FALMOUTH — For six innings on Saturday, it looked as if the Thornton Academy baseball team would head into the offseason thinking about missed chances. The Golden Trojans had stranded nine runners without one crossing the plate.

But the Trojans scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pull out a 3-2 win over Falmouth, the top seed in the Class A South playoffs and the No. 1 team in the Varsity Maine baseball poll. It was the 10th straight victory for No. 4 Thornton (13-5), the defending state champion. The Trojans will take on No. 2 South Portland (15-3) in the regional final Tuesday at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

The loss snapped Falmouth’s winning streak at 16 games, as the Navigators end their season at 16-2.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when Falmouth’s Jacoby Porter drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Miles Gay. The Navigators added another run in the sixth when Brennan Rumpf scored on Peyton Mitchell’s sharp single past drawn-in third baseman Owen Critchley.

Falmouth lefty Eli Cowperthwaite, meanwhile, was three outs away from a shutout, having slipped out of bases-loaded jams in the second and sixth innings.

With one out in the seventh, Thornton’s Evan Beaudette reached on an infield single to the shortstop hole. Jeremiah Chessie went to the plate thinking about a tying home run. Instead, his swinging bunt was perfectly placed down the third-base line for a single.


“(Cowperthwaite) had pitched me so many curveballs in a row, and I was sitting curveball. I tried to tie it up with that one swing. (But it) turned out to do the job,” Chessie said. “The team came up clutch. We knew we had to stick with our approach. … We know what we have to do to score.”

After Brayden Williams walked to load the bases, pinch hitter Jacob Fish hit a ground ball to second. But Rumpf’s throw to get the force at second base went into the outfield, allowing two runs to score and Williams to go to third base. Joshua Penney’s sacrifice fly to center drove in Williams with the go-ahead run.

“The big at-bat was Fish. It’s a lefty on lefty, and it’s a tough at-bat for him. He doesn’t play every day, and him just putting it in play put pressure on them, and it was the key,” said Thornton Coach Jason Lariviere.

Freshman Beck Edgerly earned the save, allowing just one runner when he hit Ethan Hendry with one out in the seventh. Jack Nussbaum got the win in relief of starter Josh Kopetski.

Falmouth Coach Mike D’Andrea credited Thornton for its comeback.

“The ball off their bat was falling in. You get a swinging bunt, a perfect bunt, down the third-base line. But that’s baseball. You put the ball in play, good things happen, and they did that,” D’Andrea said.

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