June 24, 2018
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Deering High takes third state crown

By Pete Warner

ORONO, Maine — Deering scratched out two runs in the first inning Saturday, then rode the strong pitching of Regan Flaherty to a 2-1 victory over Cony in the Class A baseball state championship game at the University of Maine’s Mahaney Diamond.

It was the third consecutive state crown for Deering High of Portland, which completed an undefeated season at 20-0 under first-year coach Mike Coutts. The win was the Rams’ 50th in a row.

Eastern Maine champion Cony of Augusta wound up 15-5.

Deering senior Flaherty outdueled Cony senior Eric Lee in a battle of lefthanders.

Flaherty, a recent 28th-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, pitched 6ª innings of four-hit ball before Matt Powers came on to get the final out with the potential tying run at second base in the seventh.

Flaherty struck out nine and walked two, taking advantage of a tailing fastball and changeup.

Lee was outstanding for Cony after working through some first-inning jitters when he walked three and gave up both runs. He used a couple of different curveballs and a fastball to hold a normally hard-hitting Deering squad in check.

Sam Balzano singled twice for Deering, including a leadoff hit in the first inning. Powers and Flaherty walked to load the bases, while Taylor Candage and Jack Heary followed with run-scoring groundouts.

Charlie Partridge doubled and singled to pace Cony, which scored its only run in the seventh.

Sophomore Luke Duncklee jacked a low Flaherty fastball for a towering leadoff home run to left field, cutting the deficit to one run. Partridge then singled and moved up on a two-out walk to Cory Clarke, but Powers came on and induced a game-ending Nick Lucas popup behind third base.

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