STANDISH – Kyle Danielson kept his spirits up, hoping for another chance Wednesday night.

He got it and made the most of it.

Danielson drilled a bases-loaded triple to left-center in the sixth inning to break open a tight game and send top-ranked Cape Elizabeth to a 5-1 victory against second-seeded Yarmouth in the Western Class B baseball final at St. Joseph’s College.

Cape Elizabeth (18-1) will play Waterville (18-1) for the state title at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. Each team had chances throughout, but outstanding pitching by Conor Moloney of Cape and Nick Whittaker of the Clippers, as well as tough defense, kept things even.

Cape finally converted its chance after loading the bases on a single by Sam St. Germain, a hit batter and a walk. Another walk by Whittaker, who hadn’t walked a batter through five innings, forced in a run. Tanner Garrity then drove in the second run with a groundout that was deflected by Whittaker.

After Moloney was intentionally walked, Danielson, the designated hitter, stepped to the plate. He had already struck out twice.

But this time Danielson drove a pitch deep to left-center, bringing in three runs to make it 5-0. Danielson stumbled approaching third and crawled a few feet before touching the base.

“He left a fastball up,” said Danielson. “It felt great. It was one of my best hits of the season.”

After striking out twice, Danielson said he had to stay upbeat, which isn’t always easy as the DH.

“We made sure Kyle didn’t get down on himself,” said Cape Elizabeth Coach Chris Hayward.

“Both teams had their chances. It was a fantastic-pitched game on both sides. We love competing against Yarmouth. They have such an exemplary program.”

The runs gave Cape breathing room.

Moloney set down the first two batters in the seventh, but Yarmouth (17-2) wasn’t done. Jeff Kuklewicz singled to center and scored on Travis Merrill’s triple to deep center. Moloney then got the final out on a fly to right.

Danielson said he felt he was close to hitting the ball in his first two at-bats.

“I just missed. I knew I had to be patient,” he said.

The teams split their two regular-season games, each winning on the road.

“We hit the ball hard. It was just right at them,” said Yarmouth Coach Marc Halsted.

“Nick Whittaker competed every step of the way. We didn’t leave the field thinking we were the lesser team.”

Cam Brown led off Cape’s half of the first inning with a triple to left-center. Whittaker bore down to get the next three hitters.

In the second, Moloney led off with a double but was stranded when Whittaker mowed down the next three batters again.

Merrill hit the top of the fence for a double with two outs in the fifth. The next batter, Luke Pierce, hit a line smash right at center fielder Rob Macdonald.

In the sixth, Whittaker reached third on a single, a stolen base and a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Dustin McCrossin lined out to Jack Barber in left.

Cape will be making its second trip to the state championship game in three seasons.

The Capers lost to Gardiner in 2008.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]