Thornton Academy teammates pose for pictures following their Class A South championship game victory over South Portland on Tuesday. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


Who: Thornton Academy (19-1) vs. Bangor (18-1)

When: 2 p.m.

Where: Morton Field, Augusta

Outlook: Thornton has never played in an MPA-sanctioned baseball state championship game. Bangor, meanwhile, is in its seventh state final in eight seasons, winning five straight from 2014-18. Thornton has the distinct pitching edge. Cody Bowker (9-0, 2 saves, 0.50 ERA, 90 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings) is available on Saturday. Bangor ace Colton Trisch (9-0) is not because of pitch limits. Bowker needed only 91 pitches to beat South Portland in the South final. Trisch needed 106 to beat Edward Little, 1-0, on Tuesday, putting him over the 95-pitch threshold that requires a fourth day of rest. Thornton also has junior lefty Josh Kopetski (8-0, 0.72 ERA, 61 Ks in 39 innings) rested and ready. Expect Bangor to use multiple pitchers, hoping to keep Thornton’s strong lineup from getting comfortable. Bowker leads off and is hitting .492 with 17 extra-base hits and 35 runs. Catcher Nic Frink (.439, team-high 25 RBI), third baseman John Rohner (.417, 18 RBI) and outfielder Christian Schaffer (.400) are also hitting .400 or better. Brady Graffam (.368) has a .500 on-base percentage. Brayden Williams (.293) has nine hits in the playoffs. For Bangor, Trisch, first baseman Luke Misbrenner, second baseman Keegan Cyr and outfielder Max Clark lead the offense. The Rams have 12 seniors looking to win their first state championship, having lost to South Portland in last year’s final, 3-2.

Steve Craig


Freeport players hold the regional championship plaque after defeating Greely, 2-1, in the Class B South baseball final on Tuesday. Drew Bonifant photo


Who: Freeport (16-4) vs. Ellsworth (18-1) 

When: 4:30 p.m.

Where: Ed Flaherty Field, University of Southern Maine, Gorham

Outlook: It’s a rematch of the 2019 championship game – a 2-0 Ellsworth victory. Freeport is in its third straight final and fourth in six seasons after again upsetting Greely in the South final. The Falcons got a terrific pitching performance from Blaine Cockburn to reach the championship game, and will look to Nathan Abbott as well as relievers Gus Wing and Zane Aguiar to carry the team to its first state title. Cockburn, Thomas Roy and Abbott also form the heart of the order for the Falcons. Ellsworth comes into the title game having won 11 in a row since a loss to Class A Brewer. The Eagles won the North title with a 3-2 walk-off win over defending champion Old Town. Craig Burnett, Michael Palmer, Hunter Curtis and Miles Palmer all batted over .400 for an Eagles team that hit .331 during the regular season. David Baugh (0.60 ERA) or Curtis (0.55) will likely start for Ellsworth.

Drew Bonifant

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