CUMBERLAND—Yarmouth’s baseball team keeps rowing the boat downstream.

To victory after victory.

The red-hot Clippers, who have long played by the motto,’ Row the Boat,’ signifying hard work and teamwork, figured to get a stern test when they traveled to Twin Brook Recreation Center Monday afternoon to take on longtime rival/nemesis Greely, but instead, thanks to a brilliant hitting performance by junior shortstop Andrew Cheever, they rolled to an historic and stunningly decisive win.

Yarmouth set the tone in the top of the first inning, when Cheever singled leading off, sparking a four-run uprising, which featured RBI singles from senior third baseman Stevie Walsh, junior leftfielder Sam Lowenstein and a clutch, two-out, two-run single from senior centerfielder Jonny Cody.

The Rangers got an unearned back in the bottom half against Clippers senior starter Liam Hickey, but Yarmouth broke it open in the second, as Cheever delivered a two-run single, then scored an RBI hit from junior first baseman David Swift before two more runs came home on errors to stretch the lead to a commanding 9-1.

Cheever, who doubled in the third, then singled and scored another run, on a Swift RBI single, in the sixth and while Greely got a run back in the bottom half on an error, Cheever produced his fifth hit, an RBI single, in the seventh and the Clippers tacked on one more run on an error before going on to a 12-2 victory.


Cheever not only had a career-high in hits, he also drove in three runs and scored three times before coming on to pitch the final inning as Yarmouth won its sixth straight game, dropped the Rangers to 6-5 and in the process, beat Greely by a 10-run margin for the first time this century.

“I think we’re one of the best hitting teams in the league,” said Cheever. “We have a ton of skill with our bats and in the field. Our bats have come alive and we’re just rolling.”

The hits keep on coming

Yarmouth only played three games in the month of April, but has increased its activity (and win total) of late. After opening with a 4-1 setback at reigning regional champion Freeport, the Clippers blanked visiting Lake Region (1-0). After a 6-2 home loss to Fryeburg Academy, the calendar flipped to May and Yarmouth got going, blanking visiting York (5-0) and host Poland (14-0, in five-innings) and last week beating visiting Gray-New Gloucester (9-1) and Wells (8-1) and winning at Mt. Ararat (5-3).

Greely started with a 4-1 home win over Fryeburg Academy and after falling at home to Wells and Brunswick by 4-1 scores, bounced back to defeat host Gray-New Gloucester (10-0, in five-innings), Edward Little (5-4, in eight-innings) and Poland (12-1, in five-innings). After losing at home to Cape Elizabeth (4-3), the Rangers beat visiting Lake Region (11-1, in six innings) and host York by the same score (in five-innings). Friday, Greely was a strike away from handing host Cape Elizabeth its first loss, but ultimately lost a 10-inning thriller, 3-2.

Last year, the teams split, with Yarmouth winning at Greely (7-2) and the Rangers prevailing at the Clippers (2-0).


Greely had gone 15-3-1 in the teams’ last 19 meetings (see sidebar, below), but Monday was all Yarmouth offense, all the time.

Greely starter Ryder Simpson delivers a pitch to Yarmouth’s Matt Gautreau to start Monday’s contest, won by the Clippers, 12-2. Hoffer photos.

Greely starter Ryder Simpson started the game auspiciously, catching junior second baseman Matt Gautreau looking at strike three, but Cheever first made his presence felt with a line single the other way, to right-center. Simpson then appeared to have Cheever picked off, but he hadn’t stepped off the mound first and a balk was called, putting Cheever at second. Swift then hit a sharp grounder right at shortstop Marky Axelsen. The ball took a bad hop for a single, putting runners at the corners. After Swift stole second, Walsh lined a single just past the outstretched glove of second baseman Liam Coull to bring home Cheever to put Yarmouth ahead to stay. Swift had to make sure the ball got through, so he could only advance to third. Lowenstein was next and with Walsh running, he grounded the ball up the middle to score Swift and move Walsh to third. Lowenstein then stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but Simpson appeared poised to avoid further damage when he got junior designated hitter Jack Janczuk to fly out to shallow left. That brought up Cody, who produced the biggest hit of the inning, a ground ball single through the hole between short and third, scoring both Walsh and Lowenstein.

“Jonny Cody’s at-bat with two outs, we got some runners moving and that single was massive,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted.

