The city of Portland is about to see an abundance of baseball, softball and lacrosse playoff action.
Three of four city baseball teams will participate in the postseason.
Cheverus capped its best regular season of the playoff era last week with a gritty 6-2 win at preseason favorite Westbrook in eight innings to wind up 14-2 and earn the top seed for the playoffs for the first time.
The Stags (who beat the Blue Blazes again in extra innings, 3-2, in eight frames, in the league championship game Saturday) host No. 8 Thornton Academy (10-6) in the quarterfinals Thursday at 4 p.m. Way back on April 27, Cheverus eked out a 5-4 home win over the Golden Trojans. The teams last met in the postseason in the 2007 quarterfinals (10-7 Thornton Academy victory).
“We know we have a good team here,” said Stags coach Mac McKew. “The league’s going to be tough because there is so much good pitching. The first round game is going to be tough.”
Deering produced a solid 13-3 record in coach Mark Sutton’s first season. The Rams closed with a 7-3 home victory over South Portland and earned the No. 3 seed, setting up a quarterfinal round date versus No. 6 Marshwood (11-5) Thursday at 4 in a game to be played at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.
Deering beat the Hawks, 3-2, at home, on May 28. The teams have no playoff history.
Portland, despite a 6-1 home win over Scarborough in its finale, fell short of the playoffs at 6-10 in Tony DiBiase’s first season.
In Western C, Waynflete, by virtue of last Tuesday’s 12-4 home win over Sacopee, finished 8-4, its first winning regular season since 1994. The Flyers earned the No. 6 seed for the playoffs and go to No. 3 Wiscasset (13-3) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Waynflete seeks its first playoff win in a decade against a team with which it has no history.
The semifinal round is Saturday. Games will be played on the field of the higher remaining seed.
The Western A Final is Wednesday of next week at 3 p.m., at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western C Final is the same day at the same location with a 7 p.m. start time.
McAuley, the lone city playoff entrant, will host a softball playoff game for the first time since the 2005 preliminary round.
The Lions played valiantly in their regular season finale, but lost, 1-0, at home to defending Class A state champion South Portland last Tuesday. McAuley wound up with a program-best 12 wins (against four losses) and earned the No. 4 seed (its best ever) and will host No. 5 Kennebunk (12-4) in the quarterfinals Thursday at 4 p.m.
McAuley edged the visiting Rams, 3-2, on May 2. The teams have no playoff history. If the Lions make it to the semifinals for the first time in program history, they’ll almost certainly go to South Portland Saturday.
The Western A Final is Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m., at St. Joseph’s College.
Cheverus was a 6-4 winner at Bonny Eagle in its final game to wind up 3-13.
Deering also went 3-13 this season.
Portland finished 0-16, closing with a 17-1 (five inning) loss at Sanford.
Deering, Portland and Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse teams are hoping for postseason glory.
The Rams produced the best team in program history this spring, finishing 11-1 after a 19-2 romp at Bonny Eagle in the finale. Deering earned the second seed in Eastern Class A and a bye into Saturday’s semifinals. The Rams will host either No. 3 Messalonskee (11-1) or No. 6 Mt. Ararat (6-6) at a time to be determined.
Deering did not face either team this season and has no playoff history against either Eagles’ squad.
Portland, the two-time defending regional champion, wound up 9-3 and fourth in Eastern A after last Wednesday’s 9-4 loss at Scarborough in a rematch of last year’s state final. The Bulldogs host No. 5 Brunswick (6-6) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 5 p.m., at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The teams did not play this year. They did square off in the 2007 Class A Final, a 12-9 win for the Dragons, and the 2009 state game, when Portland won its first and only title to date, 9-3.
Cheverus, despite wins in three of its final four contests, wound up 5-7 and seventh in Eastern A, where only six teams qualify for the postseason. The Stags closed with a 10-8 loss at Gorham last Wednesday.
In Western B, Waynflete posted its best record in six years, 9-3, despite a regular season-ending 16-5 loss at Cape Elizabeth, which snapped a five-game win streak. The Flyers finished fourth in the region and go to Falmouth in the semifinals Saturday (the game time hadn’t been determined by press time).
On April 27, Waynflete lost, 17-5, at Falmouth. The teams have met twice prior in the playoffs and the Flyers captured both, 7-5 in the 2002 divisional quarterfinals and 14-13 in the 2006 quarterfinals.
The regional finals for boys’ lacrosse will be contested Wednesday, June 15, on the fields of the highest remaining seeds. The state games are Saturday, June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
The Waynflete girls’ lacrosse squad hopes to bounce back from a loss in the regular season finale to make a run at yet another championship.
The Flyers, who lost to North Yarmouth Academy in last year’s Class B Final, finished 10-2 this year after last Wednesday’s 13-8 loss at Yarmouth.
“I’m super-psyched to go 10-2,” longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors said. “I did not see that coming. They pulled together and realized they needed to. I saw a lot of little things that they fixed that no one else can see and that makes me happy.”
Despite the regular season-ending loss, Waynflete still wound up ranked first for the fourth year in a row and will host No. 4 Greely (6-6) in the semifinals Saturday (at a time to be determined).
The Flyers beat the Rangers in a slugfest, 22-11, May 11 at home. Waynflete has won seven of the eight prior playoff meetings, most of them in dramatic fashion. The last encounter came in the 2008 regional final (a 16-5 Waynflete triumph).
“After today, it matters,” Connors said. “(Against Yarmouth), we learned from what we didn’t do right and we’ll get better.”
In Eastern A, Portland will be the No. 5 seed after ending up 6-6 following a season-ending 13-3 loss to Marshwood. The Bulldogs were at No. 4 Mt. Ararat (7-5) in the quarterfinals Tuesday. The teams didn’t play this year. Portland has never faced the Eagles in the postseason.
Cheverus somehow wound up with the No. 6 seed after going 3-9. The Stags earned an invite to the playoff party largely by virtue of their season-ending stunning home upset win over Gorham.
Cheverus goes to No. 3 Messalonskee (9-3) for the quarterfinals Wednesday at 5 p.m. Back on April 30, the Stags lost at the Eagles, 10-4. The teams have no playoff history.
Deering finished 4-8 after a 15-3 home loss to Massabesic and wound up eighth in the region, where only six teams make the postseason.
In Western A, McAuley enjoyed its best season since 2005, finishing 6-6, but the Lions wound up 11th in the Heals and only seven teams qualified for the playoffs.
The regional finals for girls’ lacrosse will be contested Wednesday, June 15, on the fields of the highest remaining seeds. The state games are Saturday, June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
Freelance writer Ryan Robb contributed to this story.
Cheverus senior Peter Gwilym (left) and freshman Mitchell Powers celebrate the Stags’ dramatic extra inning win at Westbrook last week which gave them the top playoff seed for the first time. Cheverus begins its title quest Thursday.
Senior Izzer Berrang and the rest of the Waynflete girls’ lacrosse team is primed for yet another title run in the days to come.