When the regular season ends, crunch time begins.

The Midcoast Junior Legion baseball team experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in a span of three days, as No. 1 Midcoast (18-5) fell to No. 5 Quirk Motor City of Hampden (10-10) 3-0 in Zone 1 semifinal playoff contest on Monday night, July 29 at Mansfield Stadium, while the local squad walked-off with a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over the No. 8 Messalonskee Owls on Friday evening, July 26 at the same venue.

See more photos below.

Sunday night's game against Motor City — which was rained out and moved to Monday — was supposed to be the semifinal contest, with Monday''s game the championship, but, Midcoast coach Scott Cournoyer said that is no longer the case.

"It's not quite as important, and not high on the priority list to play out these games that are strictly for seeding purposes," said coach Cournoyer. "We don't want to burn pitchers, so to speak, so the semifinals [were Monday], and from my understanding from our commissioner, this is it."

The loss to Motor City put Midcoast as the No. 3 seed in the North for the state tournament, with the local squad's first game on Friday, Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. against the Hammond Lumber Loons at Mansfield Stadium.

If Midcoast had won the game against Motor City, Midcoast would have been the No. 1 seed for the North in the state tournament, since Midcoast was the top seed when the  Zone 1 playoffs started. Midcoast is now the three seed, because it was the highest remaining seed to not make the championship game in its zone, even though a championship game will not be held.

The following is a recap of both Midcoast playoff contests:

Quirk Motor City 3, Midcoast 0

At Bangor July 29, Quirk Motor City broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning to down Midcoast. Quirk Motor City — which committed one error — scored all three of its runs in the seventh.

Midcoast and Motor City met four times during the regular season, as Midcoast earned the victory each time, and outscored Motor City 24-4 in those contests.

On Monday, Midcoast collected four hits, as Tanner Veilleux (single), Aiden Schecter (single), Sam Moody (single) and True Crane (single) led the offense.

For Quirk Motor City, Nolan Hodgkins (single, double, run), Alan Wheaton (double, 2 RBIs), Sam Harman (single, RBI, run), Joe D'Angelo (single), Thomas Knott (single) and Alex Tash (run) had strong plate appearances.

Crane pitched a complete game, as he tossed 112 pitches with 70 strikes, and allowed three runs on six hits with two walks, and nine strikeouts.

Knott also hurled a complete game, as he threw 80 pitches with 51 strikes, and allowed no runs on four hits with two walks, and two strikeouts.

For the second straight contest Midcoast was locked in a pitchers' duel, but this time the the duel stretched into the final inning, deadlocked with goose eggs on the scoreboard.

Motor City started the top of the seventh with a double to left field by Hodgkins, followed by a Harman double to center, to drive in Hodgkins for the game's first run.

After Crane recorded the inning's first out, Tash walked to put runners on the corners. Tash advanced to second to put two runners in scoring position for Motor City.

Crane recorded the inning's second out with a strikeout, but Wheaton slapped a double to center to plate Harman from third and Tash from second, as the visitors went up 3-0.

Midcoast started the bottom of the final frame with a single from Schecter, but he was stranded on first base, as Knott retired the next three batters in order to close the game.

Quirk Motor City beat No. 4 Coles Cadets of Bangor in the quarterfinals to get the chance to face Midcoast.

Midcoast 2, Messalonskee Owls 1

At Bangor July 26, Midcoast's Chris Kelley hit an 0-2 pitch for a walk-off single to give Midcoast a 2-1 victory. Midcoast — which committed no errors — scored one run in the fourth and seventh innings, while the Owls — who committed one fielding miscue — scored once in the sixth inning.

Midcoast and the Owls met once prior this season, which resulted in a 9-1 Midcoast victory.

The bottom of the seventh started with a strikeout for Midcoast, followed by a walk to Tanner Veilleux, a  groundout to the pitcher, which allowed Veilleux to advance to second base and Joey Curtis was intentionally walked to bring up Kelley.

Kelley watched strike one cross the plate, fouled off the second pitch to fall behind in the count 0-2, and took the third pitch he saw and shot it into left field, which plated Veilleux for the win.

"[The game] was well-played by both teams," said coach Cournoyer. "[It] was really good baseball. I'm really proud of my boys staying focused, and making the little adjustments, which was the difference.

"A huge relief [when Kelley hit the single]," said coach Cournoyer. "It had been a very successful season for us, and there was a lot of anxiety and tension about not letting this one slip away, knowing we just had to win this one game to represent the North in the state tournament. [I'm] super excited for the kids. It was a great moment that they will always remember 20 years from now when they see each other."

Jason Greenleaf (2 singles, RBI) paced the Midcoast offense, while Kelley (single, RBI), Crane (single, run) and Veilleux (walk, run) had strong plate appearances.

Bobby Stolt (single, RBI) drove in the Owls' lone run, while Kam Douin (single, run), Max Byton (single), Nate Pare (single) and Aiden Rodgers (single) had strong at-bats.

Curtis pitched the first five innings for Midcoast, and allowed one run on five hits with two walks, and nine strikeouts. Crane pitched the final two innings, and allowed no runs on no hits with one walk, and four strikeouts.

Curtis tossed 103 pitches, 67 for strikes. Crane threw 39 pitches, 25 for strikes.

"[Curtis and Crane] have been very reliable for us all season," said Cournoyer. "They do a great job all the way around, pounding the strike zone and trusting the defense behind them, and gearing up and getting that one pitch when we need it. Those two have been very valuable all season."

Douin pitched a complete game for the Owls, as he allowed two runs on five hits with three walks, and eight strikeouts. He threw 107 pitches, 73 for strikes.

The first three innings of play were pitchers' duel, as the game remained scoreless into the bottom of the fourth inning.

Crane led the fourth with a single to left field, followed by a walk to Jason Bartlett, which gave Midcoast runners on first and second with no outs.

After a strikeout, Dylan Abbott grounded to short for the inning's second out, but that allowed Crane and Bartlett to advance on the bases.

Greenleaf had a prime opportunity to end the scoreless game, and did just that with a single to center, which plated Crane for the game's first run.

The Owls countered in the top of the sixth. Douin led with a line-drive single to center, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

Stolt singled on a hard ground ball to right, which plated Douin to tie the score 1-1.

Crane shut down the Owl bats after that in his two innings of relief on the mound.

The final Zone 1 regular-season standings were: Midcoast 17-4, Maine Sluggers 15-4, Acadians 11-1, Bangor Cadets 12-5, Quirk Motor City of Hampden 8-10, Penquis 7-9, Sebasticook 7-12, Machias 3-12 and Hermon 2-13.

The final four teams in the Zone 1 (North) playoffs and final four teams in the Zone 2 (South) playoffs advance to the state tournament.