SOUTH PORTLAND – Augusta ended Nova Seafood’s two-year reign as American Legion baseball state champion Saturday.

Augusta pounded four pitchers for 19 hits in a 16-7 victory that handed Nova Seafood its second consecutive loss in the double-elimination tournament, which ends today at the Wainwright Sports Complex.

Augusta, which has won three games since suffering a 5-2 loss Wednesday in the opening day of the eight-team tournament, will play unbeaten Gayton Post at noon today.

If Augusta wins, the teams will play again at 3:30 p.m. for the title.

It was Mike D’Andrea’s final game as coach of Nova Seafood, made up primarily of players from Deering High in Portland.

“It’s been a great run,” D’Andrea said. “I’m just moving on and going in a different direction, that’s all.”

Since D’Andrea became coach in 1998, Nova Seafood has won eight state titles, capped by a national championship in 2004.

Augusta, a 2-1 loser to Nova Seafood in last season’s final, batted around in the first two innings to take an 11-2 lead.

“It comes down to being outplayed,” D’Andrea said. “You see the way they hit the ball. We didn’t hit the ball like that.”

Still, the game turned on a first-inning play that enabled Augusta to take a 6-2 lead.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Cory Clarke hit a nubber between the plate and mound. Pitcher John Miranda fielded the ball cleanly but his flip to the plate for the force eluded catcher Kyle Danielson and two runs scored to make it 2-2. Corey Lapierre followed with a two-run double, and Jordan Conant and Nick Lucas added RBI singles.

“All throughout this tournament we’ve been getting wins from other team’s mistakes,” said Charlie Partridge, who whacked a two-run triple in the five-run second.

“We just keep putting the ball in play.”

Nova Seafood tried to rally.

In the third, Nick DiBiase hit a two-run double to make it 11-4.

In the fourth, a double by Jamie Ross, an error, and singles by Danielson and Cam Brown produced two more runs.

In the sixth, Nova Seafood (19-5) scored on an error, and singles by Nick Colucci and Ross to make it 11-7.

“I give us credit because we fought when we got down like that, and we made it a game again,” D’Andrea said. “We just fell a little short.”

Augusta (20-7) put the game out of reach with a four-run eighth. Luke Duncklee drove in a run with his third single, and Partridge, who also had three hits, drove in a run with a grounder. Clarke, who had four hits, added a two-run homer.

Jake Beland, after an inning of relief in each of Augusta’s previous two games, pitched the first complete game in the tourney.

“He stayed out there for nine innings and pitched a complete game,” D’Andrea said. “On this day, Day Four, you don’t see that very often.”

Beland allowed four earned runs, 11 hits, struck out six, walked one and hit two batters.

 

GAYTON POST 9, BESSEY MOTORS 8: Alex Wong hit a double and three singles to help Gayton Post hold off Bessey Motors to remain the lone unbeaten team in the tournament.

Corbin Hyde hit a two-run homer in the second to help stake Gayton Post, made up primarily of players from Lewiston High, to a 4-0 lead.

D.J. Croy hit a two-run double in the third as Bessey Motors, made up mainly of players from Oxford Hills High, scored four runs to take a 5-4 lead.

McKae Hyde, Jeff Keene and Scott Ouellette each drove in runs with singles in the fourth as Gayton Post (23-3) scored four runs to move into the lead for good.

Danny Place hit a double and two singles for Bessey Motors, which finished the season at 21-4.

 

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

[email protected]