OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Old Orchard Beach got the two things it wanted.

The Seagulls won their preliminary-round game Tuesday to advance in the Western Class C baseball playoffs, and they used No. 1 pitcher Brandon Ouellette sparingly enough that he can pitch Thursday in the quarterfinals against top-ranked Dirigo.

The eighth-seeded Seagulls (10-6-1) got three scoreless innings of relief from Ouellette and capitalized on costly errors to beat No. 9 Waynflete 5-2 at The Ballpark.

“We’re looking forward to playing Dirigo,” said Ouellette. “We played them in football so it feels like a rivalry. I know a few of their players and I’m sure they know me.

“Dirigo is a good team, but if we come in with the right mind-set we should be all right.”

The game was delayed for about 30 minutes because of rain in the middle of the fourth inning. Old Orchard Beach scored the winning run when play resumed on some aggressive baserunning by Ryan Gallant, who scored from second on an infield error. The ball ended up in right field and Gallant never stopped at third to score easily.

“Gallant is an athlete,” said OOB Coach Tom LaChance. “He matches up with anyone on the field.

“I thought the rain delay motivated our kids. I thought Waynflete looked more excited than our players before the game.”

The Seagulls got two insurance runs in the sixth, taking advantage of more loose infield play by Waynflete. Jason Dutton reached on a error, went to second on a balk and scored on an infield throwing error.

Matt Lauzon reached on the play and scored the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to center field by Evan Bujnowski.

Old Orchard Beach had three hits through two innings, but didn’t get another. Waynflete (6-8) managed only two hits against three pitchers.

“I was very surprised we didn’t hit,” said LaChance. “It looked like we were going to string some hits together. Before the game, I thought we would get about a dozen.”

LaChance said his players have to be ready to adjust to faster pitching from Dirigo.

He also said it wasn’t in the game plan to use Ouellette, but with the score 2-2 after three innings, he had little choice. The change in velocity to Ouellette from starter Brandon Seavey overmatched the Flyers.

“They couldn’t seem to catch up with my fastball,” said Ouellette. “It didn’t look they had seen a curve.”

Ouellette had helped from his defense, which turned a double play to end the sixth. LaChance took out Ouellette after three innings and brought in Nick Harriman to pitch the seventh.

Having gone three innings, Ouellette will be able to pitch as many innings as needed against Dirigo.

“Brandon’s arm never gets tired,” said LaChance. “We keep a close eye on the number of pitches he throws, but he goes from pitcher to catcher like nothing.”

James McDermott had an RBI single for the Seagulls in the first inning. Ouellette knocked in the second run in the inning with a ground ball.

Waynflete tied it in the second. After the first two Flyers reached base, an error and a groundout moved them to second and third.

Sam Murphy’s sacrifice fly to center scored one run, and Noah Arunson drove in the other with a single down the third-base line.

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


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