Junior rightfielder Zach Ericson struck out, but the damage was done and the Clippers gave Hickey a 4-0 lead before he ever threw a pitch.

“We set the tone as a team,” Cheever said. “That inning got everyone going. It felt great to help Liam out because he helps us out a ton.”

“Liam’s such an excellent high school athlete,” Halsted said. “He’s going to compete no matter the score, so to give him four (runs) in the bag to start, that’s a really good feeling.”


Greely would have a chance to get back into the game in the bottom half and while it scored once, it wasn’t enough.

Yarmouth senior starter Liam Hickey fires a strike.

Catcher Wyatt Soucie led off with a ground ball toward Gautreau at second, but Gatureau stumbled and his throw to first was wide of the mark, allowing Soucie to take second. After a passed ball, third baseman Sam Almy then hit the ball hard, but right back at Hickey for the first out. Axelsen then grounded out to second, with Soucie easily scoring on the play. Simpson then helped himself with a single to center, but designated hitter Zach Vanni bounced into a second-to-shortstop force out to end the inning with the score 4-1.

Yarmouth put up another crooked number in the top of the second.

Junior catcher Graeme Roux got things started by battling back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk. Gautreau then beat out an infield single and when first baseman Alex Gamache couldn’t handle the throw, Roux went to third. Gautreau then stole second and Cheever’s second at-bat was even more productive than his first, as he singled into the hole to score both runners, making it 6-1.

Cheever, who had taken second on the throw home, then scored when Swift followed with an RBI single to left. Swift took second on the throw, then moved up to third on a wild pitch. After Walsh was plunked by a pitch, then stole second, Lowenstein grounded back to the mound, then Soucie made a terrific play racing into foul territory to catch a squeeze bunt off the bat of Janczuk, but Soucie’s throw to third, in an attempt to double up Swift, was wild and Swift came home on the error. Walsh then took third on a wild pitch and he’d score when Cody’s grounder to third was misplayed for the third error of the inning. Ericson flew out to left, but the Clippers had batted around and taken a 9-1 lead.

“I thought Yarmouth did a really good job hitting the ball hard, either ground balls or line drives,” said longtime Greely coach Derek Soule. “They didn’t try to do too much. They didn’t over-swing. You have to give them credit, but at the same time, we didn’t do a good enough job defensively. Once again, we gave the opposition some extra outs and paid dearly for it.”


Hickey had trouble with his control in the bottom half, but was bailed out by his defense.

After walking Gamache on a 3-2 pitch, Hickey got leftfielder Wes Piper to ground to short, where Cheever fielded the ball, fired to Gautreau at second and Gautreau threw on to Cheever at first for the double play. Hickey then walked Coull and worked the count full to number nine hitter, rightfielder Sam Carter, before inducing an inning-ending grounder to short.

Tyler Piesik came on to pitch in the third and got Roux to ground out to short and Gautreau to fly out to center, but Cheever lined a double down the leftfield line for his third hit to keep the inning going before Piesik got Swift to pop back to the mound.

In the bottom half, Hickey got Soucie to ground out to Gautreau, but Almy followed with a single down the leftfield line. That brought up Axelsen, who tried to give the Rangers a jolt with a deep fly ball to right-center that had extra bases written all over it, but Cody came from nowhere and after a long run, toppled and made the catch, saving at least one run.

“That was an unbelievable play,” said Halsted. “I’d love to have the Statcast, but Jonny might have covered 60 yards on that. Marky is such a good hitter and he’s a momentum guy for them. If that things falls in, they score a run, he gets to third, they’re feeling good.”

Simpson then grounded into a short-to-second force out to keep the score 9-1.


Piesik made quick work of Yarmouth in the fourth, getting Walsh to fly out center, Lowenstein to ground out to third, where Almy made a nice play moving to his left, then inducing a liner to short off the bat of Janczuk.

In the bottom half, Hickey walked Vanni, but got Gamache to ground out first to short and after a passed ball moved Gamache to second, Piesik popped up foul to Roux behind the plate before Coull ended the frame with a grounder to third.

In the fifth, after Cody struck out leading off, Ericson reached on an error by Axelsen, but Axelsen caught a pop-up off the bat of Roux, then Gautreau grounded into a third-to-second force out.

