READFIELD — Inning after inning, Sacopee Valley pitcher McGwire Sawyer put up zero after zero, hoping his team would eventually turn one of its many threats into a breakthrough on the scoreboard.

In the eighth inning, he got his wish.

The sixth-seeded Hawks prevailed in extra innings again, scoring three runs in the eighth and then holding off a last gasp from No. 2 Maranacook to earn a 5-4 victory in the C South semifinals.

Sacopee Valley celebrates after beating Maranacook to win a Class C South semifinal game Saturday in Readfield. Photo by Jennifer Bechard

Sacopee Valley (12-6), which needed 10 innings to beat Hall-Dale the day before, will take on No. 1 and undefeated Lisbon in the regional final at St. Joseph’s College Wednesday.

“Whatever it takes,” coach Kevin Miner said of the back-to-back extra-inning affairs. “These boys have rallied this year over the last part of the season, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Maranacook, which was hoping for a return trip to the C South final, finished at 16-2.

“They had a long one last night and they had a lot of adrenaline,” coach Eric Brown said. “Their pitcher came in and shut us down. That was the big key right there.”

He did. Sawyer pitched the first seven innings while striking out four, walking one and scattering five hits, and he did it while the season hung in the balance with each inning. The Hawks left men on in six of the first seven innings and stranded 13 altogether, constantly able to threaten against Maranacook pitchers Jay Lauter and Glen Guerrette, but failing each time to land the blow.

“They were rattling me at points, but I just dug through it and had faith in my teammates that they would make the plays behind me,” Sawyer said. “I had faith that we would end it eventually and get a run.”

In the eighth, the Hawks got the hits they were looking for. Kaleb Cox reached via a two-base error and stole third, and after a strikeout, Brandon Capano — 0-for-4 to that point — dropped a single in to shallow right, scoring Cox with the go-ahead run. The rally continued, and also saw Capano score on Isaac Stocks’s bases-loaded walk and Dylan Miner score on Cole Eastman’s sacrifice fly to center to make it 5-2.

“Right now, I have confidence 1 through 9 is going to put the ball in play,” coach Miner said. “You put the ball in play, good things are going to happen.”

Maranacook didn’t go quietly. With Austin Eastman on the mound, Wyatt Lambert drew a walk and Mitch Root (three hits) and Guerrette had back-to-back one-out singles to load the bases. Collin McGarr drilled a single to right to score Lambert and Root and put the tying run in scoring position, but Eastman got a strikeout to wrap up the win.

“You can’t count us out until the last out,” Brown said. “I thought maybe we could get in there and make something happen there and have a walk-off, and we came close. But we didn’t quite get it done. We didn’t get that clutch hit.”

The Black Bears started with their ace on the mound in Lauter, but back soreness that Brown said has lingered since the summer limited him. The senior lefty struck out nine in four innings but was more resilient than dominant, allowing six hits and frequently slipping out of trouble. His best escape was his last one, as he gave up two runs in the fourth but struck out Austin Eastman on a full count with the bases loaded to keep the game deadlocked.

“He gave us everything he had,” Brown said. “After that fourth inning … he came in and said ‘I’m done.’ Glen stepped up and stepped in and did a great job.”

Maranacook assistant coach Ed Bowie gives Alex Trafton a pep talk before he goes up to bat against Sacopee Valley during a Class C South semifinal game Saturday in Readfield. Photo by Jennifer Bechard

Maranacook took a 2-0 lead in the third when Rogers and Root scored on a throwing error. Sacopee Valley evened things up in the fourth after Caleb Eastman (double), Sawyer and Janoah Edwards led off with hits. Eastman scored on Edwards’s hit, and Sawyer came in on Capano’s fielder’s choice grounder to short.

The Hawks weren’t finished.

“We’re on a roll right now,” coach Miner said. “We are tired, but we’re on a roll.”


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