STANDISH — Like his team, Sacopee Valley catcher D.J. Shea had an up-and-down game Tuesday in the Class C South baseball final against Lisbon.

But when he came up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, his team had already scored twice to tie the game. Shea told himself not to try too hard.

“I was just thinking, ‘get it in the outfield.’ A pop fly to the outfield was all we needed,” Shea said.

Shea drove a line drive over the Lisbon center fielder’s head to bring home the winning run in third-seeded Sacopee Valley’s 7-6 come-from-behind victory at Saint Joseph’s College.

“It’s just Hawks baseball. We always come back and win. It’s the seventh inning and we always know to play as a team and that’s what we did,” Shea said. “The bottom of the order did it for us.”

Sacopee Valley (16-3) will face George Stevens Academy (18-1) in the state championship game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Saint Joseph’s College.

Roderick Maynard, who struck out 17 in the regional semifinal, will get the start, said Coach Eric Anderson.

Sacopee Valley, now 50-6 over the past three seasons, reached the Class C final in 2014 before losing to Washington Academy, 7-1. The Hawks capured state championships in 1977, 1992 and 1993.

Through six innings Sacopee trailed 6-4 and had three soft singles against Lisbon left-hander Tyler Halls (10 strikeouts, 8 walks), but Halls had thrown 134 pitches.

Maynard, the No. 5 batter, started the seventh with a single up the middle. Sacopee pitcher Brandon Burnell – who had done his own battling through adversity – followed with a sharp opposite-field single to right to put runners at the corners. Burnell promptly stole second. Designated hitter Peter Cates hit a grounder to third that was misplayed, allowing Maynard to score.

Halls struck out Pat Westberry for the fourth time but on his 150th pitch, No. 9 hitter Cam Cyr singled to right to tie the game.

“Unfortunately they never really gave us opportunities to get the outs (in the seventh inning),” Lisbon Coach Randy Ridley said. “They executed like they were supposed to. Not real hard-hit balls but they got the bat on the ball and got men on. That’s what great teams do.”

In the regional semifinal, Sacopee beat top-ranked Monmouth Academy in nine innings. Two years ago in their unexpected run to the regional title “we were behind almost every single game and we came back,” Anderson said.

Sixth-seeded Lisbon (14-6) scored five runs in the top of the first on an RBI double by Austin Fournier and a soft two-run single by Chris Normand, two walks, and a hit batsman off Burnell, and throwing errors by Shea and Burnell.

“We got some unlucky plays in there, a couple errors, some mental things, a couple blooper hits, but after that we just had to bear down and play ball,” said Burnell.

Halls walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, and a two-out Burnell chopper was thrown up the line by Lisbon third baseman Lucas Francis, scoring all three runners.

“Fortunately they made a big mistake in the bottom of the (first) and that kind of got us going,” Anderson said.


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