STANDISH, Maine — Charlie Spiegel and the Searsport High School baseball program are no strangers to championship settings.
Spiegel, a senior right-hander, allowed only four hits over five shutout innings Saturday to earn his second pitching victory in a Class D final in the last three years as the Vikings shut down Central Aroostook of Mars Hills 11-0 at Saint Joseph’s College.
The title was the fourth in five years for coach John Frye’s club, and this effort was the most dominating.
All three of Searsport’s postseason victories this spring came via the 10-run mercy rule, with the Vikings outscoring their opposition by a combined 32-1.
“This group just has that desire to win,” said Frye, whose team finished with a 15-4 record. “They’re energetic, they give it all they’ve got. They’re not the most talented team out there, we know that. But when we work together as one big group, we’re really good.”
Central Aroostook, which won each of its three North tournament games by one run in walk-off fashion to capture its first regional crown since 2010, ends its season at 13-5.
Coach Mitch Ross’ Panthers had two hits in each of the first two innings, but Spiegel was able to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard.
CAHS had runners on second and third with no one out in the second as Stetson Nicholas and Malachi Fitzherbert hit back-to-back singles and each stole a base, but Spiegel escaped with two strikeouts and an infield groundout.
That was the Panthers’ last chance against Spiegel, who retired the last 12 batters he faced.
Spiegel struck out six and walked no one while throwing just 64 pitches, 48 for strikes.
“We’d heard from the scouting reports that they didn’t like fast pitching so I tried to establish the fastball early,” said Spiegel, a Mr. Baseball finalist who plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Maine this fall. “Obviously they heard that I threw a fastball. They timed it up in the first couple of innings and I knew then that I would have to switch it up and try to keep them off balance.”
Searsport loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second on two walks around an infield hit by freshman Joshua Wright.
No. 9 batter Cody Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Stetson Nicholas with the game’s first run, and when Wright raced toward third base an errant throw by the Central Aroostook catcher allowed a second run to score.
Searsport broke the game open an inning later, sending 12 batters to the plate against three different Central Aroostook pitchers and scoring six runs on six hits to build an 8-0 cushion.
Spiegel began the uprising with a sharp single to left, then advanced to second base on a wild pitch by CAHS starter Brayden Bradbury before scoring on Colby Snow’s single to left.
Snow stole second and Wright followed with his second hit in as many innings, a one-out RBI single to center
That brought in Brandon Wood to relieve Bradbury, but Searsport’s offense kept building momentum.
Aaron Wiley singled and Kaden Harriman walked before Wright scored on a wild pitch and Reynolds hit a two-run single to left to build the lead to 7-0. Reynolds advanced to second on Daegan Moody’s pop single to center and scored the final run of the inning when Isaiah Runci reached on a throwing error.
Central Aroostook’s third pitcher of the inning, Ethan Pryor, came on with one out and the bases loaded and retired two straight batters to quell the inning.
Searsport’s lead grew to double digits in the bottom of the fourth, with pinch-hitter Steven Perkins hitting an RBI single and coming around to score on a wild pitch to cap off the three-run rally.
Reynolds finished with three RBIs for the Vikings, while Wright had two hits and scored three runs and Spiegel reached base four times on two singles, a walk and a hit batsman..
Ben Thomas doubled for Central Aroostook while Bradbury, Nicholas and Fitzherbert each singled.