Nokomis baseball coach Rob Dominick didn’t hesitate when asked. His team’s 12-11 come-from-behind win over previously undefeated Winslow on Monday was its biggest win of the season.

“It was a great game,” Dominick said. “This gives us a little security.”

The Warriors entered Monday’s game less than a half point ahead of Hermon for the 13th and final playoff spot in Eastern Class B. When Nokomis took a glance at the standings Tuesday morning, it had climbed into 10th place, just two points behind Old Town for ninth.

Nokomis trailed Winslow by six runs heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. The Warriors scored three runs in the fourth and added five more runs in the fifth to take the lead. Nokomis was 4-7 going into Wednesday game at Waterville, and six of those seven losses were by three or fewer runs.

“They don’t give you points for close games,” Dominick said.

Dominick said the close losses kept the Warriors fighting.

“We really don’t believe we’re ever out of it,” he said.

One thing the Warriors need to improve down the stretch is defense. Nokomis pulled out the win over the Black Raiders on Monday despite committing six errors.

“We get too worked up and nervous about making the play, and thinking it has to be perfect,” Dominick said. “We’re trying to go back to being relaxed and playing baseball.”

After Wednesday’s game at Waterville, Nokomis had a pair of home games, Friday against Medomak Valley and next Wednesday against Gardiner.

“If we can make it through this stretch, we’ll be tough and battle-tested for the playoffs,” Dominick said.

* * *

When 11 players were suspended four games for violating the school’s athletic code, Skowhegan coach Rick York added team manager Cam Despres to the team’s roster. On Monday, Despres got a hit in his first varsity at bat.

“I put him on the roster last week just in case someone got hurt,” York said. “He’s just been a great kid for years. He’d say ‘I can hit. I can hit.’ Jeez, he got up and squared that one up.”

Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning against Messalonskee, Despres hit a sharp single up the middle and later scored when Chase Nelson took a bases loaded walk.

York said Despres’ hit was a bright spot in a tough four-game stretch for the Indians.

“It was a great moment in light of all we’ve been through as a team. That just was wonderful,” York said.

* * *

A few Messalonskee players are dressing old school this season. The Eagles are wearing the old style stirrups, the kind that are pulled over the sock and show off a racing stripe when a player pulls his pants cuffs up to his knees.

“We had one pair, two pair, lying around last year that we wore. Our athletic office people brought in a bunch of them for us to wear this year,” said sophomore infielder Jake Dexter, who along with junior Devin Warren and freshman Jared Cunningham, sported the stirrups in Monday’s game against Skowhegan. “I like them. The guys like them. They’re cool.”

Monday’s 11-3 win at Skowhegan improved Messalonskee, the defending Class A state champion, to 8-3. The Eagles end the regular season with a tough stretch of games. Three of Messalonskee’s final four games are against Cony, Bangor and Lewiston, clubs the Eagles are competing against for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

* * *

Around the state: Falmouth lefty Thomas Fortier has thrown three no-hitters this season. The most recent came on Monday in a 4-1 win over rival Yarmouth. Fortier struck out nine and walked three in the win for the defending Class B state champs… Bucksport has an eight-game win streak and the Golden Bucks are in first place in Eastern Class C… Top to bottom, the most competitive region in the state may be Western Class B, where even the last place team, Wells, has at least three wins.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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