Regular season finished, playoffs on tap

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

(Ed. Note: For the complete Freeport-Yarmouth and Falmouth-Freeport baseball, Falmouth-Yarmouth and NYA-Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse and Falmouth-Waynflete, Falmouth-NYA and Yarmouth-Waynflete girls’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

While tennis and track’s postseasons have already begun (please see story), baseball, softball and lacrosse are about to follow suit.

Forecaster Country features several teams capable of winning it all, meaning the next couple weeks will be full of drama and excitement.

Here’s a glimpse at where local schools stand and what’s to come:

Baseball

All four local baseball teams are playoff-bound. The only question remaining is who will be seeded where.

Greely will likely go in No. 1 in Western Class B. The reigning regional champion Rangers improved to 14-1 last week with wins over visiting York (2-1) and Poland (5-3). Against the Wildcats, Bailey Train threw a three-hitter and fanned 13 and Jonah Normandeau played the hero, hitting a walkoff home run in the seventh. In the win over the Knights, Liam Maker had a two-run double and Will Bryant earned his second varsity win after striking out nine. Greely closed the regular season at home Tuesday versus Fryeburg.

Falmouth has the inside track for the second spot in Western B. The Yachtsmen went 2-1 in three tough games last week, winning at Cape Elizabeth (4-2) and Freeport (12-2), while falling at home to Yarmouth (6-4). At the Capers, Connor Murphy earned the win and Seamus Powers drove in the go-ahead run. Powers, Grayson Beressi and Drew Proctor all had two hits. In the loss, Andrew Emple, Powers and Proctor all drove in runs, but Falmouth couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead. Falmouth fell behind quickly at Freeport, 2-0, Saturday, but roared back with 12 unanswered runs. A clutch two-run double by Powers tied the score and opened the floodgates in the top of the third. The go-ahead run came in on an error and the Yachtsmen finished with four runs in that frame, added another in the fourth before erupting for six in the fifth to put it away. Falmouth went on to victory behind a 13-hit attack, a home run from Beressi, four turned double plays on defense and a six-hitter by Thomas Fortier.

“We just tried to stay calm, cool and collected,” said Powers. “We have so many weapons on offense. We’ve gotten a lot of wins, but a lot of our wins have come late. It was nice to get some runs early.”

“We weren’t concerned,” Beressi said. “It was early in the game and we knew we could come back. Once one person gets the bats going, everybody followed.”

“It was a great game,” said Falmouth coach Kevin Winship. “Our offense hasn’t been there the way we’d like it to be the past few games. Today, we just competed and we came around. We showed we can come back and battle.”

The Yachtsmen took a 13-2 mark into their regular season finale Wednesday against visiting Gray-New Gloucester.

“I feel really good,” said Beressi. “We’re doing really well. I’m confident. I think we have a good chance in the playoffs.”

“I’m pretty sure we’re going 2 or 3,” added Winship. “We’re just happy to be in the playoffs. We’ll see what happens. We’re playing great baseball. They’re a great group of kids. They’ve worked hard since we started back in March. We’ll keep it going. We’re looking forward to good playoffs.”

Yarmouth began the week fourth with a 9-6 record. Last week, the Clippers were blanked at home by Freeport, 7-0, then bounced back for a 6-4 triumph at Falmouth. Against the Falcons, Yarmouth couldn’t get the bats going, mustering six harmless hits.

“Our compete level wasn’t very good after the third inning,” Clippers coach Marc Halsted said. “We had nice BP, good pregame. We were on them early. Five of our first nine guys hit the ball hard, but from there on out, our compete level wasn’t good.”

At the Yachtsmen, Ryan Cody held the opposition at bay with a strong relief stint and had a clutch two-run double to put Yarmouth ahead to stay. Thomas Sullivan, Mike Smith, Max Grimm and Eamon Costello all had one RBI. Caleb Uhl scored twice and had two hits. Yarmouth finished the regular year at home with York Wednesday.

Freeport finished the regular season 10-6. The Falcons won at Yarmouth, 7-0, last Wednesday, then closed with home losses to Fryeburg (2-1, in nine innings) and Falmouth (12-2). In the win, Freeport produced a dozen hits, broke open a close game with a five-run sixth inning uprising and got another stellar effort on the mound from senior Sawyer Williams as it swept the Clippers for the first time since 2004.

