Brady Afthim, Windham senior, pitcher/catcher: The Varsity Maine Player of the Year dominated SMAA hitters, with 128 strikeouts and five walks over 53 1/3 innings with a 0.53 ERA. He struck out 23 Portland batters in an extra-inning game, and 16 in a 1-0 playoff loss to Thornton Academy. Considered the top catcher in the state, he also hit .478 with three home runs, seven doubles and 17 runs. He will play at UConn.

Cody Bowker, Thornton Academy junior, pitcher/center field: Bowker also posted statistics worthy of Player of the Year consideration. On the mound he was 7-1 with two playoff wins and a 0.40 ERA, allowing 24 hits over 52 2/3 innings with 81 strikeouts. He also batted .448 with six doubles, three triples, two homers, 22 runs and a .529 on-base percentage. Bowker has verbally committed to play at Georgetown.

Sam Clark, Cheverus senior, pitcher/first base: Clark distinguished himself as one of the best pitchers and hitters in the SMAA. He posted a 4-1 record for the Stags with 55 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA over 42 innings. He also batted .442 with three doubles and a .577 on-base percentage. Clark will continue his career with a post-graduate year at the Winchendon School prior to playing at UConn.

Blaine Cockburn, Freeport junior, pitcher/outfielder: A left-handed pitcher who has committed to the University of Maine, Cockburn pitched in 10 games, with six starts (including a regional final win against Greely), going 5-1 with a save and 0.85 ERA, allowing just 10 hits and 17 walks against 70 strikeouts. He also hit .300 with six doubles and 13 runs.

Tanner Evans, Old Town senior, shortstop/pitcher: The team MVP for the Class B champions, the 6-foot-3 Evans produced at the plate and on the mound. He batted .436 with two home runs and 23 RBI. As a pitcher he was 5-0 with 38 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA over 34 1/3 innings with a complete-game win in the state final against Freeport. He will continue his career at Husson.

Jake Gautreau, Yarmouth senior, second base/pitcher: Gautreau set a Yarmouth ERA record with a mark of 0.47 over 44 2/3 innings, going 6-1, including a complete-game shutout of eventual regional champ Freeport. He struck out 52 batters and allowed only 24 hits and four walks. He also batted .370 with 10 RBI. Gautreau plans to attend Northern Arizona in the fall.

Jacob Humphrey, Bonny Eagle senior, shortstop: The winner of the SMAA’s Fred Harlow Award (Cumberland County) for all-around dedication and attitude and a finalist for the John Winkin Award as the top senior in the state, Humphrey batted .477 with nine doubles, three triples and was 13 of 13 in stolen base attempts. He will continue his career at UMass-Lowell.

Zach Johnston, Greely junior, pitcher: A touted prospect who committed to Maryland before throwing a varsity pitch, the left-handed pitcher met expectations, going 5-2, striking out 85 while walking nine in 42 2/3 innings with a 0.66 ERA. Johnston also played outfield and hit .270 with four doubles. He is one of 150 players invited to play in the national Area Code Underclass Games, Aug. 12-14, in Los Angeles.

Sam Kidder, Falmouth senior, center field: Described as a five-tool player by Falmouth Coach Mike D’Andrea, Kidder batted .361 with good power, knocking six doubles, three triples and a home run while driving in 18 runs, scoring 18 runs and stealing 21 bases. He will continue his career at Stonehill.

Bradley McLaughlin, Bangor senior, pitcher/outfielder: A Winkin Award finalist, the left-hander pitched in 12 of Bangor’s 21 games, going 8-3 with one save. He worked 4 1/3 perfect innings of relief against Skowhegan to get the Class A North final win. In 60 innings he struck out 39, walked 10 and had a 1.13 ERA, while hitting .268 with 13 RBI and 17 runs. He will play next year at Husson.

Bradley McMains, South Portland senior, pitcher: McMains led the Red Riots to their first Class A title in the tournament era, going 5-1 with a 1.36 ERA, striking out 61 over 46 1/3 innings. McMains beat top-ranked Thornton Academy twice, including a two-hit shutout in the regional final. He batted .290 with a home run, 10 RBI, 19 runs and 19 stolen bases. McMains will continue his junior ice hockey career with the Twin City Thunder.

Andrew Merrill, Oxford Hills junior, catcher: Regarded as one of the premier players in the KVAC by several coaches, Merrill is a strong defensive catcher with a good arm and also produced at the plate. He batted .471 with 17 RBI, five doubles and two triples for the Vikings batting out of the third spot.

Joshua Murphy, Lewiston junior, pitcher/outfielder: A left-handed pitcher with a high-80s fastball, Murphy went 4-1 with two saves and a 1.16 ERA for the Blue Devils. He was also one of the top hitters in the KVAC, batting .500 (27 of 54) with good pop and driving in 17 runs while striking out only twice.

Brady Nolin, Greely senior, pitcher/outfielder: One of the seven finalists for the Winkin Award, Nolin was 9-0 with a 0.94 ERA and threw two no-hitters, one against Wells in the Class B South semifinal. He batted .356 with six doubles, a triple and three home runs with 15 RBI, 22 runs and 14 steals. He will continue his career at Allegheny College.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mike Owens, South Portland

The Red Riots would have been favored to win in 2020 had the season not been wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. In the 2021 preseason, South Portland seemed to be in rebuilding mode with no experienced pitchers and several sophomores in the lineup. Instead, Owens’ squad allowed only 2.2 runs per game and went 16-5 overall to win the school’s first Class A title since 1952.


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