AUGUSTA — Augusta is proving, you’re going to have success when your team batting average is .461.

That is Augusta’s batting average through two games of the American Legion Baseball state tournament. On Thursday at Morton Field, the victim was previously unbeaten Gayton Post. Augusta pounded out a 21-11 victory that was shortened to eight innings by the 10-run rule.

Augusta will face Bangor at 3:30 p.m. today in a matchup of the remaining two undefeated teams in the tournament. Gayton, which nipped Augusta in last year’s state final, will play Zone 3 rival Bessey Motors at 11 a.m. today.

Augusta, which struggled offensively early in the season, has now scored a whopping 64 runs over its last three games.

“We have six 19-year-olds,” said Augusta right fielder Erik Ogren, who was 3 for 3 with two doubles and a home run. “I think it’s just time.”

Jason Burns and Colin McKee each went 4 for 5, with Burns depositing two balls over the fence in right-center field and driving in six runs.

The outburst was stunning for Gayton, a team which allowed 23 runs in 21 games entering the state tournament, but has now allowed 32 runs over the last two days. Gayton held off Fayette/Staples, 13-11 on Wednesday.

“We had great effort today — there’s no question about that — but the Augusta onslaught offensively was just too much,” Gayton coach Todd Cifelli said. “Fayette/Staples has some good sticks, and Augusta’s probably the favorite in the tournament, so we’ve run into two really good offenses.”

Gayton gave Augusta a couple extra outs in the first inning as Augusta scored three runs, and Augusta piled on six more runs in the bottom of the second to make it 9-0.

That nice and comfortable lead lasted only a few minutes, as Gayton struck back with eight runs in the top of the third on the strength of four walks, a two-run double by Corbin Hyde and a two-run homer by Trey Ouellette.

Augusta showed its mettle this time, as Luke Duncklee led off the third with a homer to right, McKee singled and Ogren followed with a blast well over the left-field fence. By the end of the fourth, Augusta had stretched its lead back to 17-10.

“We knew that they were going to put up a ton of runs, and we were going to put up a ton of runs,” Burns said. “We knew it was going to be a slugfest. It was hot. The ball was carrying.”

Ogren doubled in front of Burns’ first home run in the fourth, but was hit by a pitch the next two times up. He was hit three times Thursday and was plunked four times in the Zone 2 championship game.

“It’s whatever,” Ogren said. “It gets me on base.”

Gayton did not score over the final three innings, and the main reason for that was Augusta pitcher Chandler Shostak. After starting the game at second base, Shostak finished the game with five solid innings of relief (three hits, one earned run).
“I can’t say enough about Chandler Shostak, coming in and shutting them down,” Burns said. “For a young kid, coming in against a team like that, that’s incredible.”
David Clough will likely be Augusta’s starting pitcher today, while Jesse Wood will go for Bangor. After starting the summer 0-2, Augusta has now won 19 in a row.
“This is the best team I’ve ever played for, in an sport,” said Ogren, a Husson University sophomore in his first year with Augusta. “Everybody through the lineup, we can trust as a team.”

Brewer 8, Fayette/Staples 3: Pat McEwen scattered seven hits as the Falcons defeated Fayette/Staples.

Fayette/Staples is eliminated from the state tournament but will still play in the New England regionals as the host team.

Tyler French and Brandon Gendreau each had two hits for Brewer, while Blake Birmingham and Eric White combined to steal five bases. The run that put Brewer ahead for good came in the bottom of the fifth: Birmingham was hit by a pitch, stole second, was bunted to third and scored on a wild pitch.

Fayette/Staples got a two-run homer from Jack Kenney in the fourth and a solo shot by Matt Turnage in the seventh. The fourth was the only inning in which McEwen allowed more than one hit.

Bessey Motors 9, Ramsdell/Rogers 2: Bessey pulled away in the late innings to eliminate the York/Wells based Ramsdell/Rogers team.

Bessey led 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh, but Ramsdell/Rogers had two on with two out. Aaron Maran drove one to the gap in left-center, but left fielder Dylan Cox made a fine running catch to end the inning. Bessey then tacked on two runs in the eighth and three in the ninth.

Kyle Farrar had three hits and three RBIs for Bessey, and Cody Hadley had two hits. D.J. Croy pitched the first seven innings for the win.

Bessey actually had only one hit through seven innings, but got four runs in the first two innings on that hit and five walks.

Chris Cole singled three times for Ramsdell/Rogers.

Bangor 11, Morrill Post 4: The Comrades used hard hitting to knock off Morrill in a winner’s bracket game.

Bangor had 15 hits overall. Cody McInnis, Nic Cota, Christian Corneil, Joe Stanevicz, Seth Freudenberger and Carl Farnham all had two hits apiece.

Curtis Worcester pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and striking out seven for the win.

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