In the end, Thomas Fortier and the Falmouth baseball team proved human after all.
The Yachtsmen were seeking a repeat state championship this spring, but their run came to an end in last week’s regional final.
Falmouth wound up second in Western B with a 14-2 record. The Yachtsmen held off No. 10 Poland in the quarterfinals, 5-4, then rallied past No. 3 Morse in the semifinals, 2-1.
That sent Falmouth to St. Joseph’s College in Standish for the regional final against a fifth-ranked York squad, which had upset No. 4 Yarmouth and top-ranked Greely in its previous two games. The game was supposed to be played last Tuesday, but was postponed to Wednesday due to bad weather.
The Yachtsmen liked their chances with Fortier on the mound. Fortier played a huge role in last year’s title run and had three no-hitters to his credit this spring, but a rough first inning put Falmouth behind, 3-0.
“I don’t think Thomas pitched badly in the first inning, it was more adrenaline, the emotions of the game,” said Yachtsmen coach Kevin Winship. “He settled down.”
Falmouth had its chances to rally, but couldn’t do so against York starter Daniel Bock.
The Yachtsmen then got a break when Bock was ejected from the game after trying to score by bowling over Falmouth catcher Connor MacDowell in the fourth inning.
In the bottom half, the Yachtsmen got a run back, but couldn’t put up a crooked number.
“We had runners on, but they made every play,” Winship lamented. “Last year, we got the big hit. This year, we didn’t. That’s baseball.”
The Wildcats then scored single runs in the sixth and seventh and went on to a 5-1 triumph, ending Falmouth’s season at 16-3.
“York played well,” Winship said. “They got hot at the right time. They did what we did last year. They took advantage of mistakes, got key hits and had good pitching. They didn’t have an easy road, having to beat the 4, 2 and 1 seeds. You have to tip your hat to them.
“You have to play 20 games to win a state championship. We were one away. I’m very happy with our season, but I’m disappointed for the seniors. They were my first group to come through. I wanted more for them. We’ve been through a lot and learned from each other.”
Fortier suffered his first loss of the season. He’ll play at St. Joe’s last year. Fortier is a finalist for the Winkin Award, given to the state’s premier senior ballplayer.
Falmouth will be in the hunt again in 2014, even though it will take part in the Class A postseason.
“We have a good nucleus coming back to build around,” Winship said. “We’re losing some big stars, but we have good younger kids. I’m looking forward to what they’ll bring to the table.”
Falmouth senior ace Thomas Fortier delivers a pitch during last week’s upset loss to York in the Western B Final. Fortier suffered his first loss of the season as the Yachtsmen’s bid for a repeat title ended with a 5-1 setback.