“(Yarmouth’s) a great team, but to be honest, I think we’re better and I think we showed that today,” Williams said. “We always battle. We’re always fighting.”

“Sawyer did a fabulous job,” Falcons coach Hank Ogilby said. “I liked how aggressive our lineup was all the way through.”

Freeport’s bats went cold against the Raiders as they struck out 15 times (nine looking) in a frustrating extra inning setback.

“(That) was a disaster,” Ogilby said. “We just stopped swinging the bats.”

Against the Yachtsmen, Josh Weirich and Kaleb Farmer clubbed early home runs for a 2-0 lead, but the Falcons didn’t score again.

“We were OK at the plate,” said Ogilby. “We hit those couple home runs, but (Fortier) settled down and we couldn’t hit the ball hard. I told them today to get their swings in. We were more aggressive. We had bonehead plays in the field that didn’t help us. (Falmouth’s) a very good hitting club. Our top two pitchers were ineligible, so we went to the bullpen and they can hit well. Every time we put people on base, they made us pay for it. That was the big difference.”

Freeport produced its best regular season record since an 11-5 mark in 2003.

“It’s not the end,” said Ogilby. “We’ll take a break, take a rest. I think we’ll get back to some fundamentals. You think as the season goes on you have all these good things in place, but sometimes they can slip. We have to fix a couple things.

“It’s been a lot of fun, other than today. When you have the attitude where you think you can win, it just changes the whole dynamic. As opposed to showing up and trying not to get 10-run ruled, or hoping you might win, these guys show up really feeling they can win. We haven’t done it the past two days, but it’s a different feeling and it’s fun.”

The Falcons (seventh in the Heals at press time) will take part in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. They last won a postseason game in 1985.

“I don’t know who we’re going to draw,” Ogilby said. “Sawyer’s pitching well for us. He can keep us in any game. It’s just a question of can our lineup hit?”

The baseball playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday. The quarterfinals are June 7 and the semifinals June 9. All rounds will be held on the field of the highest remaining seed. The Western B Finals are Wednesday, June 13, at St. Joseph’s College. The state finals are Saturday, June 16.

Softball

Greely’s softball team had a chance to earn the No. 1 seed for the playoffs when it hosted defending champion Fryeburg Wednesday (please see theforecaster.net for full game story). The Rangers entered the showdown with a 14-1 mark and a slight Heal Points edge on the Raiders. Last week, Greely easily dispatched visiting York (17-3 in five innings) and Poland (20-8 in five innings). Miranda Moore got the win and doubled twice against the Wildcats. In the win over the Knights, Lindsey Arsenault had four hits and four RBI, Mykaela Twitchell hit a home run, doubled and drove in three runs and Edith Aromando added three hits and three RBI.

Falmouth was clinging to the 12th and final playoff spot in Western B at press time. The Yachtsmen entered the week 8-7 after a 4-1 loss at Cape Elizabeth last Wednesday. Alli Carver had a pair of doubles in the defeat. Falmouth closed the regular season at home in a pivotal contest versus Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday.

Yarmouth entered the week 4-11 and 14th and still clung to remote postseason hope after beating visiting Freeport (1-0) and host Sacopee (5-1) last week. Against the Falcons, Alex Sullivan threw a one-hitter. She also got the win against the Hawks, while Kallie Hutchinson had three hits. The Clippers closed at home with York Wednesday.

Freeport finished the year 6-10, but was 15th in Western B as of press time and will likely fall short of the playoffs. Last week, the Falcons lost 1-0 at Yarmouth and 7-0 at home to Fryeburg, but closed with a 9-7 come-from-behind victory over visiting Sacopee, scoring five times in the sixth inning.

The softball playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday. The quarterfinals are June 7 and the semifinals June 9. All rounds will be held on the field of the highest remaining seed. The Western B Finals are Wednesday, June 13, at St. Joseph’s College. The state finals are Saturday, June 16.

Boys’ lacrosse

Don’t look now, but the Falmouth boys’ lacrosse team is living up to preseason billing and appears championship worthy once again.

Last week, the Yachtsmen made it 10 straight victories following a season-opening loss at Cape Elizabeth with wins at York (15-5) and Yarmouth (12-6). Against the Wildcats, Charlie Fay had five goals, while Hunter LaFond and Mitch Tapley each had three. Falmouth trailed at the Clippers, 3-2, after one quarter and had to start the second period killing a three-minute stick penalty, but the defense rose to the occasion and the Yachtsmen gradually pulled away behind three goals each from Fay and Willy Sipperly, two goals and two assists from Tapley, nine saves from goalie Cam Bell and an all-around solid team effort.

