STANDISH — Three times in the regular season, Greely High’s baseball team defeated Freeport.

There wouldn’t be a fourth Greely win. Ninth-seeded Freeport scored all its runs in the fourth inning and rode a strong pitching performance from junior lefty Blaine Cockburn and two relievers Wednesday night to beat second-seeded Greely, 4-1, for the Class B South title at Mahaney Diamond at St. Joseph’s College.

The victory lifted the Falcons (14-6) to the Class B state championship game against Old Town at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium. It’s the second straight regional title for Freeport, which also won 2016.

“This can’t be enough,” said Freeport’s first-year coach, Steve Shukie. “It’s obviously very exciting but … We can’t be satisfied. We’ve got to be hungry to get that first state title.”

All six of Freeport’s losses this year came to the top two seeds in Class B South, Yarmouth and Greely. But Shukie deliberately did not pitch Cockburn in any of the games against Greely. “We saw this one coming early in the year,” he said. “We knew we’d have to get through them to get to the states.”

Cocburn went 5 1/3 innings before being pulled as he approached the 110-max pitch count (he threw 106). He allowed five hits while striking out six. When he left, the Rangers had finally scored and had the bases loaded.

Zane Aguiar came in and got ended the threat on a liner and groundout.

Freeport broke through in the fourth against Greely’s Zach Johnston, getting four of its six hits.

The Falcons loaded the bases with no outs, and Kempton von Glinsky-Gregoire slashed a two-run double to right. Nathan Abbott followed with a sacrifice fly. Colin Cronin drove in the fourth run with a two-out single to right.

“With this pitching matchup, we anticipated a low-scoring, grind-it-out type of game where one inning, or one bad inning, could be the difference,” said Greely Coach Derek Soule.

And it was. Greely (16-4) load the bases with nobody out in each of the last two innings but scored only once.

Abbott came in to pitch the final inning and, after the Rangers loaded the bases on two hits and a walk, got a strikeout and a game-ending double play.

“Awesome,” said Abbott. “The accomplishment and the team chemistry we built getting here is incredible and I think that’s going to be the difference, how tight and how close this team is. I think that’s going to take us all the way.”

 


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