AUGUSTA — Whatever team you were rooting for, it was a fun and hair-graying day to watch baseball.

On Saturday, the next-to-last day of the American Legion baseball state tournament, Gayton Post held off Bangor, 8-7, and then Brewer rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to stay alive with a 12-11 victory over Augusta at Morton Field.

“That’s just a great baseball game,” Brewer coach Chris Morris said of his team’s win. “That’s what you expect in a state Legion tournament, right there. Just two good teams, battling it out. I really thought the best part about it was the star players stepped up on both teams.”

Today’s action begins at noon, with Gayton facing off with Brewer. The winner will then play Augusta for the state title at 3:30 p.m., and Augusta ace Ryan Minoty has eight innings left by Legion rules.

“He’s a horse, and we’ll walk him out there,” Augusta coach Ray Vallee said. “We’ll let Brewer and Gayton beat each other up earlier in the day, and hopefully they play a 15-inning game. Then we’ll come out ready to play.”

Another horse, apparently, is Augusta pitcher David Clough. After throwing 124 pitches on Friday, Clough threw 5 2/3 innings of effective relief and fired 90 more pitches for a two-day total of 214.

“David long-tossed today,” Vallee said. “He comes up and says, ‘Coach, my arm feels better than it’s ever felt.’ He wanted the ball.”

Augusta was flat over the first six innings, and grounded into four double plays. Brewer scored four runs in the first inning on one hit, and led 6-0 after six innings.

Evan Eldridge, who was rocked for six runs in two-plus innings in a 16-4 loss to Augusta on Wednesday, pitched the first six innings for Brewer, but tired in the seventh. Luke Duncklee had a two-run single in the inning, and Augusta tied the game at 6-6.

Brewer came right back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to go ahead 9-6. That was the score until the ninth, when Colin McKee walked and Jason Burns hit his fourth home run of the tournament to make it 9-8.

With two out and two on, Minoty came up to pinch hit and struck out on a pitch in the dirt. The throw to first conked him on the helmet and rolled away as Nick Lucas scored the tying run.

After McKee pitched a scoreless ninth, Augusta went up 11-9 with two runs in the top of the 10th. Duncklee singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Lucas (4 for 6) singled home Burns with two out.

Duncklee came on to pitch the 10th for Augusta, and Brewer greeted him with back-to-back singles to open the inning. A bad throw on a sacrifice bunt got Billy Deredin home, and Cory Clarke, now playing center field, just missed a diving catch as Tyler French ended up with an RBI single to score Cody Farrell.

After a flyout, Eric White ( 3 for 4, two walks) drove a shot to the fence in left field for a single to score Blake Birmingham with the winning run.

It was a tough loss for Augusta, but the team is still in good shape for today.

“We feel good,” Vallee said. “If you had asked us the first day we had tryouts, if we’d have a one-game playoff for the state championship, last day of the tournament, I think we probably would have taken that.”

In the first game, Bangor led 2-0 after one inning, but Gayton appeared to be on its way to an easy win after scoring six runs in the second inning and another in the third to go on top, 7-2.

But Greg Duff, who allowed the game-winning home run to Augusta’s Burns on Friday, pitched 6 1/3 innings of superb relief after entering the game in the third inning. Duff allowed one run on four hits to get the Comrades back in the game.

Bangor scored a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth, and entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 8-7. After Nic Cota led off with a single, Gayton brought in Corbin Hyde to pitch.

Hyde hit Dylan Morris with a pitch, and after a strikeout, gave up a bloop single to Joe Stanevicz to load the bases with one out. Hyde then struck out the final two batters to pick up the save.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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