CUMBERLAND—Last Wednesday, Yarmouth senior ace Sam Lowenstein threw a wet baseball all over Greely’s home park at Twin Brook Recreation Center.

This Wednesday, on a much nicer afternoon, Lowenstein’s accuracy was pinpoint and as a result, he led the reigning Class B South champion Clippers to an impressive victory over their longtime rival.

Lowenstein got the only run he would need, and what proved to lone run of the game, in the top of the first inning, when senior second baseman Matt Gautreau walked, stole second and third, then came home on a two-out, two-strike RBI single by senior centerfielder Sam Bradford off Rangers senior starter Sam Almy.

And Lowenstein did the rest, allowing just one hit and going the distance and with the tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh, he registered his seventh strikeout to slam the door and Yarmouth had a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

The Clippers won their third consecutive game, improved to 4-1 on the year and in the process, handed Greely its first setback in five outings.

“It came down to 1-0,” said longtime Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted. “It’s Yarmouth-Greely. They’ve gotten us more than we’ve gotten them, but it’s a good, positive rivalry.”


Take two

Last Wednesday, Yarmouth and Greely took the field under sunny skies, but it didn’t last. After the Clippers stranded runners at second and third with one out against Almy in the top of the first, the weather quickly deteriorated and after junior Wes Piper singled against Lowenstein with one out, senior Marky Axelson walked and with Almy at the plate, Lowenstein threw wildly to the backstop to move the runners up, then his next pitch slipped out of his hand as well and while senior catcher Graeme Roux blocked it to prevent the run, that was enough to convince the umpiring crew to stop the game. While it only rained for a short time, there was enough water on the field to postpone the contest.

That’s the only adversity the Rangers had faced in the early going, as they opened with a 12-1 (five-inning) victory at Lake Region, then blanked visiting Gray-New Gloucester in five-innings (12-1), before downing visiting Fryeburg (5-1) and beating host Edward Little Monday, 3-2, in a contest played at Central Maine Community College. In that one, Axelsen made a breathtaking diving catch to start a double play and it wound up going viral and wound up on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.

The Clippers, meanwhile, handled visiting Lake Region in six-innings (11-1) in the opener, then fell at Cape Elizabeth in a regional final rematch, 7-2. Come-from-behind home wins over Wells (3-2) and Medomak Valley (5-4) followed.

Last year, Yarmouth pulled off a rare feat of beating Greely in all three meetings, 12-2 in Cumberland, 4-2 at home, then 6-1 in a Class B South semifinal game at home.

Wednesday, on an overcast but dry afternoon (49 degrees with light wind), the Rangers sought a 5-0 start, but instead, the Clippers made it four straight in the series and five out of six dating back to the start of the 2022 season.


Greely senior starter Sam Almy delivers the game’s first pitch to Yarmouth senior Matt Gaureau. Hoffer photos.

The game began with Gautreau working the count full against Almy, then taking ball four. When senior shortstop Andrew Cheever at the plate, Gautreau appeared to steal second, but Cheever was called for interference and was ruled out, sending Gautreau back to first. With senior third baseman David Swift at the plate, Gautreau stole second again and this time, it stuck. Swift popped out to short, but with Bradford up, Gautreau stole third. Bradford then fell behind in the count 0-2, but he squared up an Almy offering and lined it into leftfield, scoring Gautreau for a 1-0 lead.

A lead the Clippers wouldn’t relinquish.

“We’re starting to get the bats going,” Bradford said. “I was expecting a curveball, but I saw the fastball, got my hands quick, stayed in and drove it past the shortstop.”

“That run was huge,” Lowenstein said. “Whenever I pitch with a lead, it’s a different game. I have to thank the boys for getting that run in.”

“We need more of that,” Halsted added. “That was huge.”

“Sam’s a really good pitcher and he knew exactly what he wanted to do there, but he just missed it,” lamented longtime Greely coach Derek Soule. “It just wasn’t quite high enough when he tried to climb the ladder. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”


With senior first baseman Jack Janczuk at the plate, Greely junior catcher Wyatt Soucie caught Bradford leaning and picked him off to end the frame.

