READFIELD — The tight battle that was developing between two teams off to winning starts gave way to a one-sided rout. Rapidly.

The Maranacook and Lawrence baseball teams’ duel ended in a matter of minutes, as the Black Bears broke open a tie game with 12 runs in the fourth inning en route to a 14-2, five-inning win in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Monday afternoon.

“I feel like we always have the potential every inning to do that,” said left fielder Duncan Rogers, who went 3-for-3 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI. “We’ve been sort of unlucky sometimes this year, with it going right to kids. … We’re all just rooting for each other and it’s all about the team, so it’s great to be able to go up and deliver for them.”

The win, Maranacook’s fifth straight, continued what has been an excellent start for the Black Bears, who now sit at 5-1.

“I don’t know how much they’re putting into what the opponent is,” said coach Eric Brown, whose Class C team beat a Class B squad in the Bulldogs (2-2). “They’re going out there and playing as our team and letting the coaches worry about what are the opponents’ abilities. … Guys are filling in when they get the opportunities, they’re doing the things that they need to do.”

Mitch Root led the Maranacook attack, going 2-for-2 with two doubles and five RBIs, while Silas Mohlar went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs and Jared Beckwith doubled, drove in a run and scored.

Braden Ballard doubled and drove in both runs for Lawrence.

HITTING SPREE: At the time, it was a big moment. Rogers led off the fourth inning of a 2-2 game with a double over the center fielder’s head, and Jarred Schmidt made it runners on the corners when he reached on a throwing error on his ground ball to short.

That brought up Root, hitting out of the eighth spot and looking to break through with a clutch hit for his team.

“I’ve been working on … just staying back on the ball,” he said. “In the beginning of the season I was kind of reaching for it, getting out in front of it, striking out a lot. In my mind, I just kept saying ‘Stay back, stay back on the ball.’ ”

On a hit-and-run, Root drilled the second pitch into the right-center field gap, scoring both runners to put Maranacook ahead 4-2.

“It hasn’t happened this year so far,” he said, “but when it happened, it felt good.”

It was just the beginning. The hits came at a dizzying pace for the Black Bears, each one stung, and each one perfectly placed. After two more runs scored, Mohlar doubled to right-center field to score both Aric Belanger and Jackson McPhedran and make it 8-2. Beckwith then smacked a double into the left field gap to make it 9-2. Root then visited the left-center field gap, lacing another double to bring home Jared and Avery Beckwith to make it 11-2. Three more runs, on a passed ball, balk and sacrifice fly, rounded out the 16-batter, eight-hit inning and set the game up for an early ending.

“As a coach, you absolutely love to see that,” Brown said. “It was fun. They have the potential for this kind of thing. I’ve seen it in the cage, it’s just a matter of executing. I think they have that ability, and they certainly got it done today.”

COMPETITIVE BEGINNING: It didn’t seem early like it would be an easy afternoon for either team.

Lawrence struck first, with Josh Dow leading off the game with a double and then scoring on Ballard’s sacrifice fly. Maranacook answered in the second, with Rogers hitting his first of two doubles over the center fielder’s head to score Avery Beckwith, and Root then bringing in Rogers with a sacrifice fly to give the Black Bears their first lead.

“I’ve been hitting it well lately, but it just hasn’t been falling. Finally, they fell today,” Rogers said. “Honestly, that first hit, I thought it was right to him, which has been the story this season. But it felt great.”

The Bulldogs evened the game again in the third, with Nick Girard singling and then scoring when Ballard blasted a drive that sailed over the left fielder’s head and eluded his reach. Two innings later, however, Maranacook had the ultimate response.

“We had some chances to minimize that inning and we didn’t make some plays,” Lawrence coach Rusty Mercier said. “We’re a better baseball team than we played today. … If we had another opportunity, we could make that a much closer game and more competitive.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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