Playoff thrills underway in baseball, softball and lacrosse-Northern edition

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(Ed. Note: For the Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth and Greely-Kennebunk boys’ lacrosse and Falmouth-Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, see theforecaster.net) 

The outdoor track state meet has come and gone and tennis is about to crown its team champions (see stories), leaving the stage for baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse.

Those playoffs promise to be memorable.

Here’s a look at where local teams stand as the postseason commences.

Baseball

Falmouth’s baseball team capped a perfect 16-0 regular season (its first since 1997) with a 5-0 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester last Wednesday. Ace Cam Guarino won his eighth game behind a two-hit performance. Tyler Gee doubled twice and Reece Armitage and Hogan Tracy also had two hits.

The Yachtsmen (who play a Western Maine Conference regular season schedule, then move up for the playoffs) earned the top seed in Class A South and a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinal round against either No. 8 Deering (9-7) or No. 9 Cheverus (10-6). Falmouth has no history against either team.

In Class B South, two-time state champion Greely went 11-4-1 and earned the No. 3 seed, along with a bye into the quarterfinals. Thursday, the Rangers will host either No. 6 Yarmouth (10-5-1) or No. 11 Fryeburg Academy (4-12). Greely tied the Clippers, 4-4, in nine-innings, before darkness ended the game May 3 in Cumberland and twice beat the Raiders: 15-2 (in five-innings) in the opener April 14 at home and 6-2 (in eight-innings) May 16 in Fryeburg.

Greely and Yarmouth have met five previous times in the postseason, with the Rangers prevailing on four occasions, including a 4-3 (nine-inning) victory in last year’s quarterfinal round.

Greely is 4-0 all-time in the playoffs against Fryeburg Academy, with an 11-1 (six-inning) triumph in the 2013 quarterfinals the most recent.

Yarmouth closed the regular season by winning its final three games, including an 11-6 home victory over Cape Elizabeth in the finale last Tuesday. Jack Snyder singled, doubled and tripled and C.J. Cawley and Gibson Harnett had two hits apiece. Luke Klenda earned the win.

The Clippers hosted No. 11 Fryeburg Academy in a preliminary round contest Tuesday. On April 28, Yarmouth blanked the visiting Raiders, 9-0. The teams had no playoff history.

Freeport enjoyed its best season since 2012, finishing 10-6 despite having its seven-game win streak snapped in the regular season finale at Traip Academy, 2-1, in eight-innings. Jack Davenport scored the run and pitched well enough to win, but he dropped to 7-2.

The Falcons earned the No. 7 seed in Class B South and hosted No. 10 Morse (4-12) in the preliminary round Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams had never met in the playoffs.

If Freeport earned its first playoff victory since 1985, it would advance to take on second-ranked York (11-5) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Back on April 27, the Falcons lost, 11-1, at the Wildcats. The teams have never met in the postseason.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy earned the No. 6 seed after a 7-9 campaign and go to No. 3 Richmond (11-5) for the quarterfinals. Back on April 21, in the regular season opener, the Panthers edged the Bobcats, 3-2. The teams have met three previous times in the playoffs with NYA taking all three. The most recent encounter was a 7-2 Panthers’ victory in the 2005 Western D Final.

Looking ahead, the semifinals are Saturday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A South Final is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Class D South Final is Wednesday at 3 p.m. at St. Joe’s. The Class B South Final is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Standish. The Class A state final is Saturday, June 18 at 1 p.m. at St. Joe’s. The Class B state final is Saturday, June 18 at Bangor’s Mansfield Field at 11 a.m. The Class D state game is the same day, also in Bangor, beginning at 3 p.m.

Softball

Greely and Yarmouth’s softball teams both entertain legitimate championship dreams, but the squads are on a semifinal round collision course.

The defending state champion Clippers wound up with the No. 2 seed in Class B South after closing on a seven-game win streak, capped by a 3-1 home victory over Cape Elizabeth last Tuesday. Mari Cooper earned her 13th win with a five-hitter, Hannah Merrill homered and Andrea St. Pierre had three hits.

Yarmouth (13-3) earned a bye into Thursday’s quarterfinal round where it will host either No. 7 Leavitt (10-6) or No. 10 Lincoln Academy (8-8). The Clippers didn’t face either team this year.

