York subdues Winslow to win first baseball state championship since 1971

Posted June 15, 2013, at 6:48 p.m.
Last modified June 16, 2013, at 4:08 p.m.

STANDISH, Maine – Adam Bailey scattered six hits during a complete-game pitching effort to lift York to a 4-1 victory over Winslow in the Class B baseball state championship game Saturday at Saint Joseph’s College.

The state title is the first for the Wildcats since 1971, when they competed in Class C.

It’s an unreal moment,” said Bailey, one of nine seniors on the York roster. “I’ve been waiting for this all my life.

“In basketball we were expected to win a state championship, too, me and [teammates] Zach [Leal] and Aaron [Todd] were part of that,” said Bailey. “We were so disappointed. But right as [the last pitch] happened, it was an unreal feeling being state champions. It was the last shot we had, and I’m so happen to finally get it.”

Winslow ends its season at 16-4 after playing in its first state final since 2007.

Bailey, a 6-foot-6-inch righthander, threw 60 strikes among his 78 pitches and finished with seven strikeouts and one walk.

“York, you’ve got to give it to them, their pitcher threw a hell of a game,” said Winslow coach Jesse LaCasse. “Even as a coach I was never able to guess what he was going to throw next. He mixed it up and kept my guys off balance. That’s a tough guy to beat.”

York (16-5) scored all the runs it needed when it sent nine batters to the plate during a three-run first-inning uprising.

Coach Chuck Chadbourne’s Wildcats had four hits – all sharply struck – beginning when Anthony Sciaudone reached on a sharp grounder off the foot of Winslow starter Donald Camp that rolled between first and second bases.

Samuel Johnson then hit a line drive that Winslow third baseman Ryan Dubois couldn’t handle for an error, and Derek Neal followed with the first of his two hits in the game, an RBI single to center.

Camp retired the next batter before Bailey singled sharply to left-center, with only the range of Winslow center fielder Gabe Smith to cut off the ball before it reached the gap preventing an extra-base hit.

It didn’t matter, as Johnson scored on a wild pitch and Alex Mercurio popped an RBI double to deep right field.

“It’s nice to get a couple of runs in the first inning,” said Bailey. “The confidence goes up when you get that run support.”

York threatened again in the second, loading the bases with one out before Winslow freshman reliever Jacob Trask retired Bailey on an infield pop-out and got Mercurio to hit a fielder’s choice grounder that produced the final out at third base.

The Wildcats loaded the bases again with one out in the third as Trask hit Cole Merritt with the first pitch of the inning, Ben Lawlor singled to left and Sciaudone followed a Kyle Cone sacrifice with a walk.

A second straight walk, this time to Johnson, forced home pinch-runner Joshua Donahue to make it 4-0, but again Trask got a pop-out and a fielder’s choice grounder from the next two batters to end this inning.

York stranded nine base runners in the first three innings.

“We left a couple out there tonight, but we knew we’d have more opportunities and if we needed to we could get a couple more runs,” said Bailey.

Camp hit a leadoff single in the top of the fourth for Winslow’s first hit, and the Black Raiders got an infield hit from Chase Colford and a sharp single by Alex Berard in the top of the fifth – only to have both runners thrown out on the basepaths.

With Berard at the plate, Colford was gunned down by Mercurio, the York catcher, while trying to steal second. And when Berard tried to stretch his two-out shot to right field into a double, Merritt came up firing from the outfield to shortstop Sciaudone with a perfect one-hop throw to get the out on a close play at second.

That was a great throw by Cole,” said Bailey. “He’s got a cannon of a arm and he’s a great hitter, too, and he’s only a sophomore so he’s going to be really good in the next couple of years.”

Winslow finally broke through against Bailey an inning later. Taylor Roy led off with an infield hit to shortstop and Gabe Smith singled to center. Camp sacrificed the runners to second and third before Roy scored when Bailey was called for a balk.

But Bailey came back to strike out Hapworth with perhaps his fastest pitch of the day and got Zach Guptill to pop out to right field to leave York with a three-run lead.

Trask, meanwhile, retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced, and finished the game allowing just one run over five innings of relief.

“Overall this team throughout every game fought and fought,” said LaCasse of his Winslow squad. “We had many games when we fought back and I was pretty confident we were going to do it again today.”

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