MONMOUTH — The two-run lead for the Winthrop baseball team had disappeared in a matter of minutes, but center fielder Jackson Ladd didn’t sound concerned.

“What are we down, three runs?” he asked coming off the field. “We’re fine.”

Ladd was proven prophetic, driving in the go-ahead run during a five-run fifth that gave the Ramblers the lead for good in an 8-6 win over Monmouth in Mountain Valley Conference play.

Monmouth third baseman Hayden Fletcher stops a grounder during a Mountain Valley Conference game against Winthrop on Monday in Monmouth. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Winthrop, which also got a complete game on the mound from Ryan Baird, is 4-1.

“It’s huge. They’re playing great baseball right now,” Ladd said. “It was a great team effort. We got down at points, they took the lead from us, we came back. … All around, it couldn’t have gone any better.”

Monmouth fell to 4-1, and saw its effort to maintain its undefeated start undermined by seven errors.

“We were just giving up too many outs,” coach Eric Palleschi said. “Corey (Armstrong’s) pitch count gets way too high because we can’t make plays behind him. … We’ve had some growing pains, trying to figure out where guys should be.”

And yet, Monmouth was in good position after a five-run fourth gave it a 6-3 lead. Winthrop got it all back in its next at-bat, however, and did all the damage with two outs. Gavin Perkins singled to center to score Brad Bourne, who had reached on an error, and after a Logan Baird walk, Chase Keezer reached on an infield single that scored Perkins and made it 6-5.

That brought up Ladd, who was at the plate when Logan Baird scored on a double steal to tie the game. That put the go-ahead run on second, and Ladd drove a 2-1 offering to left field for a double that brought in Keezer and made it 7-6. Ladd came in himself on a balk during the next at-bat.

“It was huge. I’ve got 18 other guys in the dugout cheering me on,” Ladd said. “I know everyone else in the dugout would have done the same thing.”

Monmouth didn’t go quietly, getting runners on in each of its last three innings and putting runners in scoring position twice, but Ryan Baird held tough. The righthander threw 102 pitches in finishing the game, striking out seven and allowing three earned runs.

“I figured they were catching up with my speed (in the fourth), so for an inning I threw some curveballs and slowed them down, and in the next inning I threw some fastballs again,” Baird said. “It brings (our confidence) up quite a bit. … It was pretty cool to win one against them.”

Winthrop had been in front the whole game until Monmouth pulled ahead in the fourth. Armstrong led off by reaching on an error, and Fortin (walk) and Kane Gould (bunt single) also got on to load the bases. After a popout, Dylan Lajoie lined a two-run single to left to score Armstrong and make it 3-2, and Hayden Fletcher followed with a single to center that brought in Fortin and Gould to put Monmouth ahead 4-3. Winthrop got a second out, but Spencer Richardson then hit a hard grounder down the third-base line for a single that scored Lajoie and Cam Armstrong, making it 6-3.

The game had flipped, but coach Dave Theriault gave his team credit for not giving in.

“For us to do better this year than we did last year, we’re going to have to take a win from what was a loss last year, and Monmouth was one,” he said. “This was a character game. … They took the lead back, and we didn’t crumble and say ‘Oh well, game’s lost.’ We kept fighting.”

Winthrop went ahead 2-0 in the first when Ryan Baird doubled and scored on a groundout and Bourne singled and scored on an error. Monmouth got a run back in the bottom of the second when Fortin walked and scored on Thomas Neal’s single, and Winthrop took a 3-1 lead in the third when Ryan Baird reached on an error and came in on a Maguire Anuszewski double.

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