Greely third baseman Marky Axelsen waits for a throw at third during a game against Yarmouth on Wednesday in Cumberland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

When he was making the play from third base, Marky Axelsen said he didn’t think it was all that remarkable.

The Greely High School senior certainly didn’t think it would get him on national television, in the “Daily Top 10 Plays” segment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

“In the moment, it honestly didn’t feel like a crazy play. But everyone was freaking out so I assumed it looked really cool,” said Axelsen, a four-year varsity starter.

Early Tuesday morning Axelsen’s mother, Nichole, woke him up so they could see the play on ESPN, which highlights noteworthy plays from sports at all levels on a daily basis.

The play – which came in a baseball game Monday in Auburn against Edward Little – was originally No. 2 and later was posted as No. 3 on SportsCenter’s top plays that day, changing spots with a dunk by Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

“I was like, what the heck? Is this real? You know what, I’m tired. I went back to bed, then woke up and went to school and everyone was like, ‘Dude, you’re on SportsCenter.’ And then it sunk in and, ‘Oh. OK. I’m in front of Jayson Tatum on SportsCenter. That’s pretty cool,’ ” Axelsen said.


The video, which Travis Lee of WMTW Channel 8 captured, showcases Axelsen’s skill, baseball knowledge, athletic ability and strong arm. In the second inning of the game against Class A Edward Little, which was played at Central Maine Community College, the Red Eddies put their leadoff hitter on base. Greely plays in Class B.

Axelsen anticipated that the next Edward Little batter was going to bunt in an attempt to advance the runner on first base to second. He noted that Greely pitcher Keeler Vogt made a good pitch, “high and tight,” which forced a pop-up.

From there, it was all reaction for the experienced third baseman. Already moving in when the batter squared to bunt, Axelsen saw the ball float into foul territory and quickly cut to his right.

“I laid out for it. It was awesome,” Axelsen said.

Axelsen then quickly popped to his feet and fired a strike to sophomore first baseman Ben Kyles, who had alertly retreated to cover the bag. Axelsen’s throw beat the EL runner who was diving back to first, resulting in a double play.

“I just saw Marky made a great play and had to capitalize at first and get the out there,” Kyles said. “He made an amazing throw. I was just hyped. We were all hyped, jumping around screaming. It was awesome.”


Moments later, Axelsen raced back to make a running catch down the left field line on a pop fly for the third out of the inning.

“That one shouldn’t have been caught,” said Mark Axelsen II, Marky’s father.

Greely Coach Derek Soule said Axelsen made five “way-above-average plays in that game”

“In the third inning, he went way to his left on a slow roller that got past the pitcher,” Soule continued. “He basically fielded it behind the mound and threw a strike to first. In the fourth inning, he made a fantastic diving play to his left (to catch a ball in the air). There was another one where he fielded a ground ball way behind third base, close to the line, and threw a strike to first.”

Axelsen said that with “all of the steps,” the catch-and-throw double play that made ESPN SportsCenter was the best of the five plays.

“But it just felt like playing the game and being on ‘SportsCenter’ was the cherry on top. And we won the game. That’s what matters,” Axelsen said.


Greely senior Sam Almy, one of Axelsen’s best friends, was playing right field when the play unfolded.

“Obviously, everyone watching thinks it’s a great play but that’s just the kid he is,” Almy said. “He works hard. He stays late after practice if he messes up. So really, from me, that’s what I expect from him.”

Greely beat Edward Little, 3-2. The Rangers (4-1) dropped a 1-0 decision to Yarmouth on Wednesday.

Axelsen, one of four siblings, has literally had a baseball with him since birth.

“I gave him a baseball when he was on his mom when he was born.” Mark Axelsen said. “We’ve always been a big baseball family. My daughter (Lucy) is captain of the softball team. It’s cool to watch them both.”


Marky Axelsen was Greely’s starting third baseman as a freshman and sophomore. Last season he switched to shortstop out of necessity and is happy to be back at third this season, his natural position and the spot he expects to play in college at Division II Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

He’s also showing his personality while posting on a Greely baseball Instagram account. After team victories, he selects a teammate as the player of the game and does a mock interview for a quick recap of the action.

Soule is happy that Axelsen’s glove work is receiving some attention. Usually it is his hitting that draws raves. As a junior he hit .449 with eight doubles, two home runs and 25 total hits.

“Everyone knows he’s one of the most feared hitters in the state,” Soule said. “We see him make plays like this all the time in practice. We were excited when he made the (SC Top 10) play but no one was like, ‘I can’t believe this just happened.'”

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