“I have to credit (senior defenseman) Mike Ryan,” said Sipperly. “He leads the defense. Cam made some big saves too.”

“I think (the three-minute stick penalty) was huge and I think it swung the momentum to our side,” Ryan said. “It was bad we had to deal with it, but after, I was glad it happened because our defense was pumped for the rest of the game. It kept our heads in it. We were more focused than normal. We had to be locked in, more than in a man-to-man situation.”

“It was a critical point in the game,” Falmouth coach Mike LeBel added. “Luckily, we’ve been working more on our man-up, man-down lately. I wondered if it was a smart move and after this game, I know it was. In the past, we haven’t had many man-up or man-down situations. To spend as much time as we did, I wasn’t sure if we used our time wisely, but our man-down needed that attention.  We practiced it a lot lately. I’m not surprised it was as successful today as it was.”

Falmouth only needed to beat visiting North Yarmouth in its finale Wednesday to lock up the top seed in Western B for the third year in a row.

“It’s a great time to be peaking right before the postseason,” Ryan said. “We’re all really hungry. Especially us seniors.”

“I want to play at home,” LeBel added. “I don’t want to go to Cape. No one wants to go and play at Cape. The kids are more comfortable at home. I think we play our best lacrosse there.”

Greely will probably be the No. 3 seed in Western B. The Rangers improved to 7-4 Friday with a 12-9 home win over Waynflete. Brooks Belisle, Fred Bower, Mitch Mullen, Brendan Trelegan and Paul Witte all had two goals. Sam Reed made 14 saves. Greely closed at home versus York Wednesday.

In Eastern B, Yarmouth and NYA are in line to play at least one home playoff game.

The Clippers fell to 7-4 with a 12-6 home loss to Falmouth Friday. Ian Edgecomb scored twice and Alex Kurtz made 10 saves, but an inability to score with a three-minute man-advantage in the second period and a 21 minute, 24 second drought spelled doom.

“Our man-up really struggled tonight,” said Yarmouth coach David Pearl. “We need to solve that, especially when we have a three-minute locked in penalty. We grew up again tonight. I’m much prouder of how we played tonight compared to the first time we played (Falmouth). I think a lot of the game we went toe-to-toe. At times, there’s beautiful lacrosse being played. I don’t think the score reflects at all how evenly matched we are. I think we can beat that team. I hope we get to see them in the postseason. I really would like that for these boys.”

The Clippers were third in Eastern B and had a chance to move up, but needed to spring an upset Wednesday at Cape Elizabeth (please see theforecaster.net for game story).

Reigning regional champion NYA sat fourth at 6-5 at press time after a 12-5 win at Freeport and a 10-4 home loss to Cape Elizabeth last week. Jacob Scammon scored twice, Wesley Nolan made 15 saves and the Panthers won the fourth quarter, 3-0, against the Capers.

“We’ve been leaning on Wes all season,” said NYA coach Peter Gerrity. “He did it again today. He made some saves he probably had no business making. It helps to have him in there.”

NYA closed at Falmouth Wednesday. It will likely be the No. 4 seed for the playoffs.

“The first game will be home unless there’s an upset,” Gerrity said. “I feel like we’re on an upward trajectory. I hope that continues. I hope we can show other teams that we are.”

Freeport was ninth at 2-9 at press time, but only eight teams qualify. The Falcons lost at home to NYA (12-5) and York (7-5) in recent action. Freeport closed at home versus Waynflete Wednesday.

The boys’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday, June 9 and the regional finals will be contested Wednesday, June 13. Each of those rounds are hosted by the highest remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, June 16, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Falmouth stole headlines last Tuesday with a historic win at the state’s premier power.

The Yachtsmen went to Waynflete having never beaten the Flyers and when they fell behind early, 5-0, the outlook was grim, but Molly Ryan took over in the draw circle, winning 20 of 25 opportunities, and the offense came to life. A late surge pulled Falmouth within 7-6 at halftime and the Yachtsmen went ahead for good with 19:19 remaining when Geneva Waite took a pass from Alex Bernier and finished. Falmouth went on to win, 13-10, as Waite paced a balanced attack with four goals, Bernier scored twice and had five assists and seniors Vanessa Audet and Megan Fortier and junior Angela Mallis all added a pair of goals.