Last year, Yarmouth beat Leavitt, 6-0, in the quarterfinal round.

The Clippers have no postseason history with Lincoln Academy.

Greely also went 13-3 and finished third in Class B South. The Rangers will host either No. 6 Fryeburg Academy (11-5) or No. 11 Mountain Valley (9-7) in the quarterfinals Thursday. Greely edged the visiting Raiders, 2-1, in the opener April 14, then won at Fryeburg, 6-1, May 16. The Rangers don’t play the Falcons in the regular season.

Greely has split four prior playoff meetings against Fryeburg Academy, with a 2-1 win in the 2013 semifinals the most recent.

The Rangers are 2-0 all-time versus Mountain Valley in the postseason, with a 7-1 victory in the 2009 preliminary round the most recent. 

If Greely and Yarmouth meet in the semifinals Saturday in Yarmouth, it would mark the fourth straight year the neighbors square off in the postseason. Last spring, the Clippers won, 5-0, in Cumberland in the semifinals en route to the championship, evening the all-time playoff series at 2-2. 

Back on May 3, in the lone regular season meeting, the host Rangers won, 7-1.

Looking ahead, the semifinals are Saturday on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class B South Final is Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Class B state final is Saturday, June 18 at Brewer High School at 4 p.m. 

Falmouth and Freeport didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

The Yachtsmen wound up 6-10 and 13th in Class A South (where only 12 teams qualified) after a 6-3 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester in the finale last Wednesday. 

The Falcons went 3-13 and finished 17th in Class B South (where 12 teams made the cut). 

Boys’ lacrosse

Yarmouth and NYA’s boys’ lacrosse teams met in the Class B North quarterfinals Wednesday night (see theforecaster.net for game story), marking the 16th time in 19 years that the neighbors and rivals squared off in a win-or-go-home showdown.

The Clippers had won 10 of the prior 15 meetings, including a 10-4 victory in last year’s regional final. 

Yarmouth finished the regular season 8-4 and earned the No. 3 seed in Class B North after a 13-4 home win over NYA last Wednesday. Bill Jacobs scored five times and Matthew Beatty added three goals. The Clippers also beat the host Panthers, 12-5, May 10. 

The Panthers fell to 3-9 after losing at Yarmouth and wound up sixth in Class B North.

The winner advanced to either host No. 10 Gardiner (6-7) or go to No. 2 Cony (12-0) in Saturday’s semifinal round. 

In Class B South, Falmouth ended up second behind three-time defending state champion Cape Elizabeth after falling, 13-5, at home to the Capers last Tuesday. Jack Scribner scored twice, but the Yachtsmen never challenged.

“Offensively, we’ve kind of hit a wall,” Falmouth coach Mike LeBel said. “We’re just not clicking the way we were earlier.”

The Yachtsmen (9-3) earned a bye into the semifinals. They’ll host No. 3 Kennebunk (8-4) or No. 6 York (6-6) Saturday. Falmouth split with the Rams this year, winning at home, 10-5, back on April 27, then falling at Kennebunk, 9-8, May 27.  The Yachtsmen are 1-2 all-time in the postseason with the Rams. Falmouth won, 12-9, in the 2014 Western B semifinals.

The Yachtsmen didn’t face York this year. Falmouth won both prior playoff meetings: 12-1 in the 2008 Western B quarterfinals and 13-1 in the 2012 semifinals.

“It’s not Armageddon here,” LeBel said. “I still think we have a chance. We’ve identified what we’re doing wrong. We have to come up with ways to fix it.”

Looking ahead, the regional finals are Wednesday of next week, on the fields of the higher seeds. The Class A and B state finals are Saturday, June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Freeport and Greely fell short of the playoffs.

The Falcons finished 3-9 and 13th in Class B North, but only 10 teams qualified. Freeport closed with a 13-10 loss at Waynflete. Connor Dostie and Brady LaFrance both had three goals in defeat.

The Rangers lost their final four games and wound up 5-7 and seventh in Class B South, but only six teams made the cut. Greely closed with a 15-5 home loss to Kennebunk last Wednesday. 

“Obviously, Kennebunk came out and played well,” said Greely coach Mike Storey. “They’ve come on strong at the end of the season. I think they have a shot at doing really good things in the tournament.

