The Maine high school baseball season isn’t quite done, but the American Legion baseball season is already under way.

Play began Tuesday night in two of the state’s five zones. Except for those teams with players involved in Saturday’s high school state championship games in Standish and Bangor, all of the state’s 48 American Legion teams are scheduled to play this weekend.

Zone 4, which includes most of Cumberland County, will host the eight-team, double-elimination state tournament July 28-Aug. 1 at the Wainwright Athletic Complex in South Portland.

Nova Seafood, made up primarily of players from Deering High, is seeking its third consecutive state championship.

“With our pitching depth, we should be as strong as anybody,” said Nova Seafood Coach Mike D’Andrea.

Three starters return from last season’s state championship team: pitcher-outfielder Sam Balzano, shortstop Nick Colucci and pitcher-outfielder Jamie Ross.

Nova should get a lift from the arrival of Cape Elizabeth infielder Cameron Brown and catcher Jeff Danielson. Both will play Saturday against Waterville in the Class B state final at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

“We have two kids from Cape Elizabeth because they didn’t have a place to play,” D’Andrea said. “I got calls from four or five players, and two of them made our team.”

Libby-Mitchell Post, which includes players from Scar-borough and Bonny Eagle, is expected to contend for one of Zone 4’s two playoff berths in the state tournament. Chris Bernard of Scarborough, who was 1-1 in six appearances with the University of Maine as a freshman this spring, will add pitching depth.

Manchester Post of Westbrook also is expected to contend. Westbrook High appeared in the Western Class A championship game this week.

Biddeford, which includes players from the Western Class A championship high school team, appears to be the top team in Zone 5, made up of teams from York County.

The Legion teams will play a regular-season schedule of 18 to 20 games in the next six weeks.

The top two teams from Zone 4 and the champion from each of the other four zones qualify for the state tournament.

Runners-up from zones 1, 2, 3 and 5 will compete in a play-in tournament July 24 in South Portland for the two remaining berths in the state tournament.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]