WATERBORO — Not much went right for Massabesic during its first 12 games of the season, with the Mustangs only winning three of those contests. The defense and offense took turns failing the Mustangs, and sometimes both. But after beating a very good Cheverus team last Saturday, Massabesic continued to keep its playoff hopes alive with a 5-0 shutout of Windham in an SMAA baseball game Tuesday.

The Mustangs (5-9) entered play on Tuesday three spots out of the final playoff spot in the Western Class A Heal Point standings, but less than five points behind No. 12 Sanford. A win over No. 11 Windham helps Massabesic’s cause.

“Our goal is to win out, obviously. We’re playing much better baseball in the last week and a half, two weeks, than we have all season long,” said Massabesic head coach Jeff Cessario. “The Cheverus game, that was a good win for us. That’s a good confidence, momentum-builder for us.”

It was a win where a lot of things finally came together for the Mustangs, starting with pitcher Weston Bergeron on the mound. Bergeron set down the first four Eagles hitters before allowing a slow-rolling infield single in the second. Two batters later, Bergeron issued the first of his three walks, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.

Windham (6-7) put a runner in scoring position in each of the last six innings, but failed to put a run across. Bergeron stranded a runner at third in the top of the third inning with a nasty curveball on a 3-2 pitch to Tanner Laberge.

“That was pretty dirty,” said Massabesic catcher Dawson Renaud. “A pretty good pitch and good spot.”

Bergeron pitched all seven innings for the shutout, scattering seven hits while striking out six.

The Mustangs got on the board in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-run double by Renaud, making sure the two runners in scoring position in front of him weren’t left stranded.

“That’s been our Achilles heel all year long, is if you look at any of our losses, we left a lot of guys on base,” said Cessario. “Finally, the last few games, it’s been really exciting to see that we’re coming up with those clutch hits that are getting us the lead and keeping us in these ball games.”

Massabesic plated two more runs in the fourth, as Caleb Campbell and Ben Chadbourne led off with consecutive singles on consecutive pitches, then scored two batters later on a single up the middle by Noah Gerry.

The Mustangs scored their fifth and final run in the fifth, as Sean Adams walked leading off, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI grounder by Remi Gaetjens.

Bergeron got plenty of help from his defense, which made two great plays to prevent any scoring in the fourth. With one on and no outs in the inning, Spencer Hodge hit a sharp liner to right that Andrew Wicklund caught on one hop, then fired to second to force out Zach Alpern, who stopped halfway to the bag on the hit. After Wicklund tracked down a fly ball in foul territory for the second out, Campbell got to an Ethan Petty single to center in time to gun Hodge down at home.

“We had some great plays,” said Renaud. “We’ve had some rough patches this season with errors, but today, we really cleaned it up.”

Wicklund was part of another deflating play for the Eagles in the sixth, as he caught a liner and quickly fired to second for an inning-ending double play.

“Just a couple plays, simple plays, in the middle of the game turn out to be huge plays in the end of the game, because it just gives a team momentum,” said Cessario. “And that took away all their momentum. Any hope that they had got doubled up.”

Renaud said that the team was aware of how desperately it needed a win against the Eagles to keep its playoff hopes alive, and that it energized them.

“We had to come out and play hard, as we always do, and I think this win really helps boost us into that playoff spot. We need to get the next few,” said Renaud. “I think we’re going to go out, beat Portland and beat Deering.”

Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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