Sat, Aug 02, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Baseball, softball, lax regular seasons wrap up

Sports

Baseball, softball, lax regular seasons wrap up

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Yarmouth baseball, Falmouth-Yarmouth boys' lacrosse and Falmouth-Waynflete and Yarmouth-Waynflete girls' lacrosse game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, the baseball, softball and boys' and girls' lacrosse regular seasons were coming to a close at press time. The postseason is up next and based on what we've seen the past six weeks or so, high drama will be the theme.

Here's a glimpse at where things stand and what's to come.

Baseball

The big news last week was a landmark win for a longtime Greely coach. The Rangers improved to 14-0 with a 2-1 victory at York last Wednesday. It was the 200th of Derek Soule's varsity coaching career. Bailey Train hit a two-run homer and Connor Russell earned the win.

"I view the fact that we have won 200 games over the past 14 seasons as a reflection of the whole program," Soule said. "We must be doing a few things right. I certainly realize that there are many contributing factors in this, including strong assistant and sub-varsity coaches, very supportive athletic directors, from Jack Hardy when I first started, to David Shapiro today, a great youth baseball program with very involved parents, a proud tradition and I have been blessed to work with high quality student-athletes over the years."

The Rangers, ranked first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings, were at Fryeburg Wednesday and close the regular season with a makeup game at Cape Elizabeth Thursday, where they hope to avenge last year's playoff upset loss.

Defending state champion Falmouth handled visiting Freeport (10-5) and Cape Elizabeth (4-0) last week. Against the Falcons, Connor Aube had three hits, scored twice and had two RBI. Thomas Fortier had two hits and drove in two. Luke Velas had two hits and scored two runs. Fortier continued his dazzling pitching against the Capers, throwing a three-hit shutout, while fanning seven. He also drove in a pair. Monday, the Yachtsmen went to Yarmouth and fell to 12-2 after a 6-3 loss. Falmouth dug an early hole and despite terrific relief pitching from Ryan Mucci and ample opportunities, couldn't get a clutch hit to rally.

"We had plenty of opportunities to win this game and we didn't get it done," Yachtsmen coach Kevin Winship said. "We can't leave 11 guys on base."

Falmouth (second to Greely in the Heals) was home with York Tuesday and closed at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday.

Yarmouth suffered a 10-6 loss at Freeport last Wednesday, rallying from a 6-0 deficit to tie, but still falling short. Matt Highland and Caleb Uhl had multiple hits. Monday, in a pivotal 6-3 home win over Falmouth, he Clippers got a strong defensive effort, solid pitching from Chester Jacobs and two hits, an RBI and a run scored from Uhl.

"We play our brand of baseball," Uhl said. "If we can get guys on, we know we'll be successful. This is a big win for us. It's good for our confidence."

"I felt pretty good," Jacobs said. "I didn't blow many people away, but I was able to throw strikes and I have a great defense. I was able to get out of trouble."

"The bottom line was we took advantage of early walks," Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted said. "I love the little things. We scored three runs on three hard ground balls. That's good Yarmouth baseball."

The Clippers (9-6 and fifth in Western B) closed at York Wednesday.

Freeport fell at Falmouth, 10-5, last Tuesday, then enjoyed a 10-6 victory over visiting Yarmouth. Brady Davis had two doubles and five RBI in the win. Nick Cartmell had the winning RBI. Monday, the Falcons lost, 3-0, at Fryeburg. Freeport (7-8 and 11th in the standings, the top 12 teams make the playoffs) closes with a makeup game at Poland Thursday.

Softball

Greely's softball team was fourth behind reigning regional champion Fryeburg, Cape Elizabeth and Oak Hill in the Western B Heals entering the final week of the regular season. Last week, the Rangers improved to 12-2 with an 11-8 victory at Yarmouth and an 11-3 triumph at York. Mykaela Twitchell had a home run and triple and Sarah Felkel added three hits in the win over the Clippers. After going to Fryeburg Wednesday, Greely closes at Cape Elizabeth Thursday.

Falmouth was sixth at press time following a 19-4 home loss to Cape Elizabeth, a 7-0 home victory over Freeport and a 5-3 nine inning win at Yarmouth. Maddie Inlow and Elizabeth Walker had run scoring triple against the Capers. In the win over the Falcons, Amanda Carver threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and Inlow had two hits and drove in three. Monday, at the Clippers, Inlow and Julia Treadwell hit ninth inning home runs to spell the difference. The Yachtsmen (9-6) closed at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday.

Yarmouth lost at home to Greely (11-8) and won at Freeport (9-1) last week, then, despite rallying to tie in the seventh, lost, 5-3, in nine innings Monday at home against Falmouth. In the loss to the Rangers, McKenzie Gray had three hits and Mari Cooper added two. Against the Falcons, Gray threw a three-hitter and had three hits. Cooper added a pair of doubles and Cat Thompson hit a three-run triple. Against the Yachtsmen, Cat Thompson had a clutch double to tie the score. The Clippers (7-8 and 10th in the Heals) closed at York Wednesday.

Freeport lost at home to Yarmouth (9-1) and at Falmouth (7-0). Monday, the Falcons lost, 3-1, at Fryeburg, falling to 5-10 and 15th (only 12 teams make the playoffs) in Western B. Freeport closes at Poland Thursday.

Boys' lacrosse

Yarmouth's boys' lacrosse team managed another overtime win over Falmouth Friday night and it was a familiar name scoring the winner.

The Clippers, coming off a home loss to three-time defending Class A champion Scarborough, traveled to the two-time Class B champion Yachtsmen, hoping to sweep them for the first time since 2010 (Yarmouth beat visiting Falmouth, 10-9, in OT, April 24). Friday, Yarmouth fell behind 3-0 early and trailed 14-11 in the fourth quarter, but battled back and tied the game, 14-14, on Ian Edgecomb's goal with 1:59 left. Brady Neujahr won the faceoff to start overtime, fed Ethan Cyr and Cyr set up Edgecomb for the winner just 10 seconds in and the Clippers prevailed in scintillating fashion, 15-14.

