Lisbon baserunner Levi Levesque gets picked off at second by Sacopee Valley’s Kaleb Cox on Wednesday in Standish. (Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal)

STANDISH – Defense for the Lisbon High School baseball team has stood tall throughout an undefeated season.

On Wednesday in the Class C South regional final against No. 6 Sacopee Valley at Saint Joseph’s College, the Greyhounds committed a season-high four errors.

But it was the plays the Lisbon defense made that turned out to be the difference in a 4-3 victory, as the top-seeded Greyhounds advanced to their second State Class C championship game in three seasons.

Lisbon will face C North champion Orono (a 3-2 winner over Fort Kent) on Saturday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor at 2 p.m. in a rematch of the 2017 title game won by Orono.

A four-run Lisbon rally in the third inning erased an early 3-0 Hawks lead, and Greyhound hurler Lucas Francis and Sacopee righty Dylan Miner worked out of trouble throughout.

The first key defensive play for Lisbon came in the fifth inning. Hawks leadoff hitter Brandon Capano sprinted from first base on a long double to the left-field wall by Austin Eastman. Left-fielder Daytona McIver threw to shortstop DJ Douglass, who pivoted quickly and fired a strike to catcher Justin Le to nail Capano at the plate, keeping the Greyhounds in the lead.

“He looked a lot closer than he was, and luckily the throw was right on the money and we have a good catcher that brought it down and made the tag,” said Douglass, who committed two errors that didn’t cost the Greyhounds. “After that, we had so much momentum, in the dugout and with the fans. It would have been a lot of harder if we had lost.”

“Those errors didn’t hurt us, and the key play was Daytona to DJ to Le to get that tying run out. That lifted us,” Lisbon (19-0) coach Randy Ridley added.

In the sixth, Sacopee Valley (12-7) No. 9 hitter Matt Day reached on a one-out error, moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third base with two outs. Miner drove a Francis offering to left-center field that Lisbon center-fielder Noah Austin ran down, falling backwards after the catch to end the inning.

“Noah made a great catch. We made enough plays to win the game,” said Ridley.

Lisbons bench erupts after defeating Sacopee Valley, 4-3, on Wednesday in the Class C South regional final at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, (Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal)

Hawks lead

Sacopee Valley wasn’t shy about swinging the bats early. Capano singled on Francis’ first pitch of the game, and two pitches later Miner drove a triple to right-center field for a quick 1-0 Hawks lead. Isaac Stocks plated Miner with a sacrifice fly ball, giving Sacopee a 2-0 edge.

Miner started strong, with a double play in the second keeping his team in the lead by two.

In the third, Lisbon’s first two errors allowed Miner to score Sacopee’s third run.

However Miner lost his control to begin Lisbon’s third at-bat, walking Le and McIver on eight straight pitches. Hunter Brissette followed by driving a 2-2 pitch to the right-center field gap for a two-run triple to get Lisbon on the board.

“The pitch was right on the outside corner and I tried to hit it to the gap in right field,” said Brissette, who was 2-for-3.

Austin tied the game with a double to right. Francis followed with an RBI single to left, and in a blink the Greyhounds had a 4-3 lead.

“That inning seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game and we held them from there,” Brissette said.

Miner threw 33 pitches in the third inning, his only tough frame as he finished with a complete game on 83 pitches with six strikeouts and three walks.

“Miner is a heck of a pitcher,” said Ridley, who talked about Francis after his complete-game seven hitter with four strikeouts and no walks. “Lucas threw a great game. He adjusted to their big guns.”

For Sacopee, it was the one inning that got away from the Hawks and the missed opportunities down the stretch that ultimately cost them.

“That one inning, but as a team we didn’t get enough hits throughout the lineup and fell short,” said Hawks coach Kevin Miner. “I am happy with the boys. They wanted it. Lisbon just beat us.”

Dylan Miner, Capano and McGwire Sawyer each had two hits for Sacopee Valley. Austin was 2-for-3 for Lisbon, with Douglass and Levi Levesque adding a single each.


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