READFIELD — Maranacook pitcher Chris Florek picked an opportune time for his only strikeout Friday.

With Winslow threatening to rally from a five-run deficit in the seventh inning, the sophomore froze Jake Trask with a 2-2 curve ball for a called strike three for out number two.

“Whenever I get a strikeout, especially a backwards K, it’s always a lot of momentum for us,” Florek said. “Also, I figured I’d walked a guy, I may as well strike one out.”

Florek still needed to finish the job. With two runners on and the tying run at the plate, he got Robbie Petrovic to bounce into a force out at second to wrap up a 6-3 win for the Black Bears.

Maranacook (6-6) swept both games this season against Winslow (8-4).

“I think it sends a message. We beat them and we beat Waterville,” Florek said. “These guys are a really good team. If we didn’t have a lineup, we couldn’t tell who was the first hitter and who was the last hitter.”

Florek only allowed an RBI single by Bobby Chenard in the second inning before Winslow mounted its seventh inning rally with an error, back-to-back singles and a bobbled Dylan Hapworth grounder to third that scored Jon Nerney from third and made it 6-2. Alex Berard followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.

Florek was one hitter away from getting pulled, but buckled down and got the next two batters.

He scattered seven hits over seven innings. Perhaps more importantly, he never had any of the bouts of wildness that have plagued him at times this season

“He’s a kid that throws strikes. It’s just that all of a sudden he’ll start hitting guys,’ Maranacook coach Eric Brown said. “He keeps guys off balance. He’s beaten Waterville and Winslow this year. I don’t know the last time a Maranacook pitcher has been able to do that.”

“I think you’ve got to keep yourself unpredictable,” Florek said. “I have a bad history of batters, but today I did a really good job of that. I don’t think I hit one. You’ve just got to keep yourself unpredictable because if you can’t predict yourself, how can they predict you?”

The game had one other unpredictable moment in the fifth inning when Maranacook’s Connor Ireland ripped a line drive to right field for a two-run home run that made it 6-1. Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe came out of the third base dugout to argue that the ball actually bounced in front of and over the short chain-link fence. The umpires conferred briefly but stuck with their original ruling.

“From my vantage point, it clearly looked like it wasn’t a home run,” Wolfe said. “I’m not out there, I can only go by what my fielders told me.”

“It’s kind of a hard fence to read them over, especially in right field, but I thought it was gone,” Ireland said. “It was just a fastball, low, mid-part of the plate and inside. I like those pitches.”

The Black Bears struck quickly against Winslow starter Nate Gagnon, executing back-to-back hit-and-runs perfectly in the top of the first. The second, a single by Cam Brochu, scored Mark Buzzell for a 1-0 lead. Jason Brooks scored on a dropped third strike that got away from the catcher to make it 2-0.

“Just moving some guys around and guys putting the ball in play,” Brown said of his team’s execution. “We had some issues Monday (in a 12-11 loss to Gardiner) moving some guys around.”

Buzzell and Brooks doubled the lead with back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth. Both runs were unearned.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33