Scoreboard watching has picked up considerably as the high school baseball season comes down to its final week. Rainouts have pushed some games into early next week but by Tuesday most of the playoff spots should be settled.
Erskine climbed into a tie for the 13th and final playoff berth in Eastern Maine Class B with its come-from-behind win against Morse on Wednesday.
“I hope it’s not too little, too late,” said Erskine coach Mark Bailey, whose team played Waterville on Thursday and finishes the season against Maranacook and Leavitt. “I told the boys we needed three out of those four. We’ll see what happens.”
The Eagles (6-7) pulled into a tie with Belfast with their win Wednesday and beat the Lions in their only meeting this season.
“We’re getting the big hit now,” Bailey said. “We’ve had two or three comebacks. The kids haven’t quit.”
Tyler Bailey, Ryan Rodrigue and Nate Martin have led the Eagles at the plate all season while Caleb Cummings has moved into the leadoff spot and done an effective job.
“He’s a very patient hitter,” Bailey said.
Rodrigue, Luke Peabody and Jared Gartley are the team’s top pitchers while Bailey has called upon three junior varsity pitchers — Cody Beaudoin, Zach Glidden and Nate Howard to help out.
“At different times they’ve all pitched very well for us,” he said.
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Monmouth secured first place in the Western Maine Class C standings with its 5-1 win against two-time defending Class C state champion Dirigo last week in Dixfield.
“From a program standpoint, any time you can play like that against the two-time state champs it’s huge,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said.
The Mustangs (13-1) got a strong game form starting pitcher Nate Gagne, who fanned 12 batters before giving way to Kyle Fletcher in the sixth inning.
“Nate did a good job,” Palleschi said. “He had them swinging and missing.”
Gagne has started nearly every game this season and pitched three innings before giving way to one of the Monmouth’s several relievers.
“We’ve stretched Nate out a little bit and we’ve actually stretched Fletch out a little bit,” Palleschi said. “Our plan’s been if the guy’s hot let him ride.”
The Mustangs played strong defense against Dirigo, Palleschi said.
“Being able to make the plays this year has been the difference,” he said.
The Mustangs play at Telstar today then finish the season Monday at home against Oak Hill. A win in either of those games would likely put them in Wednesday’s Mountain Valley Conference championship game at Thomas College.
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After an 0-5 start, Cony has won seven of its last eight games, including six straight. The Rams finish the season with three teams that defeated them during the 0-5 start. They play at Messalonskee today before hosting Skowhegan on Saturday and Lawrence on Monday.
Cony coach Don Plourde is leaning toward pitching senior Mitchell Bonenfant today and Payton Kennison on Saturday, flip-flopping the rotation to give his opponents a different look. The team’s slow start, he said, is partially a product of a short preseason.
“We’re together as a group and we’ve gotten a lot more reps,” Plourde said. “I think that’s really the big thing. I’ve always said you’re not really going to figure out who your team is until eight or 10 games in.”
Plourde has added sophomores Justin Rodrigue and Anthony Brunelle from the junior varsity and both have produced, Brunelle at first base and Rodrigue on the mound.
The team is hitting much better now, led by juniors Tayler Carrier, Thomas Foster and Mitchell Caron and sophomore Reid Shostak.
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Richmond finishes its season with five games in four days. The Bobcats played a doubleheader at Greenville, face Greater Portland Christian on Saturday and travel to Forest Hills for a doubleheader Monday.
The Bobcats have been a pleasant surprise for veteran coach Ryan Gardner. They’ve come up with two solid pitchers in sophomore Mike Stewart and freshman Brendan Emmons. Stewart is a hard thrower who has a no-hitter this season and strikeout games of 15 and 12 batters.
“He’s really dominated the teams he’s pitched against,” Gardner said.
Emmons, who played for a Cal Ripken team that played in the New England tournament, has throw strikes.
“He’s always around the plate,” Gardner said. “That means everybody’s involved. We’ve done remarkably well for a team that has one senior that starts.”
The Bobcats have also hit. Stewart is hitting an even .500 while Tyler Soucy is batting .423 and Bailey Johansen .357.