AUGUSTA — One team moved on with a strong offensive performance. The other with a strong pitching performance.

And because of that both The Red Barn and Madison will meet today in the winner’s bracket of the Zone 2 American Legion Baseball tournament.

The Red Barn, the top seed, pounded out 10 hits in a 7-3 win over No. 4 Gardiner, while No. 2 Madison, behind a strong pitching performance by Chase Malloy, beat No. 3 Post 51 6-2.

The Red Barn (15-3) and Madison (13-6) meet in the winner’s bracket at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Morton Field in Augusta. The winner advances to the championship portion of the tournament, which will be played Monday.

Post 51 (11-8) and Gardiner (9-11) play in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner will face the loser of the first game later today for a berth in the championship portion of the tournament.

The Red Barn was led by catcher Tayler Carrier, who went 4 for 5 and was a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Carrier hit two singles, a double and a triple. He also had an RBI, scored two runs and stole a base.

“The past couple of games I’ve been seeing the ball pretty well,” Carrier said. “Just picking it up well, the spin, recognizing pitches and stuff like that.”

The Red Barn was also aided offensively by Sean Cabaniss, who hit a two-run single in the third inning, and Mitchell Caron, who drove in Cam Brochu from third on a suicide squeeze for an insurance run in the eighth inning.

“I told them, these games are a nine inning grind,” The Red Barn coach Don Plourde said. “You outlast the other team, you win. We manufactured about six runs by stealing a base, moving to third with one out. Guys just do what they needed to do. It’s a credit to (the players).”

Jory Humphrey pitched a complete game win for The Red Barn, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits. He struck out seven and walked five. He helped himself offensively with an RBI groundout in the first inning and a leadoff double off the right field wall in the fifth inning. He later scored on an RBI groundout by Ben Lucas.

“We never really made a good change approach-wise with Jory all day,” Gardiner coach Dan Burdin said. “He kept us off-balance and we had a hard time adjusting to that.”

Ben Allen battled and went the distance for Gardiner, throwing 125 pitches.

“We needed him to go the distance, really, and he threw great,” Burdin said. “He kept them off-balance all day, too.”

Brady Dion and Jim Theriault each hit sacrifice flies for Gardiner, while Alex Curtis drove in Kyle Fletcher with an RBI single to right field in the fifth inning.

In the second game, Madison defeated Post 51 thanks to a strong performance by Malloy, who recently finished his freshman year of high school. Malloy allowed four hits in eight innings. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.

“We call him the ‘Freshman Phenom,’ ” Madison coach Peter Kirby said. “He actually came on a week late. We’re happy to have him, he’s a great kid.”

He struck out seven of those batters in the first three innings, fooling hitters with movement from both his fastball and breaking balls.

“My two-seam (fastball) was moving, especially,” Malloy said. “I was surprised when I was warming up in the bullpen how much I had my control.”

Kameron Nelson led Madison with three RBIs, including a two-run double in the third inning. Ben Salley added an RBI single in the second inning and Garrett Emery had an RBI walk with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Both of Post 51’s runs were scored in the second inning on errors. Jake Dexter struck out five batters in seven innings of work.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639
[email protected]

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