GRAY — No. 8 Gray-New Gloucester beat No. 9 York for the second time in less than a week.

The Patriots’ 5-4 win over the Wildcats on Tuesday in the preliminary round of the Western Class B baseball playoffs earned them a date in the quarterfinals with top-ranked Yarmouth at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“I like how we’re playing,” said G-NG Coach Nolan Beckwith. “We hit the ball hard against a very good pitcher. We’re peaking at the right time.”

Midway through the game, G-NG’s prospects of moving to the next round didn’t look that promising. York was leading 4-1 after scoring four runs in the fourth. York right-hander Chris Cole ended the bottom of the third with three strikeouts.

The Patriots (11-7) came alive after that. They scored four of their own in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead by a run. With No. 1 pitcher Kyle Nielsen coming on in relief, G-NG was in good hands to protect its lead.

Nielsen faced seven batters in two innings before giving way to Ryan Cavallaro.

The Patriots had five hits in their rally and benefited from two York errors. They solved Cole the third time through the lineup.

“We started timing his fastball,” said Tim Lerette.

Kevin Cavallaro had an RBI single and Aaron Boulos followed with a ground-rule double.

Lerette, the catcher, is looking forward to the matchup with the Clippers.

“We have our ace on the mound,” he said. “We’re good to go.”

The Wildcats hit the ball hard early in the game. Cole had back-to-back doubles. Ryan Schoff and Jack Radke had RBI singles while Cole’s second double also drove in a run.

Later in the game, York’s batters weren’t finding the open space.

“We hit the ball right at them,” said York Coach Tony Robbins. “Gray’s hits were falling in. Ours weren’t.”

The Patriots also turned two double plays to help their cause. The second one snuffed out any hopes of York tying it.

The Wildcats got the leadoff batter on. Ben Lawlor hit a line smash in the infield. The Patriots caught it and fired to first to double up Radke in a close play.

Both Yarmouth and Gray are anticipating a close game Thursday.

The first one was tight with the Clippers winning, 9-6.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH