BANGOR, Maine – A successful summer for the Scarborough Little League got even better Saturday as it defeated Coastal of Blue Hill 8-6 to win the Senior League baseball state championship at Mansfield Stadium.
The Senior League team (ages 15-16) joins the Scarborough Little League (ages 11-12) baseball and softball teams as 2012 state titlists.
“I was down in Connecticut where my sister (Samantha) was playing in the softball tournament,” said Scarborough pitcher-shortstop Zach Carriero. “It’s going to be a lot more challenging for us at the regional. We’re going to have to step up our game to play with that competition.”
Scarborough, the only Senior League team in District 6, advances to the Eastern Regional to be held Aug. 3-8 at West Deptford, N.J.
“This is my third year of trying to get to New Jersey,” said Scarborough catcher Ryan Collins, “and now that we’re finally going, it’s awesome.”
Scarborough took control of the championship game with five runs in the top of the second inning, a rally that featured six hits — including a two-run single by Ian Corey followed by Carriero’s RBI double to left-center that helped stake the District 6 champs to a 5-0 lead.
“That double felt good,” said Carriero. “I hadn’t hit the ball well for the last day and a half.”
Coastal answered in the bottom of the third, scoring a run on consecutive two-out singles by Connor Morey, Mariner Cheney and Gabe Stearns.
Scarborough made it 7-1 in the fourth with two runs scoring on a squeeze bunt single by Matt Hartl. Carriero led off with a single to left, Collins walked and Sean Getchell was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Hartl then laid a bunt down the first-base line to drive home Carriero, and when Coastal tried to make the play at first base, Collins never stopped rounding third and beat the throw home.
“I just saw an opening, a chance to make a play,” said Collins. “You’ve got to go hard.”
Coastal scored three runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth to close within 7-4, on RBI singles by Cheney, Cooper Smallidge and Tyler Robbins.
Carriero hit a leadoff single in the Scarborough sixth, stole second and scored on Austin Pemberton’s single to stretch the lead back to 8-4.
Wesley Herrick hit a one-out single in the Coastal sixth, and pinch-runner Loriman Look came around to score on an outfield error to make it 8-5.
Coastal put its first two runners aboard in the bottom of the seventh, and a sacrifice fly by Finn McMahon-Allwine drove home Smallidge from third to cut the deficit to two runs. But Scarborough reliever Matt Gedero, who worked the final 1 2/3 innings, recorded a game-ending strikeout to secure his team’s ticket to the regional.
Carriero paced Scarborough’s offense with a double and two singles, while Pemberton had three singles.
Morey had four singles for Coastal, while Robbins had three singles, Bianco doubled and singled and Cheney and Smallidge each singled twice.
Coastal outhit Scarborough 16-12, but was hurt by four errors compared to none for Scarborough.
“They’re a good team, a very good team,” said Coastal coach Will Morey, whose team hadn’t played a game in three weeks entering the state tournament. “But we’re just as good a team, but this is baseball and that column at the end of the scoreboard (errors) shows the difference.”
Coastal forced the final game by edging Scarborough 5-4 in eight innings earlier in the day to tie the best-of-three series at one game each.
Coastal scored the game-winner after two were out in the top of the eighth.
Smallidge singled to right, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an errant throw in from the outfield on Robbins’ single to center – Scarborough’s sixth error of the game.
Cheney, who had relieved Stearns on the mound in the seventh inning, retired Scarborough in order in the bottom of the eighth to secure the victory.
Coastal broke a 2-2 tie with two runs on three Scarborough errors in the top of the sixth inning.
Scarborough got one run back in the bottom of the sixth on Corey’s two-out RBI single to left.
Scarborough tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, with Juan German scoring from third on a third-strike wild pitch by Cheney to Getchell on what would have been the final out of the game.