STANDISH – Just about everything in the Class B baseball championship game seemed to be ideal.

A pair of pitchers rose to the occasion for the final game of the season, and each team’s defense was impeccable, going without an error through the course of seven innings.

Waterville catcher Aidan Fitzgerald punctuated an otherwise flawless game. His fourth-inning single drove in Tim Locke for the lone run in Waterville’s 1-0 win Saturday over Greely for the Class B title.

When he looked back at the play, Greely starting pitcher Mike Leeman summed up the situation.

“They found the hole,” Leeman said.

After Fitzgerald drove in the only run at St. Joseph’s College’s Mahaney Diamond, the Purple Panthers’ defense remained unshakable in the late innings when the Rangers threatened to tie the game.

“Guys knew what we needed to do to win,” said Locke, who entered the state title game with an 0.60 earned-run average.

Furthermore, the Purple Panthers (17-2) didn’t let a lengthy rain delay deter them from winning their second Class B championship in two years. Instead they made the most of their time, heading to a nearby grocery store for sustenance.

“We went to Shaws,” Locke said of the rain delay, which spanned 1 hour and 47 minutes between Greely’s second and third batters in the bottom of the second. “And that delay helped me out, too.”

Greely Coach Derek Soule said the weather delay had no impact on his team, which played for its third state championship in the last five seasons. The Rangers couldn’t create much offense and couldn’t take advantage of their few scoring opportunities.

Held hitless through the first three innings, Greely (16-4) put four runners on base (including three in scoring position) in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, only to come up empty.

With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Locke struck out Leeman to preserve Waterville’s 1-0 lead. An inning later, Locke struck out Brad McKenney looking, stranding Bailey Train on third.

In the bottom of the sixth, with Pete Stauber (2 for 3, double) on third and Ben Shain on first, Locke struck out Matt Labbe, then got Leeman to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and the Rangers’ third scoring threat.

“We chased pitches and he threw a great game,” Leeman said of Locke, who struck out eight and gave up three hits. “He just shut us out.”

The Rangers thwarted Waterville’s first scoring threat in the top of the second when, with runners on first and third and two outs, Mark Beckim grounded out to second baseman McKenney, who threw to shortstop Labbe, forcing out Ryan Veilleux at second to end the inning.

But with Locke on second and Kyle Bishop on first in the top of the fourth, Fitzgerald, a freshman, singled to right field to drive in Locke from second base and give the Purple Panthers a 1-0 lead.

“It was just one of those games where it was going to be about who caught the break,” Soule said. “Is the ball going to drop in? Is the ground ball going to find a hole? Unfortunately for us, they caught that break. They just happened to find the hole and we couldn’t seem to find that break.”

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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