“We imploded, so it’s back to the drawing board. We’ve got a lot of good young guys coming back.”

Girls’ lacrosse

Falmouth’s girls’ squad stumbled just once all season and that was by one in goal in double overtime to the state’s best team, Kennebunk. Last Wednesday, the Yachtsmen capped their second straight 11-1 campaign with an impressive 14-7 home victory over two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth. Standout Sydney Bell scored five goals, giving her 64 for the season, and Caitlyn Camelio and Devon Sarazin added three apiece.

“We wanted to beat (Yarmouth), they won the last two state championships,” Bell said. “We’ve recognized we lost a lot of people, but we can’t think about that. We think about what we gained in the underclassmen.”

“I don’t necessarily feel like a freshman at this point,” Camelio said. “The upperclassmen have been so welcoming. They like having me on transition because of my speed. Against better teams, I can run the ball up to the offense. Today, I cut and got open.” 

“This is the way we play,” Falmouth coach Kait Johnson added. “We had a lull with exams and everyone was stressed out, but we found our energy today. So many players stepped up. Our freshmen are all playing beyond their years. We pulled away after halftime because we played beyond our years and that’s what we talked about at halftime. The girls took it to heart.”

The Yachtsmen earned a bye into Saturday’s semifinals, where they will meet either No. 3 York (8-4) or No. 6 Greely (6-6). Falmouth won at York (13-7) May 4 and at Greely (14-7) May 23. 

Falmouth lost its only prior playoff meeting with the Wildcats, 12-11, in the 2013 Western B quarterfinals. 

The Yachtsmen are 2-1 all-time against the Rangers in the playoffs, with a 12-9 win in the 2009 Western B quarterfinals the most recent.

Greely wound up 6-6 and sixth after rallying for a dramatic 8-7 win at Cape Elizabeth in its finale last Wednesday. The Rangers scored twice in the final minute to prevail.

Greely went to York for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Rangers lost their regular season meeting with the Wildcats, 8-7, at home May 17. Greely and York split two prior playoff meetings, with the Rangers winning, 12-10, in the 2012 Western B quarterfinal round and the Wildcats returning the favor in the same round two years ago, 7-6.

In Class B North, Yarmouth’s quest for a fourth straight regional and third successive state title could require the Clippers to win a couple road games. Yarmouth fell to 9-3 with last week’s 14-7 loss at Falmouth in the finale. Meredith Lane and Eliza Lunt both scored twice, but the Clippers turned the ball over 16 times.

“We just struggled taking care of the ball,” Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt said. “We forced it too much. That’s young team mistakes, but I feel like we played well. (Falmouth’s) a great team. I feel like we’re evenly matched. We hurt ourselves, but we had some players step up in key roles. That’s why I’m happy. This was a great test for us.”

The Clippers earned the No. 3 seed in the region and hosted No. 6 Freeport (5-7) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Yarmouth beat the visiting Falcons, 15-4, back on May 4. The Clippers are 8-1 all-time in the postseason against Freeport. The most recent encounter was last year in the regional final, a 15-7 Yarmouth victory.

“We just have to keep working,” Holt said. “Our playoff run starts now. I’m thrilled with our season. We’re getting there. Baby steps.”

Freeport wound up 5-7 and sixth in Class B North after closing with a 10-7 loss at York. Chloe Davidson scored twice.

The Yarmouth-Freeport winner will either go to No. 2 St. Dom’s (11-1) or host No. 7 Erskine Academy (6-6) in Saturday’s semifinals. Neither the Falcons or Clippers played either team in the regular season. 

Looking ahead, the regional finals are Wednesday of next week, on the fields of the higher seeds. The Class A and B state finals are Saturday, June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

NYA fell short of the playoffs with a 3-9 record. The Panthers wound up 11th in Class B North, but only 10 teams qualified. NYA finished with a 16-3 loss at Kennebunk last Wednesday. Charlotte Collins scored twice.

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

Sidebar Elements


Greely’s Alex Kroot fires a shot during last week’s season-ending 15-5 home loss to Kennebunk.

Falmouth’s Natalie Birkel and Yarmouth’s Katie Waeldner fight for possession during the Yachtsmen’s 14-7 win in last week’s regular season finale. The teams could meet again in the Class B state final June 18.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.