Stretch run underway, many big games loom-Northern edition

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Yarmouth’s James Waaler beats out an infield hit during Monday’s 4-3 loss at Cape Elizabeth.

Falmouth senior Brendan Hickey winds up before shooting and scoring in Saturday’s 10-7 home win over defending Class A champion Brunswick.

Greely’s Greta Van Curan races up the field as Freeport’s Allison Greuel defends during the Rangers’ 13-10 victory last week.

Freeport’s Grace Schnyder wins the racewalk, becoming the first individual event winner at Freeport’s new track, during last week’s five-team meet. The Falcons girls and boys came in first.

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

The team tennis regular season is coming to a close, conference track meets will be held this weekend and the clock is ticking on the baseball, softball and lacrosse campaigns, meaning that the best time on the spring sports calendar, the postseason, is right around the corner.

Every contest takes on added importance as teams continue to jockey for playoff positioning.

Here’s a glimpse at what you might have missed, as well as a look at what’s left:

Baseball

Freeport’s baseball team increased its win streak to six after recent victories over visiting Yarmouth (4-2), visiting Morse (2-1) and host Poland (10-1). Against the Clippers, the Falcons rallied from a 2-0 fifth inning deficit, tying the game on Finn Johnston’s two-run double.

“I just got a good swing on a ball that seemed good to hit,” said Johnston. “It was a good rip.”

Freeport then went ahead when Liam Holt stole home.

“I was waiting for them to throw to second because I knew it would be a harder throw,” Holt said. “When he looked back, I took off. I knew I’d be safe.”

Another run scored on an error and the Falcons went on to victory behind a strong pitching effort from Heath Cockburn and Shea Wagner.

“It got wild for a little bit,” Freeport coach Bill Ridge added. “It seems like that happens when we play Yarmouth. It’s low scoring, then something weird happens. Usually it happens for them, so it was nice to have it our way today.”

Wagner threw a six-hitter to earn the victory over the Shipbuilders and Johnston added two hits. Against the Knights, Gabe Wagner homered and had three RBI, Shea Wagner doubled and tripled and Colby Wagner added three hits. The Falcons (third in the Class B South Heal Points standings at press time) were home with Fryeburg Academy Wednesday, host Gray-New Gloucester Friday and close at Yarmouth Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story).

Greely was 8-6 and sixth in Class B South following home shutout wins over Sacopee Valley (4-0) and Lincoln Academy (2-0) and a 5-0 loss at Wells. In the win over the Hawks, Jacob Whiting threw a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. Will Neleski threw a three-hit shutout against the Eagles, striking out nine, and Nate Cyr had two hits. The Rangers go to Cape Elizabeth Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and finish at Lake Region Tuesday.

Yarmouth fell to 7-6 and 10th in the region after dropping three out of four. After losing at Freeport, 4-2, the Clippers downed visiting Gray-New Gloucester (2-1) Friday, but Saturday fell at Gardiner (3-1) and Monday lost a heartbreaker at Cape Elizabeth (4-3). Jackson Caruso had two RBI against the Falcons.

“Coach Ridge has done such a great job with his program,” said Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted. “They beat us at the game we like to play.”

In the win, Aidan Hickey drove in both runs and Toby Burgmaier earned the victory, with Jack Romano picking up the save. Monday, Romano hit a game-tying two-run double and Caruso singled in the go-ahead run, but an error tied the score and the Capers won it in the bottom of the seventh. The Clippers had 11 hits, with Romano, Ben Norton and James Waaler all picking up two.

“We’ll just turn the page on this,” Halsted said. “We hit the ball hard 14 times today. Every kid hit a rocket. That’s baseball.”

Yarmouth was home with Wells Wednesday, travels to Fryeburg Academy Thursday and closes at home versus Freeport Monday.

Two-time defending Class A South champion Falmouth extended its win streak to four and improved to 7-5 and sixth in the region with victories last week at home over Kennebunk (9-5), at Windham (7-5) and at Deering (5-4). Garret Aube earned the victory and had two hits, while Sam Kidder had two hits and drove in two runs in the victory over Kennebunk. Against the Eagles, Connor Coffin and Ike Kiely had two hits apiece, as the Yachtsmen built a 7-0 lead and held on for dear life. Garrett Tracy earned the victory. In the win over Deering, Kiely singled, doubled and drove in a run and Falmouth nearly let a 5-1 seventh inning slip away before holding on. 

“I felt great at the plate,” Kiely said. “”It’s so much fun playing (at Hadlock Field). It’s beautiful.”

