STANDISH – In its run through the Western Class A baseball playoffs, Biddeford outhit opponents. The Tigers did it again Saturday in the state final, but this time the runs didn’t follow. Not even one.

The Tigers ran up against right-hander Eric Henderson, who spaced out seven hits, and Oxford Hills used one big hit to win its first state title since 2005 with a 1-0 victory at St. Joseph’s College.

Left-hander Trevor Fleurent was the hard- luck loser, allowing only four hits.

“We managed to get those timely hits in the last few weeks,” said Biddeford Coach Casey Roy. “We just didn’t get those big hits today. We gave ourselves chances, but unfortunately we couldn’t move (anyone) around to home plate.

“My hat’s off to Oxford Hills for getting the timely hit. Trevor gave us more of the same. He showed the same intensity that he’s shown his entire career.”

Henderson has a reputation as a bulldog for the way he battles, and he was true to form. Told that Biddeford (12-8) put its lead runner on five times, Henderson said he was unaware.

“I blocked everything out and just pitched my game,” he said. “When they got the runner on, I said ‘OK, there’s a runner on first,’ I just kept going.

“We were kids when Oxford Hills last won the state title. We said back then that we wanted to do the same thing. Now that we have, it feels even better.”

In the top of the fourth, Andrew Keniston led off with a double that hit the left-field line for Oxford Hills (18-2). The next batter, Matt Verrier, walked. Fleurent got the next two batters on a fly to right and a strikeout. Ethan Davidson then grounded a ball between third and short for a single, scoring Keniston.

“Ethan has been clutch for us the last two years,” said Oxford Hills Coach Shane Slicer. “Who would know that would be the winning hit? It was a little nerve-racking with Biddeford putting the lead runner on for most of the game.

“I thought a big out was in the fourth inning. They let their hitter swing away and he popped out to third. After that I thought our defense settled down.”

Tyler Parker opened with a single for the Tigers in the fourth and ended up on second when the left fielder mishandled the ball.

Henderson bore down to get Travis Vigneault to pop to Kyle Farrar at third, Chris Jones to fly to center and Alex Lauzon to ground to third.

The Vikings got several big outs. Biddeford had a runner on third with two outs in the first two innings, and both times Oxford Hills ended the threat with an grounder to first.

Henderson ended the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts with two runners on.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Vikings got the first two outs on infield grounders. Biddeford pinch-hitter Cody Chaloult then singled, but Henderson ended the game with a strikeout, his third.

“He was a stud out there,” said Verrier, the catcher. “He throws a heavy ball, which is tough to hit. He didn’t walk anyone and he made big pitches when he had to.”

Fleurent finished with seven strikeouts.

“I thought we would be able to adjust better to him,” said Slicer. “He was taking something off his curve and he’s sneaky with the fastball. We didn’t get a lot of good whacks.” 

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

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