SOUTH CHINA — It was a weird ending, but one the Messalonskee baseball team has seen before.

The game was tied in extra innings with two outs and a Messalonskee batter (this time it was Devin Warren) swung and missed a pitch in the dirt for strike three. Travis St. Pierre took off running (the first time from third, this time from second) and eventually scored the game-winning run.

St. Pierre scored from second after Warren struck out on a wild pitch, but reached first when Hampden catcher Patrick Later’s throw to first got away, and the Eagles earned a berth in the Eastern A final with a 3-2 eight-inning win at Erskine Academy.

“I’m always thinking home on that,” St. Pierre said. “Just like with two outs, you have to get a good jump.”

No. 4 Messalonskee improves to 13-5 and advances to play Lewiston in the Eastern A final Tuesday at Morton Field in Augusta. No. 8 Hampden ends the season 9-9.

In the Eagles’ regular-season finale, St. Pierre scored from third on a dropped third strike and Messalonskee beat Oxford Hills 7-6. Saturday, St. Pierre doubled with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Warren swung and missed at an 0-2 pitch by Hampden’s reliever Dillon Corliss in the dirt, that was too low for Later to handle.

As Later chased the ball, Warren sprinted to first and St. Pierre took off for third. Later had to rush his throw and it got away from Hampden first baseman Fred Knight, allowing St. Pierre to score.

“I’m just thinking I have to get to first and maybe draw a throw like that and score my runner,” Warren said.

Hampden tied the game in the top of the seventh inning despite not hitting a ball out of the infield. Cam Libbey led off with an infield single and was sacrificed to second. After Cooper Antone walked, Logan Steward put down a bunt in front of home plate that Messalonskee catcher Trevor Gettig fielded and threw to third. His throw was wide and everyone was safe to load the bases.

Matt Palmer then hit a slow roller to second on the first pitch by Messalonskee reliever Jake Dexter. The Eagles were unable to turn the double play, allowing Libbey to score. Dexter, who came on in relief of Devin Warren (6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 4 strike outs, 2 walks, 2 hit batters), induced a ground out to end the threat.

“I think I should have gone (to Dexter to start the seventh),” Messalonskee coach Ray Bernier said. “Especially knowing what Boomer can do.”

Hampden took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Libbey. Messalonskee answered in the bottom of the inning when St. Pierre scored on a passed ball and took the lead on an RBI single by Warren in the fourth.

Scott Martin — 621-5618

[email protected]

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