SOUTH PORTLAND – In the nine-inning games featured in the American Legion baseball state tournament, teams often need their closer to pitch two or three innings.

Bangor had a pitcher like that who could shut the door Wednesday. Gardiner did not.

That turned out to be the difference. Nate Lewis pitched the last three innings while his teammates tacked on runs, and Bangor took an 11-4 victory on the opening day of the tournament at the Wainwright Complex.

Lewis played right field for the first six-plus innings, but took on a bigger role in the seventh. Bangor had used four Gardiner errors to take a 5-0 lead, but Gardiner came back with the help of a two-run homer by Spencer Allen to get within 5-4.

After Bangor scored twice in the top of the seventh, Gardiner loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning when Ben Crocker and Donnie Cray singled and Forrest Chadwick was hit by a pitch.

Bangor Coach David Morris relieved Joe Stanewicz (six innings, nine hits, nine strikeouts) with Lewis, Bangor’s closer all summer.

Lewis got No. 3 batter Ryan Leach to hit a comebacker, which Lewis turned into a 1-2-3 double play. Nick Maschino followed with a shot to left field, but it dropped into the glove of Jordan Clarke for the third out.

In the top of the first, Bangor’s Cody McInnis led off by being hit with an 0-2 pitch and advanced to third on an error. When Clarke tried to steal second, the throw went into center field.

The next batter, Devin Lyshon, delivered an RBI groundout, and Bangor led 2-0 without a base hit, walk or ball hit out of the infield. 

BREWER 5, AUGUSTA 2: Kyle McLain gave up six hits, striking out four and walking two for Brewer at South Portland.

Brewer will face Gayton Post of Lewiston at 4 p.m. today. Augusta will take on Fayette-Staples Post of Saco in an elimination game at 11 a.m.