Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
OLD ORCHARD BEACH — First Title of Cheverus was sailing along, one out away from the American Legion baseball state title when Pastime of Lewiston staged a typical rally.
First Title’s Harry Ridge, No. 18, gets a big welcome at home after scoring the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Drew Ferrick in the bottom of the ninth at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach on Monday.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
John Ewing/Staff Photographer First Title’s Harry Ridge, the winning pitcher Monday, was named to the all-tourney team, along with teammates Nic Lops, Tyler Flaherty, Louie DiStasio and Drew Ferrick.
WHERE: The Ballpark, Old Orchard Beach
MAINE TEAMS' OPENERS:
• First Title vs. R.I. champ, 4:30 p.m. Thursday
• Fayette-Staples vs. Connecticut champ, following
Cheverus then staged its own comeback to win the Legion title, 5-4, Monday at The Ballpark and gain a berth in the Northeast Regional tournament, which starts here Thursday.
Drew Ferrick, who was named to the all-tourney team, lofted a fly ball to right field in the bottom of the ninth, scoring winning pitcher Harry Ridge with the clinching run on the sacrifice fly.
It was a situation a hitter relishes and Ferrick went to the plate against lefthander Corbin Hyde with one thing in mind.
"I wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere," said Ferrick.
"Coach Mac McKew told me to be aggressive at the plate. It wasn't easy coming back after yesterday's game, but we kept our focus," he said.
The game was a resumption of Sunday's game, which was called after six innings because of thunder showers. First Title led 4-2 after six.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Lewiston had to move its outfielders in. Ferrick's fly ball wasn't stung, but it served its purpose as Ridge scored easily.
Right fielder Joe Sullivan's throw was late and wide.
"I saw the right fielder back up and when I was close to first, I turned my head to see if Harry scored," said Ferrick.
First Title will play Woonsocket, R.I., Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Fayette-Staples of Saco is in the tournament as the host team. They play the Connecticut state champion after the First Title-Woonsocket game.
Lewiston got a runner on in each of the seventh and eighth innings. In the ninth, Ridge got the first two out, but walked Mekae Hyde. Corbin Hyde then doubled to the gap in left center, scoring Hyde. Shawn Ricker followed with a double in almost the same spot, tying the game.
In Sunday's opening game, Lewiston scored two runs in the ninth to beat Post 51 of Messalonskee.
"We may not have the best hitting team, but we don't quit. That's kind of the way we've been all season. We had our best pitcher out there. Some of the calls didn't go our way, but give First Title credit, they're a heck of team," said Lewiston Coach Todd Cifelli.
"Monday was a long, hard day. All I asked the kids was give me everything they had and they did," he said.
In the bottom of the ninth, Nic Lops singled up the middle for First Title. He was forced at second on a ground ball by Ridge, who beat the throw to first. Hyde then walked the next two batters to load the bases.
Ferrick took a hard cut, fouling off the first pitch. Moments later, he brought home the winning run, later acknowledging it was his biggest at-bat in high school and Legion.
Ferrick was joined on the all-tourney team by teammates Nic Lops, Tyler Flaherty, Louie DiStasio and Ridge.
DiStasio, who had 10 hits in the tournament and pitched three games, was named the tournament's MVP and won the Sid Schwartz Trophy, named for the late state tournament director.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: email@example.com