STANDISH – Messalonskee was going nowhere midway through the season. The Eagles were 5-5 and struggling.

Ten games later, the Eagles are the Class A state baseball champions after beating Scarborough 6-3 on Saturday at St. Joseph’s College.

The Eagles held a team meeting at the midway point of the season. They didn’t lose again.

“The meeting cleared the air,” said senior Sam Dexter. “We played hard the rest of the way and got rewarded.”

The reward, a state baseball trophy, was glowing in the sunlight as the players held it aloft. It was Messalonskee’s first Class A title. The Eagles (15-5) won a Class B title in 1973.

Scarborough (17-3) had a 2-0 lead through three innings as right-hander Ben Greenberg retired the first nine batters.

Freshman Jake Dexter got Messalonskee’s first hit, leading off the fourth. That seemed to open the floodgates for the Eastern Maine champion and begin Scarborough’s demise.

The Red Storm followed with three errors in the inning and finished with seven for the game. The Eagles capitalized, scoring four runs in the fourth. The errors kept coming for the Red Storm. Messalonskee scored two more in the sixth with Scarborough committing three more miscues.

“We know Scarborough didn’t play their best game. We just feel fortunate we were able to capitalize,” said Sam Dexter. “We got some breaks but that’s baseball. We were just trying to get men on base. All season long we had the feeling that one hit could break games open.”

Sophomore Devin Warren allowed only three hits and struck out five. Scarborough Coach Mike Coutts said his team had trouble with off-speed pitchers all season.

“He kept us off balance,” said Coutts. “All season long our Achilles’ heel was that we didn’t hit guys’ off-speed. Scarborough’s performance, to say the least, was unrecognizable. That wasn’t our team.

“It happened so quickly. We made 11 errors in 16 games during the regular season.”

After Jack Dexter singled to left in the fourth, Trevor Gettig tried to bunt but popped it to catcher Conor McCann. Sam Dexter followed with a ground smash to Jack Cronin at short. Cronin bobbled it but still nearly threw out Dexter at first.

Travis St. Pierre then singled to right to score the younger Dexter. Sam Dexter scored when a throw sailed into right field. Reid Nutter singled home another run and the fourth run scored on a throwing error.

“We just didn’t make the plays,” said Cronin. “You can’t win making seven errors. I can’t explain it. I thought we had it when we were leading 2-0.

“We didn’t hold it together. Their pitcher kept us off balance. There was nothing we could do.”

Dexter started a 6-4-3 double play in the fifth. Dexter, headed to the University of Southern Maine in the fall, made a diving stab in the hole and threw to his brother at second, who relayed it to first.

“In four years of coaching Sam, he has shown me some incredible plays. That was another,” said Messalonskee Coach Ray Bernier.

Both of Scarborough’s runs were the result of leadoff walks. Warren settled down after that.

“My curveball starting working in the middle innings,” said Warren. “I was locating my fastball and my change-up was helping. I knew that I had to focus and hit my spots. This feel great.” 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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