Yarmouth senior Sam Lowenstein fires to Greely junior Wyatt Soucie

In the bottom half, Soucie led off and crushed the ball to deep center, but Bradford ran it down for the first out. Lowenstein then walked Piper, but after getting Axelsen to pop out to short, Lowenstein picked Piper off first for the third out, as Janczuk threw to Gautreau to apply the tag.

Yarmouth senior first baseman Jack Janczuk throws to senior second baseman Matt Gautreau to throw out Greely junior Wes Piper during a rundown.

Almy settled in in the top of the second, getting Janczuk to line out to right, Lowenstein to fly deep to center and Roux to pop back to the mound.

Lowenstein made quick work of the Rangers in the bottom half, getting Almy to ground out to third on a 3-2 pitch, catching senior leftfielder Ryder Simpson looking at strike three, then catching senior designated hitter Ethan Robeck on an off-speed pitch for strike three.

The Clippers then loaded the bases in the top of the third, but came up empty.

Almy hit junior leftfielder Bobby Wolff in the back with the first pitch of the inning, but Soucie threw Wolff out trying to steal second, as freshman shortstop Kyle Soule scooped the ball out of the dirt and made the tag. Junior Alec Gagnon drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch, then Gautreau walked on a full-count offering. That brought up Cheever, who laid down a bunt to the right side and beat it out for a single to load the bases.


Yarmouth senior shortstop Andrew Cheever reaches on a bunt single.

Swift then came to the plate looking to add to the lead, but Soucy pulled the string and struck him out swinging. Bradford hoped for more two-out magic, but he struck out looking and the game remained 1-0.

Lowenstein took care of business in the bottom half, getting sophomore Ben Kyles to pop out to third, inducing a grounder to first off the bat of Kyle Soule on the first pitch of his at-bat before getting senior centerfielder Jackson Leding to ground out to short on a 3-2 pitch to end the frame.

The Clippers threatened again in the top of the fourth, but again couldn’t push across a run.

Janczuk struck out swinging leading off, but Lowenstein reached on an infield single, as junior second baseman Liam Coull dove and knocked the ball down, but couldn’t make a play. Roux drew a walk and after Wolff struck out, a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position, but senior Max Gilbert grounded back to the mound.

Soucie then led off the bottom half with Greely’s first hit and what proved to be its lone hit, as he went the other way and doubled down the leftfield line. The Rangers couldn’t score him, however, as Piper struck out on a 3-2 pitch, Axelsen grounded to short and Cheever threw to third where Swift tagged Soucie out and after Axelsen moved to second on an error, Lowenstein fanned Almy on an off-speed pitch.

Gautreau popped out to third leading off the top of the fifth, but Cheever reached when he was plunked in the ribs by Almy and Swift drew a four-pitch walk. Again, Yarmouth squandered an opportunity to score, as Bradford struck out swinging on an off-speed pitch, then Janczuk fanned as well.


Lowenstein continued to stymie Greely in the bottom half, getting Simpson to fly out to the centerfield wall where Bradford recorded the out, then getting Robeck to line to short and Kyles to ground out to short.

Almy started the top of the sixth by getting Lowenstein to ground out to short, but after walking Roux, he was pulled and replaced by Simpson. Simpson was greeted by Wolff, who followed off multiple pitches before singling to left. Simpson then settled in and caught Gilbert looking at strike three before fanning Gautreau.

The Rangers got the tying run in scoring position in the bottom half, but couldn’t bring him home.

After Kyle Soule led off by fouling off multiple pitches before chasing strike three, Leding reached when Swift bobbled his ground ball for an error. After Soucie flew out to center, Leding stole second, but Piper watched strike three.

Simpson kept his team in it in the top of the seventh, catching Cheever looking at a 3-2 pitch, striking out Swift looking as well, then fanning Bradford.

