SOUTH CHINA — The Maranacook baseball team got hits throughout the lineup, while lefthander Jay Lauter cruised through the opposing hitters.

It’s starting to feel like a formula for the Black Bears these days.

Lauter pitched six one-hit innings, Mitch Root homered and drove in two runs and Maranacook continued its roll, beating Erskine 5-2 to improve to 6-1 for the season.

“We’re pretty well-rounded, and that’s a nice thing to see,” coach Eric Brown said. “There are not too many weak spots in our lineup, defensively we don’t make a lot of errors, and pitching-wise, guys hit their spots and set hitters up nicely. I’m pleased all the way around, it’s just solid all the way around.”

Erskine fell to 5-4, and had a freshman, Hayden McMurtry, make his varsity debut on the mound. He made it into the fifth inning, and coach Scott Ballard said he was impressed by how McMurtry, as well as reliever and fellow freshman Isaac Hayden, handled the moment.

“Pitching-wise, we exceeded expectations,” he said. “I liked what I saw out of both those freshmen. Pretty good pop on the fastball, they kept them off balance, and they kept their composure. Definitely encouraging, and they kept us in position to win.”

Erskine even had a 1-0 lead when Maranacook began to figure out the freshman in the third. Cam Tinkham singled, Glen Guerrette walked, and Duncan Rogers hit a hard grounder to short that took a tricky hop and went through to score both for a 2-1 lead. Root then followed with a double to right field, scoring Rogers to make it 3-1.

“It’s important just to get our confidence up, really, and get that momentum on our side,” Root said. “Jay’s been pitching great all year, he just needed the run support.”

Maranacook kept adding to the lead, getting a run in the fourth when Wyatt Lambert reached with a bunt single and Jarred Schmidt stroked a single to left to bring him in. Root then led off the fifth inning by launching a full-count offering over the fence in left field for a home run — even if he didn’t know it at first.

“As soon as it came off the bat, I was like ‘This ball’s crushed,’ ” Root said. “(But) it’s really sunny in left field, so I lost it in the sun and was just running as hard as I could. When I got on second, I saw everybody just like ‘You hit a home run!’ ”

The ball was hit into a wind that blew in throughout the game, which had Brown shaking his head after the game.

“I can’t believe he hit a home run on a day like today, with the wind blowing in the way it was,” he said. “The ball was literally going from second to foul territory on some of the pop-ups, and he put it out. That was impressive.”

It was plenty of support for Lauter, who gave up an RBI single to Joe Clark in the first but rolled from there, allowing no hits over the next five innings while striking out 12, including four in the second. He’s now 4-0 and has fanned 53 batters in 23 innings.

“(The key was) being consistent, and don’t let my mindset change,” said Lauter, who allowed two runs, none earned. “Just go out there and do what I do. It’s just another game. … It’s just a mindset, honestly. You have to get into it that day.”

McMurtry finished with four-plus innings, three strikeouts and five runs (two earned) for Erskine, and Caden Turcotte scored both runs. The Eagles had a final chance to get a rally going against Lauter in the sixth when Turcotte and Braden Soule led off with walks, but a run on a throwing error was all they could muster.

“Offensively, it was tough. He’s a good pitcher, so it’s tough to get those runs,” Ballard said. “He mixes it up well, he’s got good velocity. He’s a true pitcher too. He has good mechanics, good composure and good mound presence. He’s the real deal.”

Root had the two hits and two RBIs, while Hunter Glowa and Lambert had two hits apiece.

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