WINSLOW — The Nokomis Regional High School baseball team is peaking at the right time.

On Thursday, the Warriors extended their win streak to seven and advanced to the Class B North semifinals with a 3-2 win over Winslow. Nokomis (11-7), the No. 10 seed, will face No. 3 Hermon (13-4) in the semifinals. No. 2 Winslow ends the season at 13-4. This was Nokomis’ second straight playoff win over a higher seeded opponent. The Warriors beat No. 7 Foxcroft Academy, 4-0, in the preliminary round.

“The pitchers are throwing strikes, the kids aren’t making many errors, and we hit, we hit, we hit,” Nokomis coach Jared Foster said of his team’s win streak.

Against Winslow on Thursday, the Warriors hit just enough while taking advantage of Black Raider mistakes to score all three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Josh Perry reached on an error to lead off the inning and Zach Hartsgrove followed by reaching on catcher’s interference. Cody Rice hit a wind-blown double to left field to score Perry. With one out, Mike Massow’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Hartsgrove and gave Nokomis a 2-1 lead. Rice scored on a wild pitch and it was 3-1.

“That’s playoff baseball. They make a mistake, you’ve got to make it hurt. It worked in our favor (Thursday),” Foster said.

Added Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe: “We didn’t play good defense and that cost us the game, pretty much. We didn’t hit well enough to win, anyway. (Nokomis) deserved to win. We didn’t play well enough to win.”

The Black Raiders struggled to find offense against Nokomis’ starter, Perry, who got stronger in the later innings. Perry allowed five hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight, including six of the final 10 hitters he faced.

“I settled in probably around the last six or seven batters,” Perry said. “I definitely throw better when we’re up by a couple (runs). That’s a confidence booster, there.”

“He threw a heck of a game (Thursday). I don’t have a No. 1 (pitcher). Mike (Massow) is a No. 1, Josh is a No. 1,” Foster said. “It’s nice to have two kids who come out every day, throw their hearts out and throw strikes.”

Foster thought Perry’s best pitch was his fastball, while Perry felt his curveball was especially sharp. Whatever Perry was throwing, he was getting the Black Raiders to chase it, striking out a number of hitters while working the outside of the plate. Wolfe thought his hitters may have been pressing in the later innings.

“I think they were trying to win it with one swing instead of looking for their pitch. We don’t usually swing at that stuff. We’re usually pretty disciplined. The last couple of innings, we started trying to overdo it, I think,” Wolfe said.

Winslow took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Ben Smith reached on an infield single, went from first to third base on Dameron Roderigue’s slow roller down the third base line and scored on Jake Trask’s sacrifice fly to right field. After Nokomis took the lead in the fourth inning, Winslow got a run back in the fifth. With one out, Spencer Miranda singled and then scored when Smith’s single was bobbled in the outfield.

Trask took the tough loss, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out nine. None of Nokomis’ runs were earned.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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