In the bottom half, Hickey kept momentum on the Clippers’ side by fanning Carter, getting Soucie to ground back to the mound and Almy to bounce out to short.

Yarmouth junior David Swift lines a hit.

Cheever then sparked another rally in the top of the sixth with his fourth hit, a single down the leftfield line. After Cheever stole second, Swift singled to right, putting runners at the corners before Walsh walked to load the bases.

Coull came on in relief and with senior pinch-hitter Truman Peters at the plate, he threw a wild pitch to score Cheever, but he got Peters to ground back to the mound and threw home where Soucie tagged out senior courtesy runner Roman Solmos. After Janczuk struck out swinging, Cody lined out to third to keep the score 10-1.


In the process, Greely continued an amazing streak of not losing a game via the 10-run mercy rule. The last time that fate befell the Rangers was a 10-0 (five-inning) loss at Gorham nearly 21 years ago to the day (May 16, 2002).

Greely then scored an unearned run in the bottom half, Hickey’s final frame.

Axelsen led off with a single to left, then he took second when Keeler Vogt pinch-hit and grounded back to Hickey. After pinch-hitter Jerik Phillips drew a walk, Gamache fanned, but Piesik beat out an infield single and an error on the play allowed Axelsen to come home with a run. Greely hoped for more, but Hickey got Coull to chase strike three.

Yarmouth kept the pressure on in the seventh and tacked on two insurance runs.

After junior pinch-hitter Aaron Mason greeted reliever Neil Perkinson with a single up the middle, Roux grounded into a pitcher-to-shortstop force out and was replaced by junior courtesy runner Ian O’Connor. After Gautreau walked, Cheever strode to the plate for his final at-bat and delivered his career high fifth hit, a single up the middle to score O’Connor.

Yarmouth junior Andrew Cheever lines an RBI single in the seventh inning, his fifth hit of the game.

“I think I had a couple four-hit games before, but never a five,” Cheever said. “The other day, I had a bad game and after the game, I grinded in the cage for two-and-a-half hours or something, just working on little things. I finally figured out to just keep it simple and get the barrel down and smack the ball. I was coming up with four hits and I was not going to go 4-for-5, so I was determined to get another one. It felt great.”


On the play, an error in the outfield allowed Gautreau to score as well and Cheever to move to second. He’d be stranded, however, as Swift flew out to right, then Walsh gave the ball a ride deep to right where it was caught as well, keeping the score 12-2.

As if he hadn’t done enough already, Cheever then came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh and made quick work of the Rangers.

Andrew Cheever throws a strike in his inning of relief.

After getting Carter to ground out to short, Cheever got Soucie to line out to left on the first pitch he saw before fanning Almy to bring the curtain down on the victory.

“I had a sense I was coming in after going to the bullpen,” said Cheever. “It was good to finish it up.”

“Derek and I have been at it together for a long time and have seen every variation of a game,” Halsted said. “Greely has great players. I know the next time we play it’s going to be 3-2.”

Cheever had the game of his life so far with four singles, a double, three runs scored and three RBI. He also stole a base.


“We expect that out of Andrew because Andrew expects that out of himself,” said Halsted. “That’s a guy you want to coach. He believes he can do it. Belief gets you a third of the way there.”

Swift added three hits, scored two runs and had an RBI.

Gautreau and Walsh also scored twice, while Lowenstein, O’Connor and Roux touched home once apiece.

Cody had two RBI, while Lowenstein and Walsh added one apiece.

Yarmouth finished with 13 hits.

“We went to Florida and practiced a lot down there, but there’s nothing better than seeing live pitching,” Halsted said. “Then, we saw live pitching in 43 degree weather. We needed to get better. Now, we’ve had good weather, quality reps and we’re comfortable.”


The Clippers left seven runners on, but stole five bases.

Hickey improved to 3-1 after giving up two unearned runs on five hits in six innings of work. He walked an uncharacteristic four batters and struck out three.

“(Liam) wasn’t completely sharp and he was disappointed in himself and that’s why I love Liam Hickey,” Halsted said. “He came out of a game up 10-2 and he was upset with his performance. He’ll go back to work in the bullpen Wednesday and get better.”

Cheever pitched one perfect inning of relief, striking out one.

Too many mistakes

For Greely, Axelsen and Soucie scored runs and Axelsen had an RBI.


The Rangers left six runners on and more importantly, committed five errors.