Edgecomb, who also beat Falmouth with n overtime goal in the first meeting, had three goals, while Christian Henry led the way with four.

"It was almost identical to the first game," Edgecomb said. "Brady got it, picked it up and it was 1-2-3. I just had to take the shot. It feels like deja vu, except we were on a different field. Doing it at Falmouth means a lot more. It's one thing to beat them with our fans behind us, but this is their hallowed ground. It means a lot to come in here and beat them."

"It's amazing," Neujahr said. "There's something about overtime, it's whoever gets the ball first seems to win. It's awesome. There's nothing like this in sports. You dream about overtime games like this."

"Wow," added Clippers coach David Pearl. "This was an epic. It's shaped up to be quite a rivalry. It's the beauty of sport. Being an underdog and coming from behind. This team has shown that all season. We've been down in so many games and we've always come back. We never gave up. That's been the theme. I'm really proud of them."

Yarmouth improved to 9-2 with the victory. The Clippers were second in Eastern B at press time, but could finish first if they beat visiting Cape Elizabeth Thursday night (see theforecaster.net for game story).

North Yarmouth Academy continues to impress as well, handling visiting Waynflete, 23-11, last Tuesday (T.J. Daigler and Oliver Silverson both scored six times, while Jeremy Sylvain added five goals), then beating host Cape Elizabeth, 7-5, Friday, sweeping the Capers for the first time in six years behind two goals each from Daigler and Scammon and 10 saves from goalie D.J. Nicholas.

"It was a wet game, but it was fun," said NYA coach Peter Gerrity. "We played one of our best games of the year. As soon as warmups started, we shook off whatever funk had been developing in the cold and we were ready to go. Defensively, we played very well. All of our guys communicated and worked together and D.J. played great again. Offensively, we were confident and having fun. We relaxed a bit, but weren’t too loose and that helped I think in reducing the number of turnovers."

The Panthers (8-3 and first in Eastern B) could have locked up homefield advantage for the first time since 2007 with a win over visiting Falmouth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Despite an 0-7 start to the season, Freeport was on the verge of a playoff berth at press time. Last week, the Falcons won, 11-4, at Lake Region and downed York, 11-6, in a game played on NYA's turf, to improve to 3-8 (good for the eighth and final postseason spot in the region). Against the Lakers, Sam Wogan had four goals, while Clayton Morrison and Galen Simmons both scored three times. In the win over the Wildcats, Morrison led the way with four goals. Freeport, seeking its first playoff berth since 2010, closed at Waynflete Wednesday.

In Western B, Falmouth dominated visiting York, 17-2, last Tuesday, as Charlie Fay had six goals, Joe Dancoes four and I.V. Stucker had a whopping 10 assists. Friday, however, the Yachtsmen suffered another tough loss, 15-14, to visiting Yarmouth in overtime, despite seven goals from Fay.

"We had multiple chances to put the game out of reach, but we continually made mental mistakes and (Yarmouth) converted," lamented Falmouth coach Mike LeBel. "Offensively, I thought we played very well. Whenever you score 14 goals, you should win the game, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot."

The Yachtsmen (7-4 and second in the region) closed at NYA Wednesday.

Greely fell to 7-4 after a 12-3 loss at Waynflete Friday. The Rangers (third in the Heals) finished the regular season at York Wednesday.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, nothing had been decided heading into the final week.

Defending Eastern B champion Freeport was second to Gardiner in the Heals with a 6-5 mark following a tough 7-6 loss at York and a 14-9 home victory over Wells. In the setback, Jocelyn Davee scored four times. Davee had five goals in the win, while Meredith Broderick scored three times. The Falcons finish the regular season at home versus Greely Thursday.

Yarmouth was third in the region at 5-6 after a 16-10 loss at Waynflete. The Clippers hung tough early and played hard to the end as Olivia Conrad and Grace O'Donnell both scored three times. Yarmouth only committed 11 turnovers against a powerhouse team.

"We had a momentary lapse in the middle of the first half," Clippers coach Dorothy Holt said. "If we didn't have that lapse, we'd have been right there. I couldn't have asked for anything more. We came back and made it a game. I'm so proud of the girls. We're doing the right things at the right time of the season."

Yarmouth closes with a home game versus Cape Elizabeth Thursday. The Clippers shocked the host Capers on May 9, 8-7.

NYA, which missed the postseason a year ago, has made great strides, but still might fall short of the playoffs. Last Tuesday, the Panthers won at Wells, 14-11, as Alex Wahlstrom erupted for seven goals. NYA then fell to 3-8 with a 16-7 loss at York (Jenn Machin, Olivia Madore and Juju Tardif each scored twice). The Panthers (sixth in Eastern B at press time, but only five teams make the playoffs) close the regular season Friday at home against Falmouth, hoping for a win to clinch a postseason berth.

In Western B, Greely was second to Waynflete in the Heals entering the week. The Rangers improved to 8-2 Thursday with an 18-0 win at Fryeburg (Meg Finlay scored three times). Greely (which has already produced its best record since 2005) completes a home game against the Flyers Wednesday (the game was suspended May 9 by lightning with Waynflete ahead, 3-1, 12 minutes in) and closes at Freeport Thursday.

Falmouth was fifth at 6-4 after Tuesday's 16-3 loss at Waynflete. Sabrina Smithwick had two goals.

"This one stings," Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley said. "It started bad and got worse. We couldn't get our engine started. You have to do that from the get-go."

Falmouth was at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and closes at NYA Friday.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.