BANGOR — Knowing how it ended up, Franklin County coach Kyle Gunzinger might have done it differently. But that’s the thing: You never know how it’s going to turn out, and you still have to make the decisions.

On the first day of the American Legion baseball state tournament, Franklin County’s Amos Herrin pitched an outstanding game against Zone 3 champion Pastime Club of Lewiston. Herrin was still on the mound in the ninth inning with the score tied, and on his 153rd pitch Pastime’s Michael Wong singled home the winning run to give Pastime a 3-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon at the Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University.

“He begged me into it,” Gunzinger said. “He’d been throwing well, to be honest with you. I had Evan (Roberts) ready to go. In retrospect, it might be the way to go. But it’s hard to take a kid out who’s pitched that well, even though it was way too many pitches.”

Franklin County (12-9) plays an elimination game at 12:30 p.m., Thursday.

With the score 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Herrin gutted his way through the inning to keep the score tied. With runners on first and third and one out, Pastime’s Caleb Dostie laid down a squeeze bunt, but Herrin flipped the ball with his glove to catcher Andrew Pratt to get the runner at the plate. On his 140th pitch, Herrin reached back for a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

After Franklin went 1-2-3 in the ninth, pinch hitter Kyle Ulrich led off the bottom of the inning and reached first on an error. Gage Cote then laid down a great bunt for a single. With runners now on first and second and still nobody out, Wong tried to get down another bunt single, but fell behind 0-2. After two foul balls, he lined a single to center field to score Ulrich.

“When I failed to move them, I looked to Gage at first base,” Wong said. “He gave me a nod. I looked at him, gave him a nod. I felt good. I felt like I knew it was happening. My swing felt great all day, and I just happened to come through.”

Ulrich’s run was unearned, so Herrin finished with eight innings pitched, eight hits allowed, one earned run, four walks, and eight strikeouts.

Pastime also scored an unearned run in the first inning, as Oak Hill High School’s Ryan Riordan (2 for 3) walked with two out, took second on a passed ball, and came home on carter Chabot’s single. The 1-0 lead stood up until the top of the fourth, when Herrin’s double in the gap in right-center field scored Jay Chenard.

The Flyers left six runners on base in the first four innings, and that was probably the difference in the game. Pastime pitcher Kyle Bourget went all nine innings and threw 131 pitches. Bourget gave up six hits and struck out four.

“Unbelievable,” Wong said. “Unbelievable game. Getting out of jams. Everything. Not getting down on himself. Excellent job. Amazing. You couldn’t ask for better.”

Herrin had retired 12 out of the last 13 batters when Wong led off the sixth with a triple to deep left-center. Riordan followed with an RBI single, and Pastime was up 2-1.

Throughout the entire game, offense didn’t come easily, and that was the case when Franklin County tied the score in the top of the eighth. Pratt and Cam Abbott led off with back-to-back walks, and Pratt eventually scored when Pastime threw the ball away trying for an inning-ending double play.

With two out and Scottie Hall on second, Herrin laced a single to short center field. Cote came in and fielded the ball quickly, and Gunzinger opted to hold Hall at third.

“(Cote) was very close to the infield,” Gunzinger said. “I think he was five or six steps behind second base, and (Scottie) was just at third base, so he’s got another 90 feet to go. On the turf, you can throw a one-bounce ball. It’s not going to lose any velocity off the bounce. That was my decision. You can put it on me.”

The next batter, pinch hitter Anthony Franchetti, hit a bouncer up the middle that Bourget sno-coned and threw to first for the out.

“In sports,” Gunzinger said, “I’ve often said this with football and fourth down: The results dictate how smart you are. So if you make it, you’re brilliant. If you don’t, you’re an idiot. That’s kind of how it goes.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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