at the 11-under New England baseball tournament on Wednesday. Just to make sure, Marlboro, Massachusetts dealt an ace from its deck.

Austin Hunt hit two home runs, scored four runs and closed the game out with two perfect innings of relief to send Marlboro to Thursday’s championship game with an 11-4 win over host Skowhegan at Carl Wright Complex.

Hunt launched the second pitch of the game — teammate Marcus Chrisafideis was beaned with the first — over the left field fence to spark a six-run first inning for Marlboro. No. 9 hitter Andrew DeFronzo added a two-out, three-run double.

Four Skowhegan errors in the second led to three unearned runs and an insurmountable 9-0 deficit for the hosts.

“They’re a very good team,” Skowhegan coach Doug McEwen said of Marlboro. “They went undefeated through their side of the bracket and finished (Stratham, New Hampshire) up in four innings (Tuesday) and looked like they were going to do the same to us before we got some things going. But we just gave them too much of a cushion to start out with. Our Achilles’ heel throughout the tournament has been giving up the big inning.”

Three Marlboro errors got Skowhegan on the board in the third inning, and home runs on back-to-back pitches by Quintcey McCray and Simon Lewis that trimmed the deficit to 9-4 in the fourth seemed to give the home crowd some additional life.

But Hunt, Marlboro’s ace, took the mound to start the fifth and retired all six batters he faced.

“I had desired to save (Hunt) for six innings in the final game, but they put the pressure on, and I wasn’t comfortable doing that,” Marlboro coach Joe Ginnetti said. “It brought my pulse down, using him the last two innings.”

“They had a couple of pitchers that were quicker than we’re used to seeing,” McEwen said.

Hunt combined with fellow pitchers Adam Cronin and Braden Deckers to limit Skowhegan to just three hits, all of which came in order in the fourth. Hunter McEwen’s double preceded McCray’s home run.

Marlboro will face Freetown/Lakeville, Massachusetts in the regional final Thursday at 5 p.m.

Skowhegan ended the tournament with a 3-2 record.

“We’ve been to (Cal Ripken regionals) three different times and this is the first time we’ve gotten a win. We got three of them, so I’m pretty proud of them,” McEwen said. “They’re just a great group of kids.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33