Nova eliminated from state tournament; Portland Babe Ruth 15 team wins title
After falling in the regional championship each of the past two summers, the storied Nova Seafood American Legion baseball team was hoping to return and get over the hump in 2010.
Instead, Nova wasn't able to get past the state tournament.
After a 15-3 regular season and a Zone 4 championship, Nova (featuring players from Deering High and a couple from Cape Elizabeth) got off to a hot start at the state tournament last Wednesday at South Portland's Wainwright Sports Complex with a 7-4 win over Bessey Motors. Nova rallied from a 4-0 deficit thanks to a clutch hit and relief performance from Jamie Ross.
Thursday, Nova won again, blasting Bangor, 12-1, in a game shortened to seven innings by the mercy rule. Nick DiBiase was commanding on the mound and doubled twice.
Unfortunately, that would be the team's final win of 2010.
Friday, Nova dropped an 8-7 decision to Gayton Post of Lewiston (the eventual state champ), blowing a 7-5 lead entering the ninth. Johnny Miranda had three hits in the setback. Saturday, the run ended with a 16-7 loss to Augusta. Nova trailed 11-2 after two innings and couldn't respond as its season ended at 19-6.
Ross and Nick Colucci were named to the All-Tournament team.
Following his team's elimination, longtime Nova (and former Deering High) coach Mike D'Andrea announced that he was stepping down to explore other opportunities. D'Andrea led Nova to eight state championships and the 2004 World Series championship.
In Junior Legion play, the Deering-populated Bristol Seafood team dropped a three-game quarterfinal round series to Seacoast Law and Title. Bristol lost the opener, 7-6, responded with a 9-8 triumph, then dropped the decisive game, 15-5, in six innings, finishing the year 12-10.
Portland's Babe Ruth 15 All-Star team is still playing, thanks to some dramatics early last week. Portland lost its first game of a double-elimination tournament, then won five straight times to take the title. Last Monday, Portland had to beat Westbrook twice to cap the run and did so by virtue of 6-1 and 1-0 triumphs. Nick Volger had three RBI in the first win. Kyle Reichert's sacrifice fly scored the lone run in the championship game. Mitchell Powers dominated on the mound to earn the win.
Portland advanced to take part in the New England tournament in Quincy, Mass. We'll have more on that tournament next week.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.