SKOWHEGAN — With Thursday’s win secured, Skowhegan senior Marcus Christopher and his teammates on the baseball team were prepared to sit in front of their computers and wait until the Class A North Heal Point standings were up to date.

“Refresh until we see the result,” Christopher said.

Thursday’s 4-1 over Messalonskee helped Skowhegan’s playoff cause, vaulting the team into the eighth and final spot in the region’s tournament. Still, Skowhegan had to wait for the result of the Brunswick-Mt. Ararat game. When Mt. Ararat won that one, it strengthened Skowhegan’s slim hold on a playoff spot, but nothing will be official until the last remaining games are in the books.

Whether or not Skowhegan advances to the playoffs, the team finished the regular seasons strongly, winning four straight for an 8-8 record.

“We just have to sit back and wait and hope we get some help. Like Coach (Brad) Cyr just said here in the huddle, we ended on a four-game win streak. It was good to see them battle and compete right to the end,” Skowhegan coach Mike LeBlanc said.

Messalonskee closed the regular season at 9-7. The Eagles knew coming into Thursday’s game they had clinched a playoff spot. Now they just wait to see where they will play a quarterfinal game next week.


“I told these guys, I don’t care where we go. We haven’t had a home field. We’ve been traveling around. Wherever we have to go play a game, we’ll play a game,” Messalonskee coach Ray Bernier said. “There was nine guys playing for their lives and nine guys who didn’t look like they were ready to play today. That’s on me as a coach.”

Skowhegan took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jimmy Reed led off with a walk and took second base on an errant pickoff throw to first. With one out, Christopher singled, scoring Reed.

“I was just looking to drive something. Get (Reed) in and start on a positive note,” Christopher said.

With runners on second and third base with two outs, Cam Louder hit a ground ball to third base. Messalonskee’s Andrew Everett tagged Aidan Louder for the final out, but not before Carter Hunt crossed the plate with the second run.

Skowhegan added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. With two out, Reed reached on a bunt single down the third base line. Lucas Patchell doubled, and Messalonskee intentionally walked Christopher to load the bases. Hunt and Aidan Louder each took a bases loaded walk to drive in a run, and Skowhegan had a 4-0 lead.

Skowhegan pitcher Kyle Kruse had another strong outing. Kruse gave up four hits, hit three batters and walked three while working out of minor jams throughout the game.


“He’s pitched well all year. Another great game from him, only four hits. It’s huge,” Christopher said of Kruse.

Messalonskee only threatened in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Evan DeMott scored when Dylan Cunningham reached on a fielder’s choice. After Kruse walked Jacob Perry to load the bases again and put the tying run on first, Carter Lambert hit a soft line drive to second base to end the game.

“We were very fortunate today to escape it, but I was very pleased with our attitude and effort. It’s fun to coach a team that enjoys playing baseball now,” LeBlanc said.

“You get guys on base, you need to get the big hit. That’s baseball sometimes,” Bernier said. “(Kruse’s) just a smart pitcher. He made a couple mistakes, he hit guys and gave us some opportunities. I’ve been following him the last couple weeks. He’s thrown a couple shutouts in a row. He locks in. He’s a tough-minded kid. I thought he pitched well.”

Reed reached base four times for Skowhegan, with two hits and two walks, and scored a pair of runs.

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