Key games mark final days of baseball regular season

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff
Posted May 29, 2011, at 5:07 p.m.

Just three days remain in the high school baseball regular season with the arrival of Memorial Day 2011, but plenty of questions still need answers as teams play their final contests with hopes of enhancing their seeds for postseason play or just qualifying for a playoff berth.

Here’s a look at the races in Eastern Maine:

CLASS A: Bangor (13-2) and Lewiston (13-1) are battling for the No. 1 seed, which largely stands for the right to be the home team if the Rams and Blue Devils meet in the Eastern Maine final in Augusta on June 15, as well as the chance to host the other team in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game likely to be played next Saturday.

Mt. Blue of Farmington, Brunswick and Cony of Augusta hold down the next three spots, but there’s a tight four-way battle for the final three playoff berths.

Currently Erskine Academy of South China (9-6) is sixth, less than two Heal points ahead of Edward Little and Hampden Academy, both 8-7 and tied for seventh. And Brewer, also 8-7, is just three points behind EL and Hampden.

Edward Little hosts Bangor in its regular-season finale Monday, while Brewer is at Lewiston and Hampden Academy is at 3-12 Morse of Bath on Tuesday. Erskine is at Lewiston on Monday.

CLASS B: Defending state champion Waterville, coming off a 3-1 win at Western B power Lincoln Academy of Newcastle on Saturday, is 13-2 and looks set to claim the No. 1 seed.

But just eight Heal points separate the next seven teams in the division — Camden Hills of Rockport, Bucksport, Rockland, Mount Desert Island, Ellsworth, Hermon and John Bapst of Bangor — and only five of those teams will receive preliminary-round byes.

Winslow is the likely No. 9 seed, with three teams — Gardiner, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and Old Town — hoping to land the 10th and final playoff berth.

Gardiner (10-5) owns an 11-point lead over Medomak Valley, and a win by the Tigers over Leavitt of Turner Center on Tuesday likely would send them to the playoffs.

But a loss could leave the door open for 8-7 Medomak Valley, which plays Belfast on Tuesday.

Old Town (10-5) has made a late push with six consecutive victories, but seemingly would need a win against Bucksport on Tuesday along with help from the likes of Leavitt and Belfast to extend its season.

Class C: Defending EM champion Calais (11-1-1) and undefeated Foxcroft Academy (15-0) are vying for the top spot, with Calais to play Woodland on Monday and Foxcroft at Penquis of Milo on Wednesday.

Penobscot Valley of Howland, Narraguagus of Harrington, Stearns of Millinocket and Lee Academy currently own the final four preliminary-round byes, but George Stevens Academy (6-7-1) could break into that group with pointworthy home games scheduled against MDI on Monday and Deer Isle-Stonington on Wednesday.

Washington Academy of East Machias, Dexter and Orono currently have the final three playoff positions, but four other teams — Madawaska, Houlton, Hodgdon and Central of Corinth — are all less than seven Heal points behind ninth-place Dexter and four or fewer points behind No. 10 Orono.

Hodgdon (7-8) has completed its schedule and Dexter ends its season at winless Piscataquis of Guilford on Wednesday, but most of the other contenders for those final spots still have Heal points available.

Key upcoming games have Orono at Penobscot Valley on Wednesday, Houlton at Stearns on Monday and then at Madawaska for a doubleheader Wednesday, Madawaska hosting Limestone-Maine School of Mathematics and Science on Tuesday, and Central at Penquis on Wednesday.

Even Penquis, with its games against Foxcroft and Central, might sneak into a playoff berth with two wins.

Class D: A relatively tight division finds Katahdin of Stacyville holding a seven-point edge over second-place Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook, which has won 12 straight games since losing at Katahdin on April 28.

Just nine points separate Southern Aroostook from the next four teams, a group that includes undefeated Wisdom of Saint Agatha, perennial contender Deer Isle-Stonington, defending EM champion Central Aroostook of Mars Hill, and Machias, the only team to defeat Western D top seed Greenville.

Bangor Christian, Shead of Eastport and Jonesport-Beals are in the final three spots of what will be nine-team playoff field, with Fort Fairfield within striking a distance but likely needing a win over Central Aroostook on Wednesday in its regular-season finale to knock someone else out.

Jonesport-Beals, which split a doubleheader with Deer Isle-Stonington on Saturday to move into ninth place, has completed its season. Bangor Christian is at 2-12 Schenck of East Millinocket on Monday, while Shead hosts Machias in a key Downeast Athletic Conference clash Tuesday.

Another game of note in the division comes Monday when Wisdom plays at Central Aroostook.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/05/29/sports/key-games-mark-final-days-of-baseball-regular-season/ printed on August 27, 2014