“It seemed like Yarmouth was in first-and-third time after time after time,” Soule said. “That put a lot of pressure on us defensively.

“Our energy level was not great today and I think that disappointed me the most. It didn’t seem like we were ready to compete. These guys are 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids, so I think they can muster up energy despite Friday being a high-intensity game and a lot of them had the big Prom weekend, but that’s no excuse. We only get 16 games and you only get to play Yarmouth, your border-town rival, twice a year. I’m sad for the guys that we had a rivalry game and we didn’t bring the intensity.”

Simpson took the loss after giving up nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits in two innings of work. He walked one and struck out two.

“Ryder was having trouble getting the ball low,” Soule said. “He left the ball waist-high a lot. Against a good-hitting team, I don’t care what you have for stuff, you’re going to pay. He’s pitched really well in his few starts, so maybe he was a little amped up today.”

Piesik gave up one run on three hits in three-plus innings of relief, walking one and fanning one.


Coull retired all three batters he faced, striking out one.

Perkinson surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits in his inning of work. He walked one.

Aiming for the top

Greely (currently fifth in the Class B South Heal Points standings) plays just once more this week, Tuesday, at Freeport, as it completes its tour of top rivals.

“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves with another game tomorrow,” said Soule.

Yarmouth, meanwhile, will go to Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, then hosts Poland Friday and Freeport next Monday before going to Class A power Oxford Hills the following day. The Clippers were second behind Cape Elizabeth in the region at press time.


“All-around, I think we’re super-solid,” Cheever said. “Once we get going, there’s no stopping us. We just have to focus on the little things and keep things simple and keep hitting the ball.”

“We have highly competitive kids who happen to be pretty good at baseball,” Halsted said. “They love to compete in all sports. They’re so much fun to be around. They’re excited to come to practice, they’re excited to be on the bus, excited to go play.

“I think baseball is better fundamentally right now than I’ve seen in a long time. Everybody can go get it in the outfield, there’s athletes everywhere, you have guys who can pick it up and put ’em out. It’s really good right now. I’ve got a 10-year-old and a 12-year-old and we’ve got baseball every night, so I should be worn out, but I can’t wait to get to the ballpark with this group. It’s so much fun.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

Recent Greely-Yarmouth meetings

Yarmouth 7 @ Greely 2
Greely 2 @ Yarmouth 0

@ Greely 2 Yarmouth 0
@ Yarmouth 12 Greely 8
Greely 13 @ Yarmouth 3

Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 1
@Greely 6 Yarmouth 5


@ Greely 13 Yarmouth 2 (5)
@ Yarmouth 3 Greely 2

Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 2
@ Greely 4 Yarmouth 1

Greely 4 Yarmouth 4 (9-inning tie)
Class B South quarterfinal
@ Greely 2 Yarmouth 0

Greely 11 @ Yarmouth 2
Western B quarterfinal
@ Greely 4 Yarmouth 3 (9)

@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 4
Western B quarterfinal
@ Greely 4 Yarmouth 0

Greely 10 @ Yarmouth 7 (8)
@ Greely 1 Yarmouth 0


Greely 3 Yarmouth 1 (@ OOB)
@ Yarmouth 4 Greely 3

@ Greely 5 Yarmouth 4
@ Yarmouth 6 Greely 5
Western B Final
Greely 7 Yarmouth 5

Yarmouth 5 @ Greely 4
@ Yarmouth 4 Greely 2

Greely 8 @ Yarmouth 7
@ Greely 6 Yarmouth 5

@ Greely 6 Yarmouth 5
Greely 11 @ Yarmouth 3
Western B quarterfinals
Yarmouth 9 @ Greely 2

Greely 7 @ Yarmouth 4
@ Greely 2 Yarmouth 0


@ Greely 9 Yarmouth 0
@ Greely 2 Yarmouth 0
Western B quarterfinals
@ Greely 12 Yarmouth 2 (6)

@ Greely 8 Yarmouth 1
Greely 3 @ Yarmouth 1

Greely 9 @ Yarmouth 1
@ Greely 8 Yarmouth 0

@ Greely 6 Yarmouth 5
Greely 4 @ Yarmouth 3

@ Greely 11 Yarmouth 11 (tie)
Western B preliminary round
Yarmouth 8 @ Greely 5 (8)

Comments are not available on this story.