CUMBERLAND – Cape Elizabeth got behind 3-0 early, tied it in the middle innings and then won it in extra innings when Greely’s defense collapsed in the ninth for an 8-4 Western Maine Conference Class B baseball win here Monday.

The win kept Cape (3-0) unbeaten while Greely (4-1) suffered its first loss.

Cape didn’t lose its focus when the Rangers came out swinging hot bats and took a 3-0 lead in the second.

“We talk about what we’re going to do when things aren’t going our way,” said Cape Coach Chris Hayward. “We kept our heads on tight.”

Cape reliever Cam Brown pitched the final 21/3 innings for the win. Brown, the regular shortstop, relieved starter Rob Macdonald, who settled down and pitched effectively.

Brown struck out three of the seven batters he faced and retired the Rangers in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

“That’s the best Cam has looked all spring,” said Hayward.

Neither team could score in the seventh or eighth innings to break the 4-4 tie.

That all changed in the ninth for Cape. Chris Robicheaw got hit by a pitch leading off. Brown drilled a hard single through the middle.

The next batter, Jack Barber, bunted to move the runners along, but the ball got past hard-charging first baseman Luke Saffian.

The pitcher, Jonah Normandeau, tried to shuffle the ball to second baseman Brad McKenney, who was covering first. The ball got away from McKenney and Robicheaw scored to make it 5-4.

The next batter, Kyle Danielson, hit a ground ball to short. Matt Labbe fielded it and threw to catcher Pete Stauber for the force, but the ball deflected off Stauber’s mitt as Brown scored.

The Rangers’ fielding woes weren’t over. Macdonald bounced a grounder to Saffian at first. He threw wildly to home as Barber scored.

Finally came a hit to score a run and it was by Pat Tyler, who hit a too-hot-to-handle infield shot to score Danielson to make it 8-4.

The rivals are accustomed to extra-inning games in recent years, but this ending was so uncharacteristic of Greely.

“We’re a better defensive team than that,” said Coach Derek Soule. “It was a well-played game until the ninth. With the way we hit the ball, we deserved more than four runs, but that’s baseball.”

The Capers’ defense came up big when the Rangers were threatening to score more.

Hayward cited the outstanding catches by Tyler in right and Max Gore in left.

Tyler initially turned the wrong way on a line drive by Mike Leeman in the fourth when it was 3-3.

Tyler recovered and made a leaping catch and then threw to first to double up the runner, who thought the ball was over Tyler’s head.

“Those were tremendous plays,” said Hayward. “The floodgates could have easily opened in the other direction.”

Tyler led Cape’s offense with three hits, two RBI and a run scored.

Greely led 3-0 after two innings and seemed like it would score several more with the way it was hitting. But Macdonald retired the Rangers in order in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fourth with one out Greely got doubles from Saffian and McKenney to take a 4-3 lead. Mcdonald retired the next two batters.

While it was nice to get a win against a rival and gain some valuable Heal points, Hayward said all it meant was that “we’re closer to our goal of making the tournament.”

The teams will play again in their final regular-season game under the lights at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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