AUGUSTA – The math was too symmetrical, too perfect, for Augusta 14U Babe Ruth coach Jason Douin and assistant coach Bob Lippert to ignore. So they made no attempt.

“In 1997, he took his son, B.L., to the World Series. In ’07, he was with the team that went to Alabama,” Douin said. “So now it’s 2017, so we’ve been talking about that a little bit. That’d be pretty special if he can go every 10 years.”

Lippert, and the rest of the 14U team, will get their chance. Augusta won the state Babe Ruth tournament Monday night, walloping undefeated Tri-County, 18-1, in six innings in the championship game at McGuire Field in Augusta.

It’s the second straight trip to regionals, which will be played at Trumbull, Connecticut, for Augusta, which won states in the 13-year-old bracket last year. And though this year’s ticket was punched via blowout, the players said the feeling to be moving on remained the way it did last year.

“You can never get used to winning,” said starting pitcher Logan Dupont, who threw all six innings for the win.

The path to the regionals also matched last year’s. Augusta lost to South Portland before beating it in the final a season ago, and this time, the 14Us were going to have to beat Tri-County after losing the first matchup Saturday 4-1.

“We knew we could win,” Dupont said. “All we needed to do was keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.”

That meant hitting, which Augusta didn’t do much of in the first game but had little trouble with in the second. The 14Us took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a Riley Geyer sacrifice fly and Dupont single, then grabbed a 3-1 lead in the third when Nick Barber scored on an error.

There was still the matter of pitching, which was up in the air going into the game. The plan originally was to start Warren, who had shut out South Portland in the opening game on Friday, but coach Douin changed his mind and went with Dupont, knowing it would keep his best defensive players in their best positions.

“Defensively, (Warren) behind the plate is an equalizer,” he said. “When he pitches, Kyle Douin has to catch. That takes away a really good shortstop for us. So we decided, ‘Hey, let’s see what Logan can do.’ “

It took coach Douin until the last minute to make the call — or, at least, the last few.

“I was really nervous at the beginning of the game, because I didn’t know if I was going to start or not, or if Akira was. It was 50/50,” Dupont said. “And I found out 10 minutes before the game actually started.”

Given the ball for the biggest game of the tournament with little time to prepare, the rising Hall-Dale sophomore managed to impress, giving up a run in the first but silencing Tri-County from there and allowing six hits in his six innings.

“Once I got into it, I was more relaxed,” he said. “Then we started doing well so I felt better and better as the game kept going.”

What Augusta did was turn the state championship game against a team that had won all four of its pool play games into a runaway. The 14Us broke the game open with a three-run fourth featuring RBI singles from Kyle Douin, Geyer and Luke Anderson and a four-run fifth sparked by a two-run single from Akira Warren, making it 10-1.

“I was really nervous today,” said Geyer, who had three RBIs and was one of seven players to drive in runs. “Coming back to this team, they’re a very good ballclub. And we just closed the door on them.”

Tri-County’s frustration peaked in the sixth, when Augusta sent eight runs across on four hits and two errors.

“They were a spectacular team. … I think we just came out and showed what we can do, and what this team is made of,” coach Douin said. “They struggled a bit, and you can tell. … The score was not indicative of how good that team in the other dugout was.”

Warren had four hits, four runs and three RBIs, Douin had two hits, four runs and two RBI, Geyer had two hits, a run and three RBIs, Barber had one hit, two runs and three RBI and Bryce Goff had one hit and three runs.

“The bats were going crazy,” Geyer said. “You could definitely tell, we weren’t ready the first game. And this game, we were ready.”

Now comes the task of keeping it going against the stiffer competition of the regional tournament teams. Coach Douin thinks his team will be up for the challenge, due in large part to advantages it didn’t have a season ago.

“Most definitely the experience of being there, knowing what to expect,” he said. “I think we have a stronger team than we did last year.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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