WATERVILLE — Of all the winners of the Dr. John Winkin Award, Jackson Coutts of Orono can make the case for having the closest ties to the award’s namesake.

Coutts was presented the award as the state’s top high school baseball player Friday.

Coutts’ father, Mike Coutts, played for Winkin at the University of Maine, then was an assistant coach under him with the Black Bears for a decade.

“It’s pretty special, seeing my dad played for Coach Winkin and he coached with him for awhile,” Coutts said. “They had a great relationship.”

A member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, Winkin, who died in 2014, coached at Colby before leading Maine to the College World Series six times. Winning the award that bears Winkin’s name is an honor, Coutts said, remembering meeting him one time.

“I knew him a little bit. I was pretty young,” Coutts said.

This spring, Coutts led Orono to the Class C state championship. His double to open the bottom of the seventh inning began the four-run rally that produced a 4-3 victory against Lisbon.

Coutts, who can pitch, catch and play the infield, was intentionally walked 25 times in 20 games, once with the bases loaded.

“It was pretty frustrating at first, then I adjusted to it. I kind of laughed at it. This year was unbelievable,” Coutts said. “Everybody behind me started to hit pretty well. I scored a lot of runs. It worked out for the best.”

Coutts said his father, now the UMaine softball coach, has been a big influence.

“He’d always do (batting practice) with me, play catch with me, hit ground balls, anything baseball whenever I asked. That was pretty helpful,” Coutts said.

Coutts will continue his baseball career at the University of Rhode Island.

Joining Coutts as finalists for the Winkin Award were Jared Brooks of Cheverus, Alex Maxsimic of Brewer, Trevor Labonte of York, Cam Guarino of Falmouth, Nate Howard of Erskine Academy, Zach Nash of Hermon, Dustin Crawford of Carrabec/Madison, Brandon Burnell of Sacopee Valley and Barrett Grant of Searsport.


SACOPEE VALLEY 5, BIDDEFORD 4: The Hawks scored the winning run in the ninth inning when Mike Murphy’s bunt with runners on first and second was thrown away, at South Hiram.

Biddeford took a 3-1 lead in the third with three unearned runs, but Sacopee Valley tied it in the fourth, including a Dylan Miner single to drive in Peter Cates.


DANBURY 5, SANFORD 2: Cooper Wallace allowed a pair of runs on four hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking two to lead the Westerners (6-7) past the Mainers (2-11) at Sanford.

J.T. Pittman hit a solo homer for Sanford in the sixth, and Harrison Ray added a double for the Mainers, who have dropped seven straight.


AERO HEATING AND VENTILATING 4, EDGE ACADEMY 2: Nate Cyr and David Lutz had back-to-back RBI singles in the second inning as Aero Heating and Ventilating (4-4) opened a 3-0 lead and held off Edge Academy (3-4) at South Portland.

Edge scored a run in its half of the second when Andrew Merlino singled home Bailey Train.


OLD ORCHARD BEACH 6, PUERTO RICO 2: Mike Davis homered and had three hits, and the Surge scored five runs in the seventh inning of an opener at Old Orchard Beach.

Davis’ homer in the fourth made it 1-1. The Islanders picked up a run in the sixth before Old Orchard put it away.


GORHAM 5, GREELY 1: William Prescott broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the third inning as Gorham (2-1) beat Greely (1-1) at Cumberland. Joe Curesky of Gorham allowed four hits, striking out eight.