WATERVILLE — Dylan Presby had to think for a second. When was the last time he played outfield?

“The last time I played outfield was maybe Little League, middle school? I’ve learned to adjust in practices, and I’d do anything for the team,” said Presby, an Erskine Academy senior.

With a few players out, Presby was asked to play center field for the Eagles on Friday afternoon against Waterville. Flawless in the field, Presby was close to flawless at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a double and triple. Presby scored three runs and drove in another, as Erskine took the key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B win, 5-1, over the Purple Panthers.

“We got a great game out of Presby. Right now, he’s our best player,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said.

Erskine improved to 7-1, with an odd doubleheader on tap Saturday. The Eagles will play at Leavitt in the morning before hosting Gardiner in the afternoon. Erskine got a strong game from starting pitcher Nate Howard and strung together enough hits to take the lead in the middle innings.

“This was the first game we’ve had that timely hitting. We’ve struggled to score runs in the big situations. The first five games, we gave up three runs (total) and lost a game,” Jonassen said.

Presby got things started with a leadoff double in the top of the fourth for Erskine’s first hit. After going to third base on Noah Bonsant’s infield single, Presby scored on Andrew Browne’s single to deep left field. Pinch runner Sage Hapgood-Belanger scored on a wild pitch, and the Eagles had a 2-0 lead.

“They’re a good baseball team. You’ve got to capitalize when you can. I figured whoever breaks the ice first would win the game and that’s what it boiled down to,” Waterville coach Dennis Martin said.

Waterville (5-3) answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth. After reaching on an error, Andrew Roderigue scored on Cam Denis’ sacrifice fly to left field.

Erskine scored twice in the top of the fifth to gain some breathing room. After hitting a leadoff single, Bjorn Jorgensen stole second and went to third base when the ball was kicked into left field on the slide. Jorgensen scored on a Presby single. After Nick Turcotte walked, Presby scored on Noah Bonsant’s single for a 4-1 lead.

“I’m just trying to stay focused and see the ball in. You know, Cody Pellerin, he’s a great pitcher, he has a great way of mixing stuff. I’ve just got to know when it’s coming,” Presby said.

Presby hit a one-out triple in the top of the seventh inning and scored on a Turcotte double. Howard went six innings, striking out eight with no walks to earn the win.

“Nate Howard was great today. Keeping it low in the zone, throwing strikes. Fast pitching is what we need right now, and they couldn’t touch him,” Presby said.

Pellerin took the loss for Waterville, also working six innings, with seven strikeouts and three walks.

“I thought both pitchers did a super job,” Martin said. “They got a couple key hits when they had runners in scoring position.”

Bonsant had a pair of hits for Erskine.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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