Both Brandon Smith of R.H. Foster-Hampden and Gary Farnham of Bangor Coffee News made the most of their final year of American Legion baseball eligibility this summer and were honored for their play Monday evening as the All-Zone 1 Senior Legion team was selected by league coaches.
Smith, a pitcher-outfielder from Winterport, was named the zone’s player of the year while Farnham was recognized as the Zone 1 pitcher of the year.
First-year Quirk Motor City coach Cam Archer, who guided his team to a second-place finish in the Zone 1 tournament and a berth in the state tourney that begins Saturday at Husson University in Bangor, was selected as the Zone 1 coach of the year.
Smith, who recently completed his freshman season at Husson, batted a robust .439 (29 of 66) with 22 RBIs in helping the River Dogs finish 11-5 during the regular season and secure a bid to states with a third-place finish in the zone tournament.
Smith also compiled a 2-2 pitching record with a 3.75 earned run average.
Farnham, a 2017 Bangor High School graduate who pitched this spring at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, was a key member of the zone champion Bangor Coffee News staff, compiling a 4-0 record with 30 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Farnham was one of nine players from the undefeated Bangor Coffee News roster to earn first-team All-Zone 1 recognition.
Other Comrades named to the top squad were pitcher Jack Corey (4-0), catcher Tyler Parke (.283, 14 RBI), first baseman Noah Missbrenner (.345, 12 RBI), third baseman Zach Cowperthwaite (.256), shortstop Zach Ireland (.254, 10 RBI), outfielder Jacob Munroe (.528), utility player Kobe Rogerson (.278, 15 RBI) and designated hitter Zach Murray (.383).
Quirk Motor City and R.H. Foster-Hampden each had four first-team honorees.
Representing Quirk Motor City were pitcher Ethan Newcomb (2-1, 2.90 ERA), second baseman Ryan Hoogterp (.333), third baseman Jake Dubay (.389) and outfielder Nick Avery (.379, 19 RBI).
Joining Smith as R.H. Foster-Hampden first-team selections were pitcher Derek Gendreau (3-0, 3.11 ERA), outfielder Barrett Grant (.414, six triples) and utility player Nick Lorenzo (.407, 15 RBI).
Earning second-team honors were pitchers Evan Andrews and Karl Sund and outfielder Carson Prouty of Bangor Coffee News; catcher Cole Daniel, first baseman Adam Sheehan, outfielder Jake Ketch and designated hitter Nick Perfitt of Quirk Motor City; outfielder Casey Sudbeck of R.H. Foster-Hampden; first baseman Chris Barnes and shortstop Brad Smith of the Acadians; and pitcher Eric Jackson, second baseman Matt Berry, third baseman Cam Denis and utility player Evan Holzworth of Post 51/16 of Oakland-Skowhegan.
State play-in game Thursday
While seven teams already have earned their way to this year’s Senior Legion state tournament, one final qualifier will be determined Thursday when Augusta and Staples Crossing of South Berwick meet at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
Game time is 5 p.m., weather permitting.
With just 18 Senior Legion teams in three zones statewide this year, organizers opted to retain an eight-team state tourney format.
Each zone was guaranteed two teams in the state tournament, with Zone 1 granted a third team as the host zone for the five-day, double-elimination event at the Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University.
The play-in game for the final berth matches the third-place teams from Zone 2 (Augusta) and Zone 3 (Staples Crossing).
The winner of that play-in game will face defending state champion Bangor Coffee News in the final game of opening-day play at the state tournament. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.
Junior Legion states start Thursday
While Maine’s top Senior Legion teams will be determining a champion at Husson University, the best Junior Legion programs will hold their state tournament across town at Mansfield Stadium beginning Thursday.
The top four teams from both the North and South divisions will vie for the championship, with opening-round games in the double-elimination event scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Thursday’s schedule has Yarmouth (South third-place team) against Fairfield (North second) at 5 p.m., followed by Topsham (South fourth) against Hampden (North first) at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Bangor Coles Cadets (North third) will face Auburn (South second) at 5 p.m., with Messalonskee of Oakland (North fourth) against Thirsty Turf of Portland (South first) at 7:30.
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