STANDISH – Fifth-seeded York set the tone early with a three-run first inning and went on to beat No. 2 Falmouth 5-1 to capture the Western Class B baseball championship Wednesday night at St. Joseph’s College.
The Wildcats (15-5) took advantage of rare wildness in the first inning by Falmouth’s ace left-hander, Thomas Fortier, who walked the first two batters.
A line drive by Zach Leal was right at an infielder but was mishandled for an error, allowing a run to score. Another run scored on a fielder’s choice, and catcher Alex Mercurio drove in the third run.
York pitcher Daniel Bock had allowed only two hits through three innings when he was ejected in the top of the fourth for running over catcher Connor MacDowell in a collision at the plate. High school rules require a runner to slide.
“Daniel’s a sophomore and he got caught up in the emotion of the game,” said York Coach Chuck Chadbourne. “He asked if he could apologize after the game.”
The Wildcats called on Aaron Todd to protect the lead. He gave up a run in the fourth, then pitched two scoreless innings before ace Adam Bailey came on to pitch the seventh.
“I knew he was going to be ejected as soon as I saw the play,” said Todd. “I knew I could get the job done, but I was a little shaky at first.
“I just concentrated on getting the ball over the plate and let my infielders do the rest.”
Todd, a four-year basketball star, said it was especially meaningful to beat Falmouth after losing to the Yachtsmen the last two years in the regional basketball final. The Wildcats have several basketball players on the baseball team.
“Feels real nice,” said Todd. “Zach (Leal) told me it felt like closure. We’ve been losing to them a lot.”
The Wildcats swung the bats aggressively. They added single runs in the sixth and seventh. Sophomore Cole Merritt had an RBI single in the sixth, and Leal doubled home a run in the seventh.
Falmouth had its chances but couldn’t come up with big hits.
“York is a good team,” said Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship. “They beat (top-seeded) Greely and us. You have to tip your hats to them. They got hot at the right time, and that’s what it takes in the playoffs.
“York came out with the mind-set of being aggressive. They attacked Thomas’ pitches. I thought Thomas settled down. We just didn’t get the big hit, and that’s what carried us last year in the playoffs.
“We had a great run over the last two seasons. We were 33-6. I feel bad for this group of seniors. We came in together (this is Winship’s fourth season). We gave it our best shot.”
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: