BANGOR — Since a loss to Messalonskee in early May, the Bangor High School baseball team has waited for another crack at the Eagles. On Saturday at Mansfield Stadium, the Rams got that chance, and made it count.

Bangor rapped out a dozen hits and got strong pitching efforts from its two aces to take a 9-3 win over Messalonskee in the Eastern Class A semifinals. No. 1 Bangor (16-2) will play for the regional championship on Saturday at Morton Field in Augusta against the winner of Saturday night’s game between No. 3 Brewer and No. 7 Mt. Blue. No. 4 Messalonskee ends the season at 14-4.

As they did in the regular season meeting, the Rams faced Messalonskee’s 6-foot-8 hard throwing Nick Mayo. In the regular season, Mayo held the Rams to three unearned runs and three hits over five innings. On Saturday, Bangor made Mayo work, right from the first inning.

Mayo needed to throw 23 pitches to get out of the first inning, allowing a run when Sam Huston dropped a two-out single into short right field to score Trevor Delaite. By the end of the second inning, Mayo’s pitch count was 54. Ben Crichton led off the second with a nine-pitch walk, and scored on a two-out error to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.

“That set the tone. We wanted to see some pitches, make (Mayo) work a little bit. Our team knew we could time him up and put the ball in play,” Crichton, who scored two runs and drove in a pair, said.

Bangor’s patience continued in the third inning, when the Rams broke the game open with five runs, and chased Mayo from the game with two outs. In 2 2/3 innings, Mayo threw 86 pitches.

“Eighty-six pitchers through two and two-thirds, that’s very uncharacteristic. I thought in pregame (Mayo) was sharp. All his pitches were hitting. He was staying low,” Messalonskee coach Peter McLaughlin said. “I think he had several batters in two strike situations where typically he gets out of those situations, and Bangor did a great job extending at bats and making him throw extra pitches.”

Ryan Brookings hit the first pitch from relief pitcher Jake Dexter for a two-run double, ushing Bangor’s lead to 6-0. The Rams added a run one batter later when Jordan Derrah hit an RBI single.

That was plenty of support for Bangor’s pitchers. Delaite started, and when he ran into trouble in the fourth when Jonathan Wilkie’s two-run double cut the Eagles’ deficit to 7-3, the Rams went to Andrew Hillier, who got out of the jam and cruised the rest of the way for the win. Hillier retired all 10 hitters he faced, striking out four.

“Once we started hitting (Delaite) a little bit, they moved to Hillier. I thought we hit the ball hard, right at people, all day long today. Sometimes that happens,” McLaughlin said.

Delaite, Hillier and Johnny Cote each scored twice for Bangor.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM