SOUTH PORTLAND — Staples Crossing shortstop Noah McDaniel understands the grind that can be the last two days of the double-elimination American Legion baseball state tournament.

“We’re pretty deep into the tournament, so everybody’s kind of struggling for (pitching),” McDaniel said. “You really have to be patient at the plate, get your pitch, make them work and make them get deep in the count.”

McDaniel and Staples Crossing made Messalonskee Post 51 pitchers work Saturday, while Jake Lebel breezed through eight innings on the way to a 7-2 win in an elimination game at Wainwright Recreation Complex.

Staples Crossing (19-3) is one of three teams still alive going into the final day of the tournament. The Zone 4 champions will play at noon Sunday against Morrill Post of South Portland, which rallied for a 4-3 win over Coffee News of Bangor. Coffee News takes on the Staples-Morrill winner in the championship game later Sunday.

Lebel struck out six and walked one while allowing one earned run. He also reached base four times, scored a run and knocked in one. McDaniel reached four times without a hit and scored three runs as Post 51 pitchers walked nine and plunked three. Staples finished with seven hits.

“My bullpen (session) was actually pretty shaky this morning, but right when I got out there, I mean, I was grooving it in the beginning. So I felt good,” Lebel said.

Lebel retired the first 10 batters before allowing a double to Zach Mathieu. Mathieu eventually scored on a double steal, but Lebel retired 11 straight before an error to start the eighth.

Lebel threw 10 innings during the high school season for Marshwood and eight during the Legion regular season.

“I really haven’t been this stretched out in a while,” said the 6-foot-5 right-hander.

By contrast, Post 51’s staff showed signs of being stressed. Ben Frazee lasted two innings, followed by Danny Pooler and Jake Dexter for three apiece. Pooler and Dexter pitched Friday in a loss to Coffee News.

“I just felt like we ran out of gas,” said Post 51 co-coach Rusty Mercier, whose team finished 20-8.”

MORRILL POST 4, COFFEE NEWS 3: Griffin Kelley pitched five innings of scoreless relief and Henry Curran earned the save as Morrill handed Coffee News its first defeat of the tournament.

Nick Troiano, Jacob Brown and Robert Graff each had a pair of hits for Morrill, which scored three runs in the fourth and took the lead in the top of the fifth.