Victories always are nice but when they come in dramatic fashion — in 10 innings against a rival from a neighboring county, no less — they are especially sweet.

That is what the Oceanside baseball team experienced Wednesday afternoon, May 8 in a toe-to-toe high school marathon battle with visiting Belfast, as the Mariners of Knox County outlasted the Lions of Waldo County en route to a gritty 3-2 win.

It was an intense, strategic battle between squads playing for strong postseason positions.

Belfast rallied to tie the game 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning and the Mariners had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of that frame, but the Lion defense held and escaped a bases-loaded jam, which forced extra innings — three of them to be exact.

Click for photos from the game.

With the score knotted 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning, the Mariners sent their fans home happy and the Lions back to Belfast disappointed.

Zac Roman rapped a single to start the winning rally before he moved to second on an error and took third base on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Townsend. J.T. Tobin and Nick Mazurek were intentionally walked to load the bases, which would have forced an out at any base (the same strategy the Lions used in the seventh, which worked to perfection), with Roman coming in to score the deciding run on a fielder's choice by Zach Peaco.

The win was Oceanside's second walk-off victory of the season, as it scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 6-5 victory over Camden Hills April 26 in Thomaston.

Belfast beat Oceanside 8-5 previously this spring.

On Wednesday, Belfast rapped 10 hits and committed two errors. The visitors scored one run in both the third and seventh innings. Oceanside finished with eight hits and one error. The hosts tallied two runs in the fourth inning and one run in the 10th.

Freshman right-hander Nick Mazurek worked an impressive eight innings on the mound for the Mariners, allowing two earned runs on seven hits, two walks and one hit batter, with eight strikeouts. Ryan Allender tossed two innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and fanning one.

Damion Benner pitched seven innings for Belfast, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. Asa Lewis went 2 1/3 innings in relief, allowing one run on one hit and two walks.

Leading the Mariners at the plate were Tobin (single, double), Mazurek (single, double), Dan Hendricks (2 singles, double) and Roman (single).

For Belfast, Greg Clark (single, double), Benner (2 singles), Matt Smith (2 singles, double) and Sam Kulikowski (single) paced the offense.

“An outstanding win and a great team effort,” said Oceanside coach Don Shields. “Both teams played extremely well all day and it really was a hard-fought game by both. Both Nick Mazurek and Ryan Allender pitched very well for us and we finally were able to push across the winning run.”

Belfast took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Drew Stanley was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Benner's single, but the Mariners tied the score in the fourth when Roman reached on an error, moved to second on Townsend's sacrifice bunt and scored on a double by Tobin. Mazurek promptly doubled to plate Tobin, which gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

The slim margin held until Belfast tied the score in the seventh when Smith doubled and scored on a single by Kulikowski.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B, Oceanside (5-4, 19.7656 points) is seventh, while Belfast (4-4, 11.5625 points) is 11th. Winslow (9-0, 47.8516 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

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