SOUTH CHINA — The strong and steady wind that blew in from left field meant the Gardiner and Erskine baseball teams could forget about power on Monday afternoon. There would be no deep fly balls to the alleys and certainly no home runs. This game was going to be decided on small ball and capitalizing on opportunities.

That turned out to be Gardiner, which made the most of a few Erskine mistakes and took a 5-3 victory in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game. The win was big for the Tigers, who dropped a tough 3-1 decision to Oceanside on Saturday.

“It’s good to bounce back after this weekend,” Gardiner (5-3) coach Russ Beckwith said. “That’s just what we were looking for.”

Gardiner led 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, but after getting two quick outs things got interesting. Luke Peabody and Dylan Presby reached base on back-to-back errors, and Cody Taylor walked to load the bases. Caleb Barden then walked to drive in an Erskine run. Beckwith called on Hunter Chasse in relief of Brady Smith, but Andrew Browne reached on another error to cut the Tigers lead to two runs and put the winning run on first base.

Chasse got a pop out to center field for the final out to preserve the win.

“The wind made it so we could be aggressive and play our outfielders in a little bit, and it helped on that last play,” Beckwith said.

Gardiner scored three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. Nic Berube and Ryan Kelley opened the inning with back-to-back walks. After a sacrifice bunt from Chasse, Berube scored on a passed ball. A walk to Smith and a bunt single by Kolton Brochu loaded the bases for Devon Maschino, who hit a two-run double down the right field line for a 3-0 lead.

“Give them credit. They took advantage of our early walks. They made some plays we didn’t make,” Erskine (5-3) coach Lars Jonassen said.

The Eagles got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, when Taylor singled, went to third base on an error, and scored on Noah Bonsant’s groundout to second base. Erskine left the bases loaded in the fourth and stranded nine runners on base in the game.

Gardiner got the run back in the fifth. Berube singled, went to second base on a balk, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Kelley’s sacrifice fly to right. The Tigers added a run in the seventh, when Chasse scored on a Brochu pop-up that fluttered in the wind and eluded the left side of Erskine’s infield.

Sam Jermyn started and got the win for Gardiner. Erskine lost catcher Nick Turcotte to a leg injury in the fourth, after he was involved in a collision at the plate when being tagged out by Brochu to end the third inning. Jonassen said the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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