WORCESTER — They don’t meet every year in the district tournament. It only seems that way.

Lowell Pare went the distance, and the Leominster High baseball team generated offense in every way imaginable, as the fourth-seeded Blue Devils upset top-seeded St. John's, 6-3, in a Central Mass. Division 1 semifinal Wednesday at Tivnan Field.

Leominster coach Rich Barnaby, who has been part of the St. John’s/Leominster baseball rivalry since the mid-1990s as a player and a coach, said not much can top postseason baseball between the longtime rivals.

“I was joking with the coaches before the game, Leominster and St. John’s is like peanut butter and jelly in the district semifinals and finals,” Barnaby said. “It’s definitely a rivalry. Credit to coach (Eppinger). He always has a good, well-coached team that competes on every single pitch, and luckily, we just scratched out a few more runs today.”

The Blue Devils (16-6) advance to Saturday’s district championship game, where they face St. Peter-Marian at 6:30 p.m. at Tivnan Field. It’s Leominster’s first district title game appearance since 2014, when the Blue Devils won the Division 1 state championship.

Pare came up big on Wednesday, after taking a loss against Wachusett in the semifinals in this same tournament a year ago. Pare, who struck out seven Pioneers while scattering seven hits, said he was glad to get another shot in a big spot.

“I was definitely mentally ready for this game,” Pare said. “I pitched in this exact game last year, and it didn’t go our way. I’ve been waiting for this game for over a year. This was my game. I wasn’t going to give the ball up.”

St. John’s coach Charlie Eppinger had high praise for Pare.

“He was mixing in his strikes, he was pounding the outside part of the plate and beyond, and he really mixed his speeds effectively,” Eppinger said.

“I love his compete level,” Barnaby added. “I mean all year, he’s grinding for us.”

Leominster jumped in front in the first when James Powers’ double to left-center scored Rocco Pandiscio, who singled to lead off the game.

St. John’s (15-9) answered in the bottom half. Bailey Mikule led off by doubling to deep center, before stealing third. Tyler Mudd tied the game later in the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Leominster regained the lead in the second. Danny Garcia singled to left, and Mason Nickoloff followed with an infield single. Two batters later, Jack Young executed a perfect suicide squeeze, earning the single as a bonus.

After a Matt DuPuis bunt single loaded the bases, Powers picked up another RBI, this time via a hit by pitch to make it 3-1 Blue Devils.

Leominster tacked on another run in the third on Jack Young's RBI double along the left field line to make it 4-1.

St. John’s, last year's Division 1A/Super 8 state champion, closed the gap in the fifth inning with a two-out rally. Nick Carelli walked, and Mudd reached on an error. Matt Livingston brought them both in a batter later.

With Leominster playing the left-handed-hitting Livingston to pull, Livingston went the other way, dropping an RBI double down the left field line to make it a 4-3 game.

Leominster regained its three-run lead in the sixth with a two-out rally.

Pandiscio sparked things with a walk. DuPuis followed with a bunt that stayed just fair down the third base line, and following a throwing error, Pandiscio came all the way around to score on the play. Powers followed with his third RBI of game, on a sharp single to left to make it 6-3.

Powers, who went 2 for 3 and drove in three runs, said he knew his team needed some late insurance.

“I was down in the count, and the ball was in the ground, and I found a way and punched it out of the ground and scored the run,” Powers said.

St. John’s squandered an opportunity in the third, failing to score after loading the bases with only one out.

“The bottom of the third was the big opportunity to get back in the game,” Eppinger said. “We couldn’t get the big hit when we needed to. That inning is definitely one I’ll think about a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Leominster got the hits and made the plays all afternoon.

Barnaby said his entire team is willing to do what it takes to be successful.

“It doesn’t matter,” Barnaby said. “Next pitch mentality. Selfless baseball. Guys willing to get hit by pitches and get extra bases, put down the bunt, hit and run. Whatever it takes to scratch a run across is all that matters to us.”

—Contact Chris Kyne at sports@telegram.com. Follow him on Twitter @tgsports.