It wasn’t a good year to be a high seed in the Class A baseball state tournament.

In Western Maine, the top three seeds have been eliminated. The last to go was No. 1 Deering, which lost to No. 4 Westbrook 7-6 on Saturday at Hadlock Field.

No. 2 Scarborough and No. 3 Bonny Eagle lost in the quarterfinals on Friday. The results weren’t a big surprise, because the conference has been wide open the entire season.

Meanwhile, top-ranked Bangor and No. 2 Cony both fell Saturday in the Eastern Maine semifinals. Bangor, previously undefeated, lost 2-0 to No. 4 Brewer, and Cony was edged by third-ranked Oxford Hills, 10-9.

The Western Maine final will pit Westbrook against No. 7 Biddeford at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College. Biddeford advanced with a 7-2 win over No. 6 Windham.

While Westbrook entered the playoffs as the fourth seed after an up and down season, the Blue Blazes were the preseason favorite because of their strong pitching, with left-hander Scott Heath and right-hander Sean Murphy, along with a strong returning nucleus that included Zach Collett and brothers Zach and Jake Gardiner.

Murphy has only pitched a few innings because of shoulder problems, which have improved enough to allow him to see relief duty. He got the final two outs in relief of Matt Weimer against Deering.

The combination of not having Murphy available and newcomers blending into the lineup resulted in the Blazes taking three-quarters of the season to find their stride. Now that they have, they look strong. Murphy has made a major contribution at the plate as the designated hitter.

Because there are three days off between the regional final and state final, the Blazes have the luxury of going with Heath as their starter the rest of the way if they make it past Biddeford, which has emerged as the Cinderella team.


WESTBROOK THIRD BASEMAN Jake Gardiner was treated for a bloody nose after the win over Deering. In the exuberance of the postgame celebration, a teammate whacked Gardiner.

Gardiner drove in two runs with doubles and made the final out on a high chop that he caught and fired to first with the tying run on third.


THE LEWISTON boys’ tennis team had not lost an MPA-sanctioned match since early in the 2003 season, a span that included 119 consecutive victories and seven Class A state titles.

When the streak finally ended Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Windham, Lewiston Coach Ron Chicoine could not have been more gracious.

“I think we were lucky to get by you last year,” Chicoine told the boys from Windham in a postmatch ceremony outside the Wales-Alfond tennis courts at Colby College in Waterville.

Chicoine went on to declare Windham the best team in the state … until catching a glimpse of the team that had just arrived to play the Class C final, the unbeaten boys of Waynflete.

Chicoine quickly amended his description of Windham to “certainly, the best team in Class A.”

The remark brought a smile to the face of Waynflete Coach Jeff Madore, who had accepted an invitation to scrimmage Windham between the end of the regular season and the playoffs, only to have it fall through because of conflicts on both sides.

“Oh, they heard Ron’s comments,” Madore said of his players, who included the top three seeds in the state singles tournament, Brandon Thompson, Patrick Ordway and Devin Van Dyke. “They said, ‘Let’s play those guys!’ “


MATT GILMAN, a Cape Elizabeth freshman, won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles to lead the Capers over Camden Hills for the Class B state title, but in his family it qualified as only the second-best athletic performance of the weekend. Younger brother Luke, a seventh-grader, ended Little League playoff games with walk-off home runs both Friday and Sunday. Each came with two outs and his team trailing by a run.


SONJA FREY, the Gorham girls’ coach, made her first trip to the Class A tennis finals in her 25th year. Only two seniors, Hannah Shorty at second singles and Sarah Robinson at first doubles, will be lost to graduation, so Gorham has a chance to return next spring.

If so, the likely opponent would be five-time defending state champ Lewiston, which proved adept at chasing down balls that normally don’t come back.

“Lewiston,” Frey said with a tone of exasperation, “has an MBA on how to keep the ball in play.”


– Staff Writers Tom Chard and Glenn Jordan contributed to this report.