SOUTH CHINA — Whenever the Gardiner and Erskine baseball teams meet, a Babe Ruth League reunion takes place.

Six of Erskine’s players and five from Gardiner played on the Augusta National Guard team that won the state Babe Ruth title in 2015. Saturday’s meeting provided much more than a chance to catch up on old times, though. Both teams came into the game red hot.

Gardiner prevailed, 5-4, behind clutch plays in the field and some late-game heroics from senior Hunter Chasse.

The win was the sixth in a row for the Tigers, who moved into second place in the Class B North standings at 7-3. Erskine, playing its third game in 24 hours and fifth since Tuesday, falls to 8-2.

Chasse singled in a pair of runs in Gardiner’s three-run sixth inning to put the Tigers up 5-4, then relieved starter Sam Jermyn and picked up the final five outs for the save.

“I had all-stars with these guys a few years ago and they’re all great guys. I love them all,” Chasse said. “They’re one of the better teams in the conference, it’s a great win for our team.”

With a schedule backed up by rain-outs, the Eagles won a game against Waterville on Friday then beat Leavitt on Saturday morning before taking on the Tigers.

“We just ran out of pitching and I could only go with Noah (Bonsant) a few pitches,” Erskine coach Lars Jonassen said. “Our closer had to finish with three innings this morning to beat (Leavitt), but there are no excuses here. Gardiner out-played us and they deserved to win.”

Eagles starter Dylan Presby gave up a 2-run single to Logan Porter in the third which gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead. But that was the only hit Presby allowed until Devon Maschino led off the sixth with a single to left. Jermyn followed with a base hit and, after Nick Pooler bunted the runners over, Bonsant came on in relief.

He walked Alic Shorey to load the bases, then Andrew Browne made a nice stop at third and cut down Maschino at the plate. Porter walked to force home a run to tie the game at 3, bringing Chasse to the plate.

“In Babe Ruth he pitched to me and I honestly struggled against him,” Chasse said. “But I just wiped it clear and was looking for my pitch to drive.”

The Eagles came back with a run in the sixth when pinch-hitter Nick Howard reached on an error and scored on another error. Jermyn (3-1) left the game after throwing his 109th pitch, one under the limit allowed by the Maine Principals’ Association rule.

“I threw mostly fastballs today,” Jermyn said. “The curve ball they were picking up on and hitting it. But they’re a great hitting team so I was worried no matter what I was throwing.”

Chasse escaped the inning when Presby lined to Cole Lawrence at second and he doubled the runner off first. The Tigers also turned a 6-4-3 double play in the first inning.

“We’re starting to see the bats, one through nine, really come through at this time of the year,” Gardiner coach Russ Beckwith said. “We started off a little bit slow. Now we’re putting up runs and getting quality defense behind our pitching to keep us in games.”

Nick Turcotte led the Erskine seventh with a ground ball, to short that Maschino speared with a sliding back-hand stop in the hole. His throw to first was picked out of the dirt by Porter for an outstanding play on both ends. Chasse got the final two batters for the save and the Gardiner win.

The Eagles missed some scoring chances in the second inning when they collected four hits but just one run. Jermyn bore down in a bases-loaded situation and struck out two batters, then a base-running error ended the inning.

Browne singled and doubled for the Eagles while teammate Cody Taylor singled twice and reached base four times.

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