“We’ll take the win,” said Falmouth coach Kevin Winship. “One thing we’ve got to figure out is closing games.”

The Yachtsmen were home with Massabesic Tuesday and South Portland Wednesday, go to Sanford Saturday and close Tuesday of next week at home against Biddeford.

In Class D South, North Yarmouth Academy fell to 1-7 and ninth in the region (only eight teams make the playoffs) after losses at Richmond (11-2) and Sacopee Valley (17-2, in five-innings). Connor Dillon had two hits against the Hawks. The Panthers go to Traip Academy Thursday, host Old Orchard Beach Saturday and Traip Academy Monday and close at St. Dom’s Wednesday of next week.

Softball

Greely’s softball team is turning it on late in the season, following up an 8-1 home loss to Sacopee Valley with wins over visiting Lincoln Academy (4-1) and at Wells (2-1, in nine-innings). Sawyer Dusch had three hits and two RBI against the Eagles. In the win over the Warriors, Kelsey Currier earned the victory with 10 strikeouts and also scored the go-ahead run. The Rangers (fifth in Class B South) play at Cape Elizabeth Friday and finish at Lake Region Tuesday.

Yarmouth was 8-5 and seventh in the region following six wins in its last seven games. Last week, the Clippers won at Freeport (12-6), fell at home to Gray-New Gloucester (5-1) and won at Gardiner (2-1) and Cape Elizabeth (9-0). Yarmouth was home with Wells Wednesday, visits Fryeburg Academy Thursday and closes at home versus Freeport Monday.

Freeport fell to 2-11 and 15th after home losses to Yarmouth (12-6) and Morse (20-2) and an 8-5 setback (in eight-innings) against Poland. The Falcons were home with Fryeburg Academy Wednesday, host Gray-New Gloucester Friday and close at Yarmouth Monday.

The Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy co-op team was 3-11 and 13th in Class A South at the beginning of the week, but only 12 teams qualify for the playoffs. Last week, Cheverus/NYA lost last week at Gorham (13-0, in five-innings), 7-2 at home to Massabesic and 9-5 at Marshwood. Monday, it lost, 2-1, to visiting Portland. Cheverus/NYA went to Noble Tuesday before closing at Sanford Friday. 

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth co-op squad was 3-11 and 14th at press time following a 15-5 home win over Deering and losses to visiting Kennebunk (3-1), host Gorham (15-3, in five-inning) and host Massabesic (17-3). The Sea Lions got a single, double and home run from Liberty Ladd in the victory. Quinn Chicoine and Grace Tourville added three hits apiece and Cameron Birks earned the win. Ladd scored all three runs against Gorham and had three more hits against the Mustangs. MGA/Falmouth visited Marshwood Wednesday and closes at Noble Friday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team remained undefeated at the start of the week, improving to 9-0 last week with victories at Deering (17-5) and at home over defending Class A champion Brunswick (10-7). Lou Mainella scored six times against the Rams, while Reilly Tucker added seven assists. The Yachtsmen got pushed by the Dragons, but overcame a slow start to prevail behind Mainella’s four goals. 

“We knew it would be a dogfight down to the end,” Mainella said. 

“We knew this would be tough,” added Falmouth coach Dave Barton. “I’m not surprised it was close.”

The Yachtsmen (first in Class A North) hosted Cheverus Tuesday, has a showdown/possible state game preview at Thornton Academy May 29 and finishes at home against defending Class A South champion Scarborough June 2. Falmouth has never posted an undefeated record (three times the Yachtsmen have gone 11-1, including last year).

“Going undefeated would be nice, but our focus isn’t changing,” said Falmouth defensive standout Brendan Hickey. “We’re playing to win a championship.”

In Class B, Yarmouth was 8-1 and first after handling visiting Lake Region (15-1) and host Scarborough (11-8) last week. Joe Truesdale had four goals against the Lakers. Anders Corey scored four times in the win over the Red Storm, while Gavin Hamm added three goals. The Clippers hosted Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, welcome Greely May 30 and close at Waynflete May 31. Yarmouth last had a double-digit victory regular season in 2010, when it finished 11-1.

Greely is hot on the Yarmouth’s trail, moving up to second in Class B after improving to 6-2 by downing visiting NYA, 16-4, last Wednesday behind five goals from Andrew Lawrence. The Rangers looked to extend their win streak to four when they went to Freeport Tuesday. After welcoming Kennebunk Friday, Greely goes to Yarmouth May 30 and closes at home against Cape Elizabeth June 2.

