STANDISH – Harry Ridge pitched a complete game five-hit shutout to lead Cheverus High School over Westbrook High School in the Western Maine championship game at the Larry Mahaney Baseball Diamond on the campus of St. Joseph’s College on Wednesday afternoon.

With the win, top-seeded Stags (17-2) advance to the state championship game Saturday in Augusta. The second-seeded Blue Blazes finish the year at 16-3.

The contest was a pitchers duel throughout as both Ridge and Westbrook senior pitcher Sean Murphy were impressive throughout the afternoon. Cheverus plated both of their runs in the fourth inning. Leading off the inning, second baseman Nick Melville reached on an infield single. Joey Royer followed Melville and reached by taking a Murhpy fastball off the hip.

The Stags used a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Flaherty and a sacrifice fly to left field by Jack Bushey to score Melville. Ridge helped his own cause by lacing a double to right field to score Royer, giving the Stags the 2-0 advantage.

Ridge escaped serious trouble unscathed in both the top of the third and fifth innings. In the third inning with one out, Westbrook sophomore Keenen Lowe reached second on a two-base error by Cheverus center fielder Spencer Cooke.

Joe Quinlan followed with a walk, but Ridge was able to escape the jam with a ground out and a strike out. ??In the fifth inning, the Blue Blazes got back-to-back singles by designated hitter Matt Weimer and Keenan Lowe to lead off the inning. With two outs and runners on second and third, Scott Heath worked a walk to load the bases, but Ridge induced a groundball to shortstop Louis Distasio which resulted in a force out at second base, and the rally was extinguished.

Ridge effectively changed locations and mixed speeds to keep the Blazes at bay most of the afternoon. He struck out five, his defense was solid behind him, and he got clutch outs when he needed them. The Blue Blazes left 10 runners on base.

Murphy was equally impressive on the mound for the Blazes. In a gutsy effort, Murphy held the Stags to seven hits, and struck out four batters, including two in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cheverus was threatening to add some insurance runs. Murphy ended the sixth inning by striking out Spencer Cooke to leave the bases full of Stags.