SOUTH CHINA — Ahead by eight runs in the third inning, the Winslow High School baseball team started thinking about the 10-run mercy rule and maybe leaving Erskine Academy with a five-inning win. Erskine made the Black Raiders think again.

The Eagles rallied to tie the game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth, before Winslow answered with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 12-8 win in a wild Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game.

Winslow improved to 6-0, while Erskine dropped to 5-2.

Spencer Miranda’s single in the top of the third gave Winslow an 8-0 lead, and while Luke Peabody hit a solo home run for Erskine in the bottom of the inning, the Black Raiders were still very much in control.

“We kind of let down. We had that (10-run rule) thought, a lot of the players. When it became 8-1 that next inning, I did not think the game was over by any stretch,” Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe said. “I’ve seen them play a couple times. They’ve had big innings. They’ve come back on a couple teams, and I did not feel 8-1 was going to hold up. Obviously, it didn’t.”

Dylan Presby’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth cut Erskine’s deficit to 8-3, and the Eagles went off for five runs in the sixth. Peabody’s two-run single cut Winslow’s lead to 8-7, and when Peabody scored on Caleb Barden’s single, the game was tied.

“You’re down 8-0, a lot of high school teams, their spirits broken. And that didn’t happen,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said.

The Eagles had the go-ahead run at third base with one out, and Jonassen called on Noah Bonsant to try a suicide squeeze bunt. The bunt try went foul, however, and Bonsant eventually grounded out to first. Jonassen pointed to that as one of a couple mistakes that cost the Eagles runs. In the third inning, prior to Peabody’s home run, Jake Suga was picked off first base by Winslow catcher Dameron Rodrigue.

“We didn’t execute the squeeze bunt. We had the pick-off before the home run,” Jonassen said. “I told them, ‘Hey if this gets to 8-5, 8-6, that’s a really bad mistake.'”

In the top of the seventh inning, Winslow scored four unearned runs without a hit. With one out, Tanner Jackson reached on an error. Ryan Gagnon and Trenton Bouchard walked to load the bases, and when Miranda hit a grounder to third, Nick Turcotte dropped the throw to the plate, and the go-ahead run scored.

Ben Smith and Rodrigue were each hit by a pitch to drive in a run and Jake Trask walked with the bases loaded to push Winslow’s lead to 12-8. Making his pitching debut, Suga threw four innings of relief for Erskine. He didn’t give up a run until fatigue set in in the seventh and he lost the strike zone.

“They’re a good team. They responded after the comeback,” Jonassen said. “I thought (Suga) did a good job.”

Trask earned the win for the Black Raiders after coming on in relief in the sixth.

“We’ve had a few games where we’ve had trouble. We’ve jumped on teams, but we don’t have that killer instinct. That’s something we can improve on,” Wolfe said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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