“Once we got the first goal, we realized we could get back in it,” Mallis said. “That gave us momentum and a spark. It gave us an advantage.”

“It feels amazing,” Bernier said. “It’s a great feeling. I’m really happy. We’ve never had a big lead like that on Waynflete. I was shocked it was happening. It’s big for confidence. We hope to see them later on in the playoffs. Hopefully next time we’ll come out harder.”

“Finally!” added Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. “It feels really good. It was a fun win. It was a really hard-fought game. We played with a lot of composure throughout and didn’t get frazzled.”

Falmouth didn’t suffer a letdown two days later when it dominated visiting NYA, 18-6, behind five goals from Audet and four from Fortier.

“Our team is really spread out scoring-wise,” Audet said. “It’s pretty tough for the other team.”

Falmouth (10-1) is in a heated three-way fight in Western B, where arguably the three best teams in the whole state reside. The Yachtsmen were third behind Cape Elizabeth and Waynflete entering the week, but could leapfrog all the way to first if they beat the Capers in their finale Tuesday.

“We still have work to do,” said Audet. “Cape’s the biggest game we have, other than Waynflete. We have to keep it up. We work so hard to get homefield. It’s a big deal.”

“It’s hard to tell (about Heal Points),” Haley said. “There’s a possibility we won’t be first even if we beat (Cape). It’s quirky.”

Greely is playoff-bound for a second year in a row. The Rangers were fifth in Western B with a 5-6 mark heading into their finale at Freeport Tuesday, where they could leapfrog York into fourth place with a win. Friday, Greely romped at Fryeburg, 18-3, behind five goals from Audrey Parolin and three from Etta Copenhagen.

In Eastern B, Freeport began the week on top of the Heals with a 6-5 mark. Last week, the Falcons edged visiting York, 10-9, in overtime. Alex Mitch tied the game with 15 seconds to go. Bethanie Knighton had three goals, while Meredith Broderick and Jess Hench both scored twice. Molly Lane made 13 saves. Freeport then outlasted host Wells, 17-13, in the fog, as Hench had five goals and Mitch added three. Lane made 10 saves. The Falcons closed the regular season at home versus Greely Tuesday.

Yarmouth fell to 5-6 and third in Eastern B after a 17-7 home loss to Waynflete Thursday. Jeanna Lowery had four goals on Senior Night.

“We just had a slow start,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt. “We made some costly turnovers and fouls in the first half. I’ve moved kids around trying to find the right match, but we’re getting there. Jeanna had a great game. We need those seniors to step up.”

Yarmouth closed at NYA Wednesday.

The Panthers began the week 1-10 and seventh in Eastern B (but only five teams qualify for the postseason). NYA last week got in the win column with a 17-6 home triumph over Fryeburg, then lost at Falmouth, 18-6. Katherine Millett had five goals, Olivia Madore four, Katie Cawley and Abby McKelvy three and Nikolle Storey made 17 saves in the win. Against the Yachtsmen, Cawley scored three times and Storey made 12 saves.

“(Nikolle) really played the game of her life today,” NYA first-year coach Lynn Sullivan said. “She was happy. She needed that. The score won’t show it, but we were competitive. If you look at where we were the first game of the year with these guys to where we are now, we’ve made great improvement. The girls have learned a ton. They came off of this game feeling really good about themselves and they should. They played a great game.”

The Panthers closed at home versus Yarmouth Wednesday. It looks like NYA will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

“Beating Yarmouth would be a great way to end a challenging season,” said Sullivan. “The girls would be psyched. We’re a much different team than the first time.”

The girls’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday of next week with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday, June 9 and the regional finals will be contested Wednesday, June 13. Each of those rounds are hosted by the highest remaining seeds. The state championship games are Saturday, June 16, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

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

Sidebar Elements


Freeport senior Josh Weirich throws a pitch during the Falcons’ 12-2 home loss to Falmouth Saturday.

Falmouth senior Ashleigh Collins slides into third base during last week’s 4-1 loss at Cape Elizabeth.

Falmouth senior Weston Scott defends Yarmouth junior Ethan Cyr during the Yachtsmen’s 12-6 win in the fog Friday night.

0
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.