GORHAM — Ashton Hammond pitched St. Dominic Academy to its third straight Class D baseball state championship in a 9-1 victory over Stearns on Saturday at the University of Southern Maine.

Hammond threw a one-hitter and struck out 12 while walking two, throwing 92 pitches.

“I was really attacking the zone, throwing strikes,” the senior pitcher said. “It helps when you get up in the count, and (keep) pounding the zone. I wasn’t scared to get hit around because I know I have good fielders behind me.”

Hammond also had a double at the plate and was involved in many scoring plays. Thomas Casserly and Ridge Dionne each drove in multiple runs for the Saints (18-2), who earned the program’s eighth state title.

“It was pretty awesome being a part of this, getting the bat on the ball,” Casserly said. “It was working today.”

Stearns was making its first appearance in a state final since 2013.


“I am not sure if it was so much St. Dom’s than ourselves,” Stearns Coach Donald Boyington said. “They had an emotional game when we played in the regionals, and I think that had a lot to do with it.

“They were spent, but nothing to take away from St. Dom’s – great team, great coach, and their pitcher was spot on.”

Stearns beat Woodland 6-5 in the North final on Tuesday.

Hammond scored the first run when he came home on a single by Ethan Pelletier in the bottom of the first inning.

Riley Daigle then walked to load the bases with one out, but Minutemen starter Caden Raymond got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.

“He has been our stellar pitcher all year long,” Boyington said. “I think at the end of the year here, he was spent.”


Casserly led off the bottom of the second with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Hammond. Dionne gave the Saints a 3-0 lead when his triple into the right-field gap brought home Ryan Bussiere.

“I was trying to set the tone, whether it’s small ball or hitting the long ball,” Dionne said. “It felt good catching that barrel.”

St. Dom’s added another run with two outs in the third. Curtis Wheeler was safe at home after Casserly singled and the Stearns catcher misplayed the throw from center field.

“Take a look at the bottom of the order today,” Blackman said. “Tommy Casserly was unbelievable and Ryan Bussiere chipped in with a hit. Those 7-8-9 batters – Curtis Wheeler, he has been solid all playoffs for us – it’s great to see them continue the pace they have been.”

Hammond led off the fourth with a double and scored on Dionne’s sacrifice bunt to push the lead to 5-0.

Meanwhile, Hammond retired the first 12 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the second.


Brady Brooker ended Hammond’s perfect game bid by battling from down 0-2 to earn a walk in the fifth. The next batter, Zac Doyle, reached on a fielder’s choice, but Hammond recorded his 10th strikeout of the game and a groundout to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, Casserly’s line drive into right field scored two to make it 7-0.

“He’s lefty and I am a lefty,” Casserly said, referring to Raymond. “Usually I have a lot of trouble doing lefty-on-lefty, but today I was waiting for it.”

Hammond’s no-hit bid was broken up by Raymond’s bunt single in the sixth. Beckett Brown moved to second on the play.

The pair then executed a double steal to put both runners in scoring position. Beckett scored on a passed ball, but the Saints got out of the jam when Pelletier, the first baseman, made a good pick out of the dirt for the third out.

“(What) a lot of people don’t understand and don’t realize is, he has played all year long with a torn labrum in his right shoulder,” Blackman said. “He has played through it and once again had a great day with the glove today.”

Dionne and Pelletier notched back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the sixth. Dionne scored on a balk and Pelletier came home on a passed ball.

Along with the three Class D championships in the last three seasons, the Saints also won Class C titles in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015.

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