MONMOUTH — Looking ahead at the next round of the playoffs almost cost Monmouth in a Class C South preliminary round baseball game Tuesday against Mt. Abram.

Monmouth starter Avery Pomerleau cruised through the first six innings, but was lifted in the seventh for Trevor Flanagan to keep Pomerleau available for a possible regional semifinal appearance, since he had surpassed 90-plus pitches. The Roadrunners (6-11) capitalized, scoring twice, but the Mustangs held on for a 5-3 victory.

The No. 7 Mustangs travel to No. 2 Lisbon on Thursday in a regional quarterfinal game.

“They’ve always hit the ball,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. “The last time we played them I think they had 10 hits against us. We had a few runs early on and they got back to the top of the order in the last inning. Anytime a team can do that, anything can happen.”

Pomerleau started the seventh inning by walking Hunter Warren, who moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Pomerleau was able to get Cody Ladd — who pinch hit for Bryce Werzanski — to ground out, but Warren moved to third.

That’s when Pomerleau was replaced by Flanagan. Pomerleau went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, two walks and had four strikeouts.

Pomerleau said his arm was feeling good in seventh, but understood the situation and wanted to be ready for the remainder of the playoffs.

“(The key) was to throw strikes and hit my spots,” Pomerleau said. “Just stay confident and build momentum.”

Flanagan struck out Luke Kearing, Mt. Abram’s No. 1 hitter. Kenyon Pillsbury extended the game by reaching on an error by third baseman Card Kyzer, which allowed Warren to score.

Nate Luce then drove in Pillsbury from first base with a double to left centerfield. But Mt. Abram’s rally and season came to an end when Sam Storer popped out to Flanagan.

Mt. Abram coach Jeff Pillsbury wished the bats woke up earlier in the game.

“We had the tying run at second,” Pillsbury said. “We had a good batter at the plate, and you know we needed a timely hit. It’s one of those things, we were quiet, our bats were quiet and we didn’t have a whole lot cooking. You have to hit; we haven’t hit great all year, we did cut our strikeouts down.”

Both starting pitchers helped their own cause in the first inning. Luce singled and reached second on a failed pickoff attempt. He scored when Ben DeBias’ grounder spun past shortstop Nick Dovinsky’s glove into center, giving the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead after a half of an inning.

Pomerleau led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field and moved to second base when Dovinsky was hit by a pitch. A force-out at second allowed Pomerleau to move to third, and he scored when Brad Neal drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Mustangs’ (13-4) heart of the batting order did more damage in the third inning. Corey Armstrong, the team’s third hitter, singled to left. He was followed by Flanagan, who doubled to send Armstrong to third. Neal drove them both in with a single, and Monmouth led 3-1 after three innings.

“Not much you can say about it, first pitch is always a good one,” Neal said. “I always try to look at the first pitch and take it with aggressiveness to get the hit. We had two people on base in scoring position, and in a tie game, I had to get a hit.”