AUGUSTA — For the first time since the American Legion baseball state tournament went to two teams, Zone 2 has just one representative. Even more surprisingly, Zone 4 — the Portland area — also has only one entry.

The other six teams include two entries each from Zone 1 (Bangor area), Zone 3 (Lewiston-Auburn area), and Zone 5 (southern Maine). The tournament begins at 10 a.m., Wednesday, as Zone 2 champion The Red Barn takes on Zone 3 champion Pastime Club of Lewiston at Morton Field in Augusta.

The Red Barn, which represents Augusta Post 205, dominated the Zone 2 tournament, but has not played since July 22. Coach Don Plourde thought his team would kick off any rust from the layoff.

“I think we’re ready,” Plourde said. “Guys are fired up and ready to go.”

The Red Barn will go with Zack Lachance on the mound Wednesday. Lachance was the ace for both Cony High School and The Red Barn this year and will be fully rested.

“We’re going with our 1,” Plourde said. “We feel like we’ve got three 1’s, between him and Jory Humphrey and Zack Elwell. We like our top three guys and feel like we match up with anybody.”

Wednesday’s second game has Fayette-Staples of Saco facing Bangor at 11 a.m. on McGuire Field. Bangor earned its spot in the tournament by routing Gorham, 10-0, in Saturday’s play-in game. Fayette-Staples was the Zone 5 champion.

At 2 p.m., Wednesday, Zone 3 runner-up Windham faces Zone 4 champion Westbrook at Morton Field. Windham lost the Zone 3 championship game because of a mis-application of a rule, but got past that and scored a convincing 12-4 victory over Madison in Saturday’s play-in round.

Westbrook High School won the Class A state title this spring, but coach Greg Souza (who is also the high school coach) said less than half the players from that team are on the Legion roster.

One player who is on the roster is outfielder/relief pitcher Robbie Hamilton, who played in the state tournament for Windham last summer. Souza said Windham had a full roster and Hamilton ended up at Westbrook because it was the closest team nearby.

“He’s a really good player,” Souza said. “He’s one of our better hitters. He’ll bat in the 3-4-5 area.”

Souza feels he has two of the top pitchers in the state in Zach Bean and Keenen Lowe, as well as a strong No. 3 in Ethan Nash.

“When you get further in the tournament, the teams that don’t make mistakes usually are the ones that win,” Souza said.

In Wednesday’s final game, Zone 1 champion Brewer takes on Zone 5 runner-up Staples Crossing of Eliot at McGuire Field. Staples Crossing earned its spot in the tournament because it is Zone 5’s turn to automatically advance two teams to the state tournament.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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