In Class C, NYA began the week 6-3 and third following losses at Greely (16-4) and Messalonskee (11-10). Reese Farrell had two goals against the Rangers. Against the Eagles, Ryan Baker scored four times and Xander Kostelnik added two goals. The Panthers hoped to get back in the win column Wednesday when York paid a visit. NYA goes to Wells May 30 and closes at home versus Gray-New Gloucester June 1.

Freeport took an 0-7 record into Tuesday’s home game against Greely. The Falcons (13th in Class C) host Westbrook Friday, play a makeup game at Camden Hills Saturday, go to St. Dom’s May 30 and finish at home against York June 1.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Falmouth is atop the Class A North Heals at 8-2 following wins last week over visiting Cheverus (14-9) and Waynflete (8-7). In the win over the Stags, Chelsey Smithwick scored six goals, Kayla Sarazin added four and Caitlyn Camelio finished with three. Against the Flyers, the Yachtsmen twice trailed by two goals in the second half, but tied it up when a Camelio pass got through for a goal, then won it on a Smithwick free position to extend their win streak to four. 

“We made some mistakes, but we pulled together and it paid off,” Smithwick said.

“I’m very happy with how things are going,” said Falmouth first-year coach Ashley Pullen. “I’m very happy where we are.”

The Yachtsmen went to Bonny Eagle Thursday and finish at home versus Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week. 

In Class B, Yarmouth was 6-2 and first in the standings following a 14-11 win at St. Dom’s and an 11-1 home victory over Marshwood. Against the Saints, Meredith Lane scored four goals, Emma Marston added three and Greta Elder, Ehryn Groothoff and Eva Then had two apiece. Groothoff, Lane, Marston and Abi Thornton all had two goals in the win over the Hawks. The Clippers were home with York Wednesday, go to Messalonskee Friday, welcome Greely May 30 and close at Waynflete June 1. 

Greely was second at 7-1 following wins last week at Freeport (13-0) and at home over Scarborough (12-7). In the win over the Falcons, which saw the Rangers take a big lead then nearly give it all back, Brooke Clement had four goals and four assists and Ellie Holt added three goals.

“It was important for us to jump out to that early lead, it helped us control the tempo,” Greely coach Becca Koelker said.

Against the Red Storm, Holt and Greta Van Curan both had three goals. The Rangers were home with St. Dom’s Tuesday, go to Lake Region Thursday, visit Yarmouth May 29 and close at home versus Cape Elizabeth June 1.

In Class C, Freeport began the week 5-3 and fourth in the standings following a 13-10 home loss to Greely and a 10-8 win at Gorham. Against the Rangers, the Falcons fell behind, 8-2, then got as close as one goal before falling just short. Emma Carter, Chloe Davidson, Allison Greuel and Taylor Rinaldi all had two goals. Goalie Cameron Pasquale made 10 saves.

“Once we started scoring, we realized we could play with them,” Rinaldi said. 

“I probably should have called a timeout a little sooner than I did, but I sometimes like to have them try to work it out,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. 

The Falcons were home with Waynflete Wednesday, go to Bonny Eagle Saturday, visit Wells May 30 and finish at home versus St. Dom’s June 2.

NYA was 3-6 and was clinging to the eighth and final Class C playoff spot at press time following a 13-5 loss at York and an 8-4 home win over Deering. Bella MacMahon had three goals against the Wildcats. MacMahon had two goals and Helen Hamblett scored twice in the win over the Rams. After playing at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, the Panthers are home with Wells Friday and then host Fryeburg Academy in their regular season finale May 30.

Outdoor track

The big news in the local track world last week was the opening of the new Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field in Freeport (see story).

Falmouth, meanwhile, took part in the final Southwestern Maine Activities Association outdoor track meet of the regular season, the Cumberland County Championship Meet, was held Friday at South Portland.

In the boys’ meet, won by Scarborough, the Yachtsmen were runners-up and got wins from John Auer in the 800 (1 minute, 59.47 seconds), Ben Greene in the mile (4:37.50) and their 4×400 relay team (3:36.58). In the girls’ meet, won by Gorham, Falmouth placed fifth and got a first-place showing from Sophie Marcotte in the 200 (26.86 seconds).

Freeport hosted Yarmouth, Greater Portland Christian, Lake Region and Old Orchard Beach and the Falcons boys and girls were both first.

Freeport’s boys got wins from Nick Mitch in the 100 (12.06) and 200 (24.71), Martin Horne in the 800 (2:06.69), Griffin Agnese in the 300 hurdles (44.24), and their 4×100 (49.66), 4×400 (3:48.17) and 4×800 (9:18.49) relay teams.

