AUGUSTA – Fayette-Staples Coach Ray Petit got all he could out of Jeff Gelinas’ arm. Then Petit picked the perfect time to get all he could out of Gelinas’ bat.

Gelinas pitched all nine innings but didn’t bat in the regular lineup because Petit used a designated. But Gelinas was sent up to pinch hit with two out and two on in the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, and he delivered an RBI double as Fayette-Staples defeated Saco-Biddeford Savings of Westbrook 3-2 in an American Legion baseball state tournament play-in game Saturday at McGuire Field.

Fayette-Staples advances to the eight-team, double-elimination state tournament and will face defending state champion Gayton Post when the tournament begins Wednesday in Augusta. Fayette-Staples already is assured of a spot in the New England Regionals Aug. 4-8 at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach as the host team.

Fayette-Staples trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, and Saco-Biddeford Savings pitcher Matt Weimer was working on a two-hitter. But Matt Turnage led off the ninth by reaching on a bad-hop grounder for an error, and when Jon Dupee singled through the left side, Weimer exited in favor of Zach Gardiner.

Gardiner got a forceout before Max Dube tied the game with an RBI single to left. After Gardiner got the next batter on a strikeout, Gelinas was sent up to pinch hit and drilled an 0-2 pitch to deep left-center.

“I was kind of saving him for this spot,” said Petit, who used two pinch hitters in the seventh inning.

“I just told him, ‘Jeff, go win your game,’ and he went out and won his game.”

Gelinas gave up two runs in the top of the first inning when he allowed an RBI triple by Jake Gardiner and a sacrifice fly, but he pitched shutout ball from then on and finished with a six-hitter and nine strikeouts.

In the top of the ninth, Westbrook got the first two runners on base on a single and an error before Gelinas struck out the side.

All three runs charged to Weimer were unearned. He walked three and struck out seven.

BANGOR 8, GARDINER 6: Dylan Morris broke a 6-6 tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Comrades defeated Gardiner in a play-in game.

Bangor (20-6) trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the seventh but scored four runs to take the lead.

Joe Stanevicz pitched 42/3 innings of relief for the win, allowing one run on two hits.

Spencer Allen went 3 for 4 with a home run for Gardiner.

GAYTON 11, BESSEY MOTORS 0: Joe Sullivan pitched a one-hitter, and Scott Ouellette had three hits and four RBI as Gayton Post won the Zone 3 championship in a game halted after 6½ innings because of the 10-run rule.

Gayton (21-0), composed mostly of Lewiston High players, scored three runs in the first and seven in the second.

Cody Hadley had the only hit for Bessey Motors (15-6), which draws its players from Oxford Hills.

Both teams had already qualified for the state tournament. Gayton faces Fayette-Staples and Bessey Motors plays Morrill Post of South Portland on Wednesday.

Morning Sentinel Writer Matt DiFilippo can be contacted at 861-9243 or at:

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