Cheever was ready to come on in relief in the bottom half, but the game would be Lowenstein’s to finish.


Lowenstein got the dangerous Axelsen to hit a soft grounder to short on the first pitch and Cheever raced in and made a superb play and throw on the run for the first out. Almy then grounded to Cheever’s left and the shortstop came up big again, scooping up the ball and narrowly throwing out the runner. Lowenstein then got ahead 0-2 on Simpson, but he worked the count even, crushed a deep fly ball to right that drifted just foul and after taking another ball, he drew a walk to keep hope alive.

Robeck then hoped to play the hero, but Lowenstein capped the game in style, getting him to chase strike three to bring the curtain down on Yarmouth’s 1-0 victory.

“I really wanted to finish the game,” said Lowenstein. “I’d never pitched against Greely and they’re a really good team.”

“Close games are the most fun,” Bradford said. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Lowenstein was brilliant, mixing speeds, getting ahead of hitters and making his best pitches when it mattered most. He only surrendered one run and walked two while striking out seven.

“I felt good even from warmups,” Lowenstein said. “There were a lot better conditions today. I was getting ahead of a lot guys and that gave me a lot of options. My curveball was good and I mixed in my changeup. My fielders were amazing today. Having Bradford in center is so good for confidence. Cheever made every single play that came to him.”


“I remember seeing Sam on the bus, taking his pregame nap with his earbuds in,” Bradford said. “I knew he had that in him and I expect that from him.”

“Sam threw first-pitch strikes for seven innings,” added Halsted. “It was a classic get-ahead, stay-ahead pitching performance. He’s wanted to face Greely. We have so much respect for them and it was special for him to go out and match their passion and effort. Cheever was getting ready, but it would have taken a lot for me to remove Sam. He would have passionately voiced his disapproval if I’d gone out to the mound.”

Offensively, Yarmouth managed just four hits, but only one produced a run.

“We had runners in scoring position all game long,” said Halsted. “We put ourselves in position to get in scoring position, but we need more of what Sam (Bradford) did in the first inning. The guys know that. Our hitters are deeply passionate about wearing this uniform and coming through. We’d like them to come through more often.”

Gautreau scored the game’s lone run.

The Clippers stranded nine baserunners.


Greely managed just one hit and left three runners on.

Almy was the tough-luck loser, surrendering one run on three hits in 5.1 innings. He walked six, fanned six, hit two batters and threw a pair of wild pitches.

“Sam didn’t have his best location,” said Derek Soule. “He walked guys and hit a few. He didn’t find his curveball until the fourth inning, but he did a tremendous job gutting his way through.”

Simpson gave up one hit in 1.2 innings of relief, striking out five.

“It’s a fine line there in a 1-0 game,” said Derek Soule. “Yarmouth was very good defensively. Their centerfielder took away a shot in the first inning and took away a ball up against the fence. Their shortstop made two really nice plays. We had a few chances. Unfortunately, the balls we hit well were right at them or just foul. It’s good to get a look at Yarmouth. We hadn’t seen them since last June. Even though both teams return a lot, there are still some new faces.”

Friday fun


The teams meet again May 15 in Yarmouth, but both teams have plenty of challenges to face in the meantime.

The Rangers have another key home test Friday versus unbeaten Freeport. After hosting Lake Region Monday, Greely is home versus York next Wednesday.

“It’s only game five, so we’ll put this one behind us quickly,” Soule said. “We’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for Freeport.”

The Clippers go to Mt. Ararat Friday, then welcome York Monday before going to Freeport next Wednesday and hosting Cape Elizabeth next Friday.

“Everyone knows their job and everyone’s putting together good at-bats and playing solid defense,” Lowenstein said. “We’re going to grind every single game.”

“We were deeply insulted by what happened at Cape Elizabeth and that pulled our team together,” said Halsted. “We have 11 seniors who are very proud. We’re galvanized.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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