STANDISH — The Searsport baseball team had Richmond in trouble early. And given a head start, the Vikings didn’t let a chance to play for another state championship — and some vengeance — get away.

No. 1 Searsport took a first-inning lead and then used a four-run fourth to put the game out of reach, eventually coming away with an 11-1 five-inning win over the second-seeded Bobcats in the Class D South championship game at St. Joseph’s College. It was the fourth such matchup between the teams in five years, and saw the Vikings improve to 14-4, while Richmond is done at 11-6.

Searsport won three championships in a row from 2015-17, but saw that string interrupted by Richmond’s 14-6 win in the regional final last year. But on Tuesday, there was an opportunity for payback, and the Vikings pounced.

Richmond shortstop Dakotah Gilpatric reacts to a late throw to first during the Class D South title game Tuesday night at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We’ve been waiting all year to revenge that loss from last year, where we didn’t come ready to play,” coach John Frye said. “We knew we were better than that, we just didn’t come to play. So this year, we were focused. … Every time they made a mistake, we opened (the door) and came through.”

Searsport only out-hit the Bobcats 9-6, but made every Richmond slip-up hurt.

“When we gave them an opening, they took it,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardner said. “They’re a very good club. (Pitcher Charlie Spiegel) mixed his curveball in and out, kept us off-balance. He pitched like a senior.”

The scoring started out of the gate, with Daegan Moody and Isaiah Runci (two RBIs apiece) drawing walks and Spiegel — the losing pitcher in this game a season ago — getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Colby Snow (two RBIs) knocked in Moody with a groundout, Runci came in on a passed ball and Spiegel scored on George Dakin’s single to make it 3-0.

“We were out for blood,” said Spiegel, who tossed all five innings and also picked up two hits, two RBIs and three runs. “We knew it was our last shot as seniors, and we knew we had to step up as upperclassmen.”

After Dakin singled in Spiegel in the third, Richmond’s Adam Beaulieu seemingly brought the Bobcats back into the game by singling in Chance Taylor to make it 4-1 in the fourth.

The momentum didn’t last long, with Searsport once again taking advantage of a Richmond miscue to put the game out of reach. A two-out error allowed Cody Reynolds to reach first, and Moody followed with a walk. Runci then had an RBI single to center, Spiegel had a single up the middle to score two, and Snow blasted a double to left to make it 8-1, with all four runs being unearned.

Richmond’s bench watches Searsport during the Class D South regional final Tuesday in Standish. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Searsport finished the matter in the fifth. A Moody single to right scored a pair, and Runci’s grounder to second scored the last run to set off the celebration.

Spiegel fanned five and allowed six hits while getting the win for Searsport. Andrew Vachon started for Richmond, and went four innings while striking out six, walking three and allowing eight runs — three earned.

“We certainly set the tone early in the game,” Spiegel said. “We were out for revenge, and we knew if we kept piling on runs, they’d slowly crumble. We pulled the rug out from under them.”

Richmond had chances to answer the Searsport surge. Down 3-0, the Bobcats got a walk from Mitch Couturier and single from Chance Taylor on to start the second, but Spiegel got three straight strikeouts. In the fifth, Richmond loaded the bases with two outs via a Justin Vachon walk and singles from Danny Stewart and Couturier, but Spiegel got a flyout to end the threat.

One half-inning later, the game, and Richmond’s season, were over.

“We couldn’t get a timely hit, we couldn’t string things together, and when we did, we kind of left guys on,” Gardner said. “Every opportunity they got, they made us pay for. Every single one. We only got outhit by three. That’s baseball.”


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