AUGUSTA — The final play here was a microcosm of the game – and the entire season for the Scarborough baseball team.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Class A state championship game, Messalonskee’s Parker Reynolds hit a soft dribbler that took a wicked hop off the mound away from pitcher Zak Sanders. For a second, it looked as if the celebration might have to wait for a Scarborough team leading by seven runs.

Second baseman Finn Coburn, though, made a perfect play on the ball, cutting toward first and firing to Mason Porter for the final out. It was a fitting way for Scarborough to cap a 7-0 victory in which the team’s defense and pitching impeccably powered the Red Storm to glory.

“It’s all fundamental baseball,” said Scarborough Coach Wes Ridlon. “That’s what we said going in, that fundamentals were going to win the game. Kudos to the kids, because that’s what we’ve done all year. They came out here today, and they executed.”

Sanders was dominant on the mound, pitching a four-hitter with four strikeouts and just one walk. He also had three hits at the plate for the Red Storm, which also got two from Tyler Archambault as they claimed the third state title in program history (1986, 2019).


Scarborough (19-1) tagged Messalonskee (16-4) for three runs in the first inning, combining a leadoff hit by Archambault with two hit batters by Messalonskee’s Denny Martin and an error. The Red Storm used another hit, another hit batter and two more walks to plate two more runs in the second.

“It’s a deep breath, and everything goes away (when you get runs early and can pitch with a big lead),” Sanders said. “Getting three in the first was so huge, because then I can go out and pitch without any pressure on me. … Our defense was unbelievable, and at the plate, we got clutch hits when we needed to.”

Indeed, Scarborough’s defense made every play it needed to. In the first, the Red Storm cleanly fielded a couple hard-hit balls. Then in the fourth, Sanders picked off Ty Bernier at first before Cam Wellman made a running catch in center to rob Martin of an extra-base hit.

It didn’t stop there. In the fifth inning, Coburn made an impressive stop at second before executing an off-balance throw to nail Jordan Lewis at first. After Scarborough added two more runs in the sixth, the Red Storm turned a double play with no outs before Coburn fielded a wicked hop to close out the win.

Scarborough second baseman Finn Coburn scoops a bouncing grounder on the last play of the Class A baseball state championship against Messalonskee on Saturday at Morton Field in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“It all starts with our pitching,” Archambault said. “We have the best pitching in the state, and have a great defense behind them. We’re always there to support our pitchers. … We just played our game; we played fundamental baseball and got out in front.”

Sanders, Scarborough’s No. 2 pitcher, got the start because staff ace Erik Swenson pitched the regional final against Falmouth. Sophomore lefty Ryan Shugars was also ready to go for Scarborough in relief, but with Sanders dealing, his services weren’t needed.


“That was gutsy,” Ridlon said. “That was pure domination. He threw a lot of strikes, and his location was excellent. He’s a competitor – I think he’s the best competitor I’ve ever coached – and when you have a performance like that in a state championship game, that’s guts.”

Martin pitched 3 1/3 innings for Messalonskee, striking out three, walking five and hitting four batters before Garrett Giguere (2 1/3 innings pitched, one earned run) came on in relief. Sean Achorn pitched the final 1 1/3 innings. Bernier, Martin, Reynolds and Garrett Card had hits for Messalonskee.

The shutout was an anomaly for a Messalonskee team that scored five or more runs 15 times this season. Although the Eagles made solid contact on numerous occasions, they always seemed to hit the ball right where Scarborough’s fielders happened to be.

“Balls weren’t landing today, but that’s baseball, and at the end of the day, they played better than us,” said Messalonskee Coach Eric Palin. “You never want to get in a hole like that to start the game, and that kind of handcuffed us. We like to get out to a lead early and then play small ball, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Scarborough’s win capped a postseason run in which it allowed just three runs over four games. The Red Storm scored 49 runs in their final seven games going back to the end of the regular season.

“Our coaches always stress to play our best baseball at the end of the year, and that’s what we did,” Archambault said. “We’ve been working hard all year, and we put it all together for the playoffs. … I couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out.”

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