STANDISH – Heath Cockburn had it going on the hill for the Freeport High School baseball team at Saint Joseph’s College on Tuesday.

Freeport pitcher Blaine Cockburn delivers a pitch against York on Tuesday during the Class B South regional baseball final at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish. Cockburn tossed 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief in the Falcons’ 2-1 victory. (Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald)

Through 4 2/3 innings, the junior right-hander had seven strikeouts and had held top-seeded York to just five hits and a run, holding a 2-1 lead.

Still, first-year Freeport coach Kyle Goodich made his way to the mound, signaling for lefty freshman Blaine Cockburn to come in from right field to take over for his older brother.

Was the stage too big for the youngster? Was York going to break it open?

Think again, as the younger Cockburn struck out four of the seven Wildcat hitters he faced over the final 2 1/3 frames of hitless baseball as Freeport, the No. 3 seed in Class B South, came away with a narrow 2-1 win.

Now the Falcons (16-3) are off to the State Class B title game for the second time in four seasons and will face either Ellsworth or Brewer back at Saint Joseph’s College on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

For Goodrich, the decision to go with his freshman was a no-brainer.

“We trust Blaine and he is absolutely fearless on that mound,” said the Freeport coach. “Blaine is charismatic. When he is on that mound, whatever he touches just turns to gold.”

“I have a different mindset, and I don’t take into consideration that I am freshman,” said Blaine Cockburn, who threw 25 pitches and combined with his brother for 11 strikeouts and no walks. “I will remember this save for the rest of my life, saving it for Heath.”

Freeport started out well against York pitcher J. Henry Boch, who entered the contest with an 8-0 record and a sub-1.00 earned-run average this year. Heath Cockburn reached on the game’s only error and stole second in the first. He didn’t score, but Boch wasn’t as fortunate over the next two frames.

In the second, Eriksen Shea tripled inside the right-field line with one out and scored on a ground ball by Kempton Von-Glinsky-Gregoire for a 1-0 Freeport lead.

The Falcons doubled their lead in the third. Heath Cockburn singled and stole his second base. Toby Holt ripped a single to left field to make for a 2-0 game.

Freeport players and coaches cheer heading into the final inning of Tuesday’s Class B South baseball regional final at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish. The Falcons downed top-seeded York , 2-1, to advance to Saturday’s State Class B championship. (Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald)

“We really wanted to get more, and you might not think that those two early runs will hold up. But today it did,” said Holt, a senior who was 1-for-3.

“We hadn’t seen Boch (complete game, five hits, two earned runs, one strikeout, 63 pitches) this year, but we tried the hit and run, which kept their catcher back a little. Hit and run didn’t work, but we were able to run the bases well,” Goodrich said after his team stole four bases.

After allowing back-to-back singles in the first to York’s Shane Pidgeon and Dawson Gundlah, a double play allowed Heath Cockburn to escape the opening inning. He retired the Wildcats in order in both the second and third frames, and entered the fourth having set down seven straight York hitters.

But, Pidgeon (2-for-3) doubled to left to lead off the fourth, and a bit of wildness from the Freeport starter (two wild pitches) allowed the York senior to score. With pinch runner Camden Cummings at second with one out, Heath Cockburn struck out the final two hitters of the fourth to shut the door.

Two more strikeouts began the fifth, but a single by No. 9 hitter Alex Nielson ended Heath Cockburn’s day on the mound.

In came Blaine Cockburn, who struck out York’s leadoff hitter Riley Linn to keep his Falcons in the lead.

“They get into a rhythm and it allows us to stay in a rhythm,” said Holt of his teammates’ ability to pitch quickly.

“I felt really good today, just pounding the zone,” said Heath Cockburn of his seven-strikeout performance. “I had been feeling some elbow pain the last few weeks, but worked in some new stretches and that worked. Today, it was the fastball, with a few sliders.

“I worked these guys once, and I was coming into that third time and we went to Blaine. It worked.”

Boch kept his team in it, working around a single by Gabe Wagner in the sixth and a base-knock from Liam Holt in the seventh.

But, York failed to figure out Blaine Cockburn, who struck out the first two batters of the seventh before a fly ball to center field ended it.

“The ‘Cockburn combo’ was phenomenal,” said Goodrich. “They were both 100 percent all in.”

“It is great to have a chance, and to have maybe even a better team than we had three years ago,” added Toby Holt.

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