Searsport takes little time to oust islanders from postseasonVikings advance to face No. 2 Buckfield in semifinals
Searsport — It did not take the Searsport baseball team much time to make noise in the team's first Western Class D playoff game.
In fact, the No. 3 Vikings' Western Class D quarterfinal playoff game against No. 6 Vinalhaven/North Haven on Thursday afternoon, June 12 did not take long either.
Searsport jumped to an early lead and got a strong performance on the mound from pitcher Troy Reynolds as the hosts bested the islanders 11-1 in five innings.
Searsport (11-6) moves on to the semifinals where it will travel to face No. 2 Buckfield (10-4) on Saturday, June 14 at 2 p.m., weather permitting. Searsport did not face Buckfield, which beat No. 7 Greenville (7-8) in a quarterfinal playoff game, during the regular season.
Vinalhaven/North Haven's season ended its season at 3-10, including two regular-season losses to SDHS — 11-1 and 15-5.
Leading the hosts at the plate on Thursday were Eric Phillips (2 runs), Barrett Grant (single, run), Kyle Moore (3 singles, 5 RBIs), Reynolds (2 singles, run), Kyle Grant (run), Mitchell Philbrook (single, run), Bryce Shorey (run) and Matt Barlow (run).
Everett Webster and Adam Young singled for the islanders, while Avery Waterman scored the team's lone run.
Reynolds pitched three innings and Barrett Grant two for the hosts, as the duo allowed two hits and three walks, with six strikeouts.
Noah Slivinsky and Lewis Cray worked the hill for Vinalhaven/North Haven, allowing seven hits and seven walks, with four strikeouts.
Searsport scored four times in the first inning, added five more in the third and one each in the fourth and fifth frames, as Phillips scored the game-deciding run on an RBI by Moore.
The first six Searsport players reached base in the bottom of the first inning, which translated into four quick runs.
Phillips drew a walk followed by a bunt single from Barrett Grant, while both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Moore rapped a two-run single into right field to put the hosts on the board.
Reynolds then singled and, after a walk to Kyle Grant loaded the bases, Jay Burkard drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Moore for the team's third run while Reynolds later scored on a fielder's choice by Philbrook.
Vinalhaven/North Haven got on the board in the third stanza after Waterman reached on a fielder's choice and later came in on an RBI-single by Webster, but the host Vikings' lead swelled to eight runs after a five-run third highlighted by RBI-singles by Philbrook and Reynolds and another two-run single by Moore.
The hosts earned the win after Phillips reached on an error, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Barrett Grant.
Moore then put the ball in play in the infield to plate Phillips for the game-ending run.
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.
Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts and time with friends and family.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.
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