AUGUSTA — The Capital Area American Legion senior baseball team is already proving to have a stacked lineup this summer.

After Tuesday night’s 6-2 win over Skowhegan at Morton Field, Capital Area — which includes players from Cony, Maranacook, Winthrop, Hall-Dale and Kents Hill — is 5-2 to start the season, trailing just Franklin County of Farmington in the South division standings. In Tuesday’s win, Capital Area used a total of six players in the starting lineup that were recent Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference or Mountain Valley Conference selections. And they produced.

“It’s a team of (five) different schools, and early on, it just takes a little bit to get to know each other,” Capital Area coach Jason Douin said. “We’re starting to feel that, we’re jelling together. I think we’ve strung together four straight wins.”

Capital Area’s Tyler Hreben hits against Skowhegan during an American Legion baseball game Tuesday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Cony’s Brayden Barbeau (KVAC first team) went 2-4 at the plate, scoring two runs. Barbeau’s Cony teammate Kam Douin — the KVAC Player of the Year — went 1-4 and scored a run. Winthrop catcher Andrew Foster (MVC first team) went 2-3.

“When you’ve got a good team behind you, you really have all the confidence in the world going on,” said Maranacook’s Alex Trafton, who went 2-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. “I always have people on base in front of me. And I have people behind me. I’m never really too stressed out there, it’s just see ball, hit ball.”

On the mound, Maranacook’s Tyler Hreben (KVAC second team) earned the win, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, striking out three while walking two. He was relieved by Maranacook teammate Nick Florek (KVAC first team), who struck out two batters in 1 1/3 innings.


“We’re super happy with the talent level,” Jason Douin said. “And (the players) know that. They’re excited to be playing on a team with this type of talent. I think they build on each other, they support each other. Hopefully, this is us continuing that trend of just winning baseball.”

“Even though we’ve been playing six games together, it feels like we’ve been playing together for a long time,” Trafton said. “I can feel that chemistry building each game and I think it shows, too.”


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Skowhegan entered Wednesday with a 2-4 record. While a young team, Skowhegan carries a roster of 14 players this summer, with most coming from the Skowhegan varsity baseball team. Skowhegan also has Madison’s Xavier Estes on the roster.


Recent Skowhegan graduate Ben Morgan went six innings and struck out six batters in Tuesday’s loss to Capital Area. At the plate, Skowhegan managed to collect six hits and scored its final two runs in the sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by a solo home run from Chance Tibbetts off a pitch from Nick Florek that traveled over the right field fence.


Skowhegan’s Ben Morgan throws against Capital Area during an American Legion baseball game Tuesday in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“We’re very young, we’re a very young squad,” Skowhegan assistant coach Al Wilson said. “Ben Morgan, he just graduated, but he pitched well… Chance can hit, and there’s power there to (knock it over the wall) and into the gap, too. Now we need to get seven other guys to put the ball in play and we’ll be alright.”

An area that Wilson said Skowhegan needed work on was its defense, as the team made four errors in the loss to Capital Area.

“We made mistakes (during the game), we’ve made mistakes all year. You can’t make that many mistakes and beat the good ballclubs.,” Wilson said. “We’ve got to shore up (the defense) a little bit,” Wilson said. “But the season is getting shorter.”



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At 5-1 entering Wednesday, Franklin County sits atop the senior Legion South standings. The Flyers started the year off with a  loss to Ware and Butler of Messalonskee. Since then, Franklin County has won five straight. It’s a continuation of the success the team — made up almost entirely of Mt. Blue players, with one player from Spruce Mountain — had at the varsity level in the spring.

“Settling in now, I think (the key) has just been continued reps and the work the guys put in during the school season,” said Franklin County coach Robb Dippner, who is also the Mt. Blue varsity coach. “Even when we play with our backs (against the wall) a little bit, they find a way to get things done. I’ve been super happy with our execution overall and our mindset.”

Hayden Dippner, a KVAC Class A second team selection, has been a standout for the Flyers.  Robb Dippner added Isaac Wrigley, Sam Wrigley, Zak Koban and Hayden Durrell have also stepped up for the Flyers during the summer.

“(Isaac) Wrigley has just grown this summer off of what he did this spring,” Dippner said. “He’s just having great at-bats, strong at-bats…. (Durrell) DH’d and played some third base for us in the school season. We put him (at catcher) and he’s just done a really good job there, blocking balls, taking control of the game and throwing (base runners) out.”



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One change that’s been made in Legion this season has been the scheduling of games changing to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, a move that was made to help players participating in multiple sports over the summer.

So far, it’s a move that has brought mixed reaction

“Initially, I had some concerns,” Jason Douin said. “I think we like it. We know every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, we’re going to play. If we get rained out, we’ll move to a weekend. We’ve kind of set our schedule for pitching, so guys know when they’re going to pitch. It’s been working out really well so far.”

Robb Dippner said he has a multitude of players with Franklin County that play multiple sports, and it forces players to have to choose between sports over the summer.

“For us personally, I think it’s a lot tougher in the fact that, I would say every kid on our roster is a two or three sport athlete,” Dippner said. “I’m beginning to find, with the (Maine Principals’ Association) guidelines being the way they are, (summer) has kind of turned into a free-for-all for coaches. There’s a lot of opportunities. Our basketball guys have games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Our soccer guys have games on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We now have games Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… Now (players) are really having to choose.

“It’s made it more difficult this year than last,” Dippner added. “We’re getting the players and they’re committed, they just have to make that tough call to the basketball coach or even to me, ‘Hey, I can’t make it (on particular day).'”

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