AUGUSTA – Burly right-hander Kyle McLain scattered six hits Friday as Brewer knocked Morrill Post out of the American Legion baseball state tournament with an 8-3 victory at McGuire Field.

Morrill Post, of South Portland, went 1-2 in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

Brewer, which is 2-1 in the tournament, will play unbeaten Augusta at 3 p.m. today at Morton Field.

McLain, who will go to Husson University in Bangor in the fall, struck out 10 and walked four while going the distance in the nine-inning game.

“Kyle McLain stepped up in a big way,” Brewer Coach Chris Morris said. “He’s been that way all year. I think the best thing about him is as the game goes on, he gets stronger. He was throwing harder in the last inning than he was in the first three innings, and that’s been his (way) all year.”

“I just try to keep the ball down in the strike zone,” said the 6-foot, 225-pound McLain. “That way my infield, my defense, can make plays for me. It makes my job a lot easier if I know those guys are going to make plays.”

“He kept the ball down and he didn’t walk anybody,” Morrill Coach Mike Owens said. “We just couldn’t string anything together.”

Brewer (21-6) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Tyler French led off with a double and moved to third on Eric White’s one-out single. After White stole second, a wild pitch enabled French to score while White moved to third. Evan Eldridge, the cleanup hitter, walked and stole second. White then scored on pitcher Matt DiBiase’s errant pickoff throw to second.

Brendan Horton hit a solo homer in the second to make it 2-1.

Brewer took a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Nick Moore led off with a single, moved to second on Cody Farrell’s sacrifice and scored on French’s solid single to left.

Morrill (14-8) made it 3-3 in the fifth. Horton led off with a single, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Tom Salamone’s single to right. With one out, Adam Helmke’s line drive eluded the grasp of the diving French in left field, and the hustling catcher turned it into a triple.

Brewer regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth when White, who played second base at the University of Maine last spring, led off with a double, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on Pat McEwen’s single.

“We got a little momentum going and they answered us right back,” Owens said. “That’s what good teams do. They answer right back, and we didn’t have an answer after that.”

Brewer took a 5-3 lead when Blake Birmingham led off the sixth with a bunt single, stole second and third, and scored on Brandon Gendreau’s sacrifice fly.

Brewer, which banged out 13 hits, put runners into scoring position by stealing seven bases in seven attempts.

“They were aggressive and they swung early in the counts,” Owens said. “They did what they needed to do to win.”

GAYTON POST 9, BESSEY MOTORS 4: Alex Parker doubled in the first and second innings to help Gayton (23-1) open an early 7-0 lead in an elimination game at Morton Field.

Travis Linehan hit a bases-empty homer for Bessey Motors (16-8) in the sixth.

Gayton, made up of players from Lewiston and Auburn, will play Bangor at 11 a.m. today in a losers’ bracket game at Morton Field.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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