The girls got first-place showings from Catriona Gould in the 100 (13.38) and 200 (27.46), Tara Migliaccio in the 400 (1:02.47), Maya Bradbury in the 800 (2:37.84) and mile (5:34.30), Jane Dawson in the two-mile (13:32.17), Patricia Dupere in the 300 hurdles (52.45), Grace Schnyder in the racewalk (9:31.17) and their 4×100 (56.02), 4×400 (4:44.00) and 4×800 (11:49.59) relay teams.

Yarmouth’s boys came in third and the girls placed fourth.

Tahj Garvey won the boys’ 400 in 51.13, Wyatt Bates was first in the boys’ 110 hurdles (18.86), long jump (18-7.5) and high jump (5-6). Chris Koskinen won the boys’ pole vault (11-10). Michael McNeil was first in the boys’ shot put (39-11.5). Noah Eckersley-Ray took the boys’ discus (111-0). Paige Reinfelder won the girls’ pole vault (8-0). Caitlen Hewitt was first in the girls’ javelin (84-0). 

Greely joined four other teams in York. Both teams were second to the hosts.

The boys got wins from Caleb Thurston in the two-mile (10:31.71), and their 4×800 relay team (8:53.55). Girls’ first-place performers included Marin Provencher in the mile (5:21.72), Julia Curran in the two-mile (12:06.44), Elizabeth Brown in the high jump (5-0), Maggie McCormick in the pole vault (8-6), Maddy Irish in the triple jump (33-8.5), Acadia LeSiege in the shot put (29-10) and Abby Civiello in the discus (95-0).

NYA’s boys and girls were both third at a four-team meet in Poland.

Olivia Skillings took the girls’ 800 (2:36.76) and mile (5:36.40). Rick Hilscher won the boys’ 400 (57.28). Te’Andre King was first in the boys’ high jump (5-10). Jack Sillin won the boys’ discus (126-9). The Panthers also won the boys’ 4×400 relay (4:04.67). 

The SMAA championship meet will be Saturday in Saco, while the Western Maine Conference championship meet will also be Saturday in Naples.

Tennis

The state singles tournament continues and concludes this coming holiday weekend.

Local teams, meanwhile, were putting the final touch on the regular season at press time.

Falmouth’s girls’ squad, the 10-time defending state champion, finished the year 12-0 and extended its match win streak to 169 after edging Kennebunk, 3-2, and downing Deering (5-0) and Cheverus (4-1). The Yachtsmen will be the top seed for the Class A South playoffs.

Defending Class B South champion Greely improved to 11-0 with recent wins over NYA (4-1), Freeport (5-0) and Lake Region (5-0). The Rangers sought to complete their first ever undefeated campaign Tuesday at home against St. Dom’s. Greely will likely be the No. 2 seed behind Lincoln Academy for the playoffs.

Yarmouth had its six-match win streak snapped Friday by Cape Elizabeth, 4-1, to fall to 6-4. The Clippers (sixth in Class B South) were home against defending Class C champion Waynflete Tuesday and closed at St. Dom’s Wednesday.

Freeport was 3-8 and ninth in Class B South (where eight teams qualify for playoffs) after a 5-0 loss to Greely and a 3-2 victory over NYA. The Falcons closed Tuesday at home versus Lake Region.

NYA was clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in Class C South after falling to 4-6 Monday with a 3-2 loss to Freeport. The Panthers were at York Tuesday and finish at Waynflete Thursday.

Falmouth’s defending Class A champion boys’ squad finished 12-0 after beating Kennebunk (4-1), Deering (5-0) and Cheverus (5-0). The Yachtsmen will be the top seed in Class A South.

In Class B South, Freeport took an 8-3 record into Tuesday’s finale versus NYA. Last week, the Falcons lost, 3-2, to Cape Elizabeth and beat Greely, 5-0. The Falcons (second in the Heals) were seeking their first nine-win regular season since 2006.

Defending regional champion Yarmouth improved to 7-3 and third in Class B South after beating York (3-2), Cape Elizabeth (4-1) and Greely (5-0). The Clippers were at St. Dom’s Tuesday and closed at home versus St. Dom’s Wednesday. 

Greely finished 2-10 after Monday’s 5-0 loss to Yarmouth. The Rangers placed 10th in Class B South, but only eight teams made the playoffs.

In Class C South, NYA was 0-11 going into Tuesday’s finale against Freeport. The Panthers were 11th in the region, but only eight teams qualify.

The playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week on the courts of the higher seeds.

Times Record staff writer Eric Maxim contributed to this story.

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

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