Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Paul Betit firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA - Saco came out of the losers' bracket for the third consecutive year Wednesday night to advance into a Little League baseball state championship game.
Saco scored 10 runs in the first inning to coast to a 15-3 victory against Brewer in the state tournament for 11- and 12-year-olds at Linscott Field.
Saco will play unbeaten Bayside of Portland on Thursday for the second time in the double-elimination tournament.
If Saco wins, the teams will play again Friday night for the state championship.
Nine of the 12 Saco players won state championships while in Little League state tournaments for under-9 and under-10 players.
"That experience definitely helps in big moments," Saco Manager Todd Duchaine said.
Saco took a 10-2 lead in the first inning on seven hits, two errors and two walks.
During that opening inning, Brogan Searle-Belanger whacked a bases-loaded triple into the right-field corner, and Matt Duchaine and Anthony Brachamer each hit two-run singles.
Brewer, which scored in the bottom of the sixth Tuesday night to pull out a 7-6 victory against Waldo County to stave off elimination, took a short-lived 2-0 lead when Kobe Rogerson led off the game with a home run and Zade Steiger drove in a run with a single.
Daniel Sprague made it 10-3 in the second inning when he lined a home run over the center-field fence.
Mike Bourgault belted a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 12-3 and the game ended because of the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth on Luke Chessie's three-run homer.
Timmy Smith pitched three innings of two-hit shutout relief to earn the win.
Lawden Heidrich and Searle-Belanger each had two hits.
Losing pitcher Josiah Cyr singled twice.
Saco fell into the losers' bracket Monday night when Will Sprague belted a three-run homer in the first inning to lead Bayside to a 4-1 victory. Bayside is 3-0 in the tournament.
"We lost to Bayside a couple of nights ago and every year we've been in the state tournament, we lost a game," Todd Duchaine said. "That wasn't new to us and it just reminded (the players) that it is a double-elimination tournament, and they bounced back and played well tonight."
It was Saco's second win against Brewer, which finished the tournament with a 2-2 record.
Saco opened the six-team tournament Friday night with a 13-0 win against Brewer.
In four games in the tournament, Saco has outscored its opponents by a 37-9 margin.
The state champion will advance to the Eastern regional tournament, which will be held Aug. 2-11 in Bristol, Conn.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: