STANDISH — Based on their two regular-season games, Greely and Yarmouth figured to be close at the end.

It just took a roundabout way of getting there.

Greely scored six runs on only one hit in the third inning and led 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth.

Then Yarmouth scored five in the sixth and had the tying run at the plate in the seventh.

But that’s as close as it got.

Greely got the final two outs on sharp fielding plays and held on to win the Western Class B baseball title Tuesday with a 7-5 victory at St. Joseph’s College.

Greely (16-3) will play Waterville (16-2), the defending state champion, for the Class B title at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s.

Greely and Yarmouth split one-run games in the regular season, each winning at home. The teams even finished tied in the Heal point standings, Yarmouth winning a coin flip for the top seed.

But Greely right-hander Mike Leeman had a no-hitter through five innings. Yarmouth (15-4), a regional runner-up for the second straight year, finally caught up with Leeman’s pitches in the sixth.

The Clippers opened the bottom of the sixth with seven consecutive hits.

Leadoff man Ryan Cody broke up Leeman’s no-hitter with a double. The hits came quickly after that.

“They made a good comeback,” said Leeman. “They had seen my pitches and timed them. I was a little nervous when they were coming back. I was just trying to throw strikes.”

Leeman, sailing along with a minimum of pitches, retired the Clippers in order the first two innings, then walked a batter in each of the next two. After the leadoff batter reached on a error in the fifth, Leeman struck out the next three hitters.

In the third, Liam Maker led off with a single, then Greely benefited from Yarmouth starter Campbell Belisle Haley’s wildness. Belisle Haley hit two batters, walked four and uncorked a wild pitch. When he was relieved, Greely led 6-0.

Belisle Haley hadn’t given up a run in 14 1/3 innings.

“If we could have started the game over, he would have been my starting pitcher. We wouldn’t have been here if not for (him),” said Yarmouth Coach Marc Halsted.

“Even when we trailed 7-0, the kids were still up. They might have been a little frustrated but we were still up. This program has come a long way in the last two years. We always talk about finishing strongly. We mashed the ball in the sixth.”

After cutting the lead to 7-4, Yarmouth had a runner thrown out going from second to third on a single to left. Instead of having runners on first and third with one out, Yarmouth had a runner on first and two outs.

“I thought he was safe,” said Halsted. “I don’t usually complain to the umpires but I did on that play.”

The Rangers had only five hits but there was a reason, said Coach Derek Soule.

“We took what they gave us,” he said. “If their pitcher isn’t throwing strikes, we’re not going to swing at it. We can hit. We had a .356 team average during the season.”

Soule would have preferred a little less excitement at the end but wasn’t surprised by Yarmouth’s rally.

“Yarmouth is a very competitive team,” said Soule.

“We have a lot of respect for their seniors. We knew they were going to make a run. Luckily we had enough of a cushion.”

With one out in the seventh, Belisle Haley doubled to left. He moved to third on a slick fielding play by shortstop Matt Labbe, who went to his left and fired to first for the second out. Maker ended the game by fielding a hot grounder at third and throwing to first.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH