You’ve probably done it in rock-paper-scissors, and you’ll see it in college baseball. You’ll almost never see a best two-out-of-three format in high school level sports.

But that’s the format Junior Legion is using today through Monday to determine the final four teams in its state tournament. Fairfield is one of the final eight, and has home-field advantage against Yarmouth.

The series begins at 11 a.m. today at Lawrence High School in Fairfield. Game 2 will be played at 11 a.m. Sunday in Yarmouth and Game 3 will be played at 5:15 p.m. Monday at Lawrence, if necessary.

The unusual format was more from need than design, said Junior Legion commissioner Al Livingston. Last summer, there simply wasn’t enough time for an eight-team double-elimination tournament.

Once everyone tried the best-of-three format, other advantages showed themselves: It saves the expense of a long tournament at one field, and it takes away the chance a team can trot its ace out and win a one-game showdown.

“I think it’s a good situation for baseball,” Fairfield coach Rusty Mercier said. “Being able to beat a team twice really proves that you’re a better team.”


Junior Legion is for players ages 13 to 17. Fairfield has 14 players: 10 from Lawrence, three from Messalonskee and one from Winslow. The double-elimination state tournament will be played from Aug. 6-8 at the University of Southern Maine.

Fairfield’s top hitters are Isiah Fleming, Josh Woodard and Nick Champney. Fleming will pitch the first game and Donald Camp will start Sunday. Fairfield played Yarmouth once during the season, losing 5-1 in Yarmouth.

“I feel good about having our full roster, finally,” Mercier said. “The last time we played them, we played them with nine guys. I’m hoping it makes a difference.”

Full roster or not, Yarmouth will provide a challenge.

“(They’re) very sound defensively, coached very well,” Mercier said. “Offensively, they executed their signs. They ran the bases very well.”

There were 18 teams statewide in Junior Legion this summer, and Livingston said that could expand to about two dozen next year. Locally, he’s heard from people looking to start teams in Augusta, Belgrade, Farmington and Skowhegan.

“That’s where I’ve heard some interest from,” Livingston said, “so we’ll see what occurs.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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