GRAY – A little chalkboard material was all the motivation Kyle Nielson needed Saturday.

Nielson tossed a three-hit shutout to lead Gray-New Gloucester to a 5-0 victory against Freeport in a Western Maine Conference baseball game at Gray-New Gloucester High.

“I was just looking to shut them down because there was talk of a big matchup of undefeated teams (Freeport and Greely) on Monday,” said Nielson. “I was like, ‘Why not make one of them 5-1 so that talk was all over with?’

“I just came out and threw how I know how to throw. I was hitting all my spots and getting into good counts, throwing balls in the dirt to keep them honest, and it seemed to be working pretty good for me.”

Nielson had very little trouble keeping the Falcons (5-1) in check. He struck out six, didn’t surrender a walk and only allowed five balls to leave the infield. Freeport managed to get runners to second base in the fourth and fifth innings but stranded both.

“(Nielson) was extremely focused today,” said Gray-New Gloucester Coach Brad Smith. “He was very efficient with his pitches.

“But the kids knew there was something in some newspaper about two undefeated teams playing on Monday and one of them had to play us. I think that fueled them a little bit.”

Gray-New Gloucester (4-3) scored the only run it would need in the third inning. Justin McKenna reached on an error to lead off and stole second. Ethan Ridge and Austen Keenan followed with walks to load the bases. Aaron Boulos drove in McKenna with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.

The Patriots, who received most of their offense from the bottom four in the order, scored the final four runs of the game in the fourth.

The key play was a suicide squeeze laid down by Aaron Grondin to score Nielson from third. Ridge added a run-scoring double in the inning as Gray-New Gloucester sent eight batters to the plate.

“When the kids get on base we can usually find a way to make things happen,” said Smith. “I thought that squeeze came at a critical junction.

“I was hoping we could catch them the way we did and fortunately the ball stayed fair.”

With a 5-0 advantage, it was all Nielson to close out the game. He retired nine of the final 11 batters.

“He’s very good and he had several different pitches,” said Freeport Coach Hank Ogilby. “He didn’t give us anything. We had to earn it all and we really hit very few balls hard.

“We needed more contact from all parts of our order to, if not get on, at least threaten. We just didn’t even threaten today.”

James Purdy started and took the loss for Freeport.

He allowed two runs on two hits, walking three and striking out two.