AUBURN — When Ethan Brown drilled a ball deep into center field in the third inning, it seemed like just other hit to him.

The senior had never hit a home run, so he “didn’t know how it felt, but it just kept carrying,” Brown said.

After pitching a gem in the Edward Little’s win over Mt. Ararat in the quarterfinals, Brown contributed at the plate with a huge three-run home run to help the Red Eddies advance with a 7-4 Class A North semifinal win Saturday.

Third-seeded Edward Little moved on to face No. 1 Oxford Hills on Wednesday at Morton Field in Augusta for the A North title.

“I was just seeing the ball well in BP and the first at-bat I hit a couple balls hard,” Brown said. “I was picking the ball up well and I had a lot of confidence in the box. I was just trying to stay back. In my first at-bat, I was way out in front, so I was just trying to hit the ball up the middle.”

Edward Little amassed a two-run lead in the second inning when Jake Arel reached base on a single, stole second, then was hit home on a single by Christian Beliveau.

Beliveau stole second, reached third on an errant throw and scored as the next batter, Colin Merritt, hit a sacrifice fly.

Ben Cassidy started on the mound for the Eddies and set down the Eagles in order over the first three innings.

For the Eddies, the prevailing sentiment before, during and after Saturday’s match up was confidence.

“I was feeling really confident in the people behind me,” Cassidy said. “I don’t think I had a lot of strikeouts, so if I am hitting my spots and making them hit it to where fielders are, then we are in a good spot to win.”

In the bottom of the third, Messalonskee coach Ray Bernier took out starting pitcher Andrew Everett, one of three pitching changes on the day for the Eagles.

“We had a bunch of guys available today to pitch and they are a good hitting team,” Bernier said. “If you give them the same look too many times they’re going to jump on it. The first one was just about jumps on the bases, I thought they were getting good jumps on the bases and we needed to make a pitching change to slow that down.”

Edward Little’s Jack Keefe reached on a fielder’s choice and Cassidy walked to give Brown two on with one out.

Brown’s home run carried over the wall in right-center field and expanded Edward Little’s lead to 5-0.

“When you get a lead bigger with one swing of the bat, that made it five-nothing, it gives you a more comfortable feeling,” Edward Little coach Dave Jordan said. “I thought that he just needed to make strong contact and get into it.”

Cassidy appreciated the help, and while Brown may not have known the ball was out when he made contact, his pitcher certainly did.

“We had two guys on base and a pitcher always likes a long inning when his team is up to bat,” Cassidy said. “I knew it was gone right when he hit it. It was a great hit, got us going and it gave us a big lead.”

Messalonskee’s Dylan Cunningham walked to begin the fourth, followed by a walk by Jake Perry. Cunningham then stole third and the throw to the bag sailed into left field, which allowed the runner to score and Perry to move to third.

Mason Violette then hit a ball that was fumbled by the shortstop and ruled an error, scoring Perry to make it 5-2.

Edward Little’s bottom of the fourth inning started with Beliveau hitting a triple into left field. Merritt then drove in in Beliveau on a single to make it 6-2.

“We’ve changed some basic things with our swings, and they’ve focused in on that,” Jordan said. “Christian is a young man that focuses on everything you ask him to do and he has confidence in his swing right now. It’s the second season, the regular season doesn’t mean anything at this point, and he is playing with a lot of confidence.”

Beliveau said the energy of the team during the playoffs has helped him break out of a regular-season slump.

“A lot of energy going on right now,” Beliveau said. “We have a lot of confidence going around and it’s contagious. I was very comfortable and ready to hit.”

EL’s Chase Martin scored in the fifth after walking and then moving to third on a wild pitch. An error at third scored Martin to create a five-run lead.

Cassidy exited the game in the sixth after allowing his first base hit. He was relieved by Austin Brown, who let two of his inherited runners score.

Austin Brown finished the job in the seventh, giving EL a third crack at Oxford Hills on Wednesday.

“We’re all pumped up,” Beliveau said. “We have a lot of confidence and we think we have a good shot at it.”

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