March 23, 2018
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High seeds to battle for baseball state titles

By Ernie Clark, BDN Staff

Don’t trust the Heal point ratings?

A look at the participants in Saturday’s state championship baseball games suggests you should.

Of the eight teams that will be playing at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Morton Field in Augusta or Mahaney Diamond on the campus of Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, six were outright No. 1 seeds and a seventh tied for first place and was seeded second only after losing a coin flip.

And the eighth regional champion is Calais, the defending Eastern Class C titlist that finished second behind the only team statewide to survive the regular season undefeated — Foxcroft Academy.

What the Heal points won’t tell you, however, is who will emerge victorious in the state finals.

Class A: Lewiston (18-1) vs. Cheverus (17-2), 2 p.m., Morton Field, Augusta: Lewiston is seeking its first state championship in 61 years, while Cheverus is after its first state title ever.

Lewiston’s roster is filled with players off last summer’s American Legion state champion Gayton Post squad, and since a one-run loss at Cony of Augusta — on Morton Field — on May 2 the Blue Devils have ripped off 14 straight wins, including a dramatic 5-4 survival of Bangor in the EM final.

Cheverus’ athletic program is capping off a stellar year, having already played in football and basketball state championship games, with the Stags defeating Bangor in football and losing to the Rams in basketball.

Class B: Waterville (17-2) vs. Greely (16-3), 4 p.m., Saint Joseph’s College, Standish: The only defending state champion still in this year’s field, Waterville carries a 10-game winning streak into its final, including a 3-2, 11-inning survival of Mount Desert Island in the EM semifinals followed by a 10-0, five-inning win over Bucksport in Tuesday’s title game.

Greely, which lost a coin flip to Yarmouth for the top seed in Western B, is after its fifth state title overall and third in the last five years, with its most recent championships in 2007 and 2009.

Class C: Calais (15-1-1) vs. St. Dominic (17-2), 2 p.m., Mansfield Stadium, Bangor: Calais lived up to preseason expectations with its return trip to the state final, and is in search of its first state championship since 1976. The Blue Devils have yet to allow a run in 19 postseason innings, though ace Adam Geel won’t be eligible to pitch Saturday after throwing a four-hitter in a 4-0 win over Foxcroft in Wednesday’s regional final.

St. Dom’s, which edged 2010 state champion Dirigo of Dixfield 7-6 in the Western C final, is back in the state championship game for the sixth time in eight years, with victories during that run in 2005, 2007 and 2009 — all at Mansfield Stadium.

Class D: Katahdin (14-3) vs. Greenville (14-2), noon, Saint Joseph’s College, Standish: Katahdin is back in the state final for the first time since 2008, and is after its first state championship since 1993 after outlasting seventh-seeded Bangor Christian 2-1 in a nine-inning Eastern Maine title game.

Greenville hasn’t won a state championship in any boys sport since coming out of the East to win the 1990 Class D baseball crown. The Lakers also survived a low-scoring regional final, edging Rangeley 2-0.

One difference between these teams is that Greenville played its WM final on Tuesday night, meaning senior lefthander Jeremy St. Louis, who pitched a two-hitter against Rangeley, can come back after three days rest to work in the state final. Katahdin’s EM final against Bangor Christian was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday, meaning Cougars’ ace Brandon Robinson, who pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts against Bangor Christian, won’t be eligible to pitch in the state game.

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