Waldo County powers up late to top Oceanside for titleChampions finish unbeaten at 3-0, earn berth in state tourney
Rockport — Despite a nice run in the District 2 Little League 11- and 12-year-old baseball all-star tournament following an opening loss and a gutsy comeback in the championship affair, scrappy Oceanside ultimately could not overcome the power, pitching, aggressive base running and solid defense of talented Waldo County in an exciting, competitive finale on Friday night, July 11 at Marge Jones Recreation Facility.
Waldo County used strong hitting, solid relief pitching, a late-game rally and just enough defense in the title clash to secure the district crown with a 15-8 victory over Oceanside, which demonstrated its mettle and resiliency by rebounding from a tourney-opening 2-0 loss to Waldo County to win three straight before falling to the same opponent Friday.
Waldo County finished 3-0 and Oceanside 3-2 in the double-elimination tourney played at the park on Route 90.
As District 2 champs, Waldo County earned a spot in the state championship tournament, which begins Friday, July 18 in Biddeford. Waldo County's first game is at 5:30 p.m. that day against the District 3 champion Hampden Broncos.
Waldo County looked to hold a comfortable lead midway through Friday's game, but Oceanside stormed back to tie it 7-7 before Waldo County rebounded with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth.
That might have demoralized many teams, but Oceanside continued to battle in the top of the sixth and final inning with a run and nearly scored a few more before the final out was recorded.
Waldo County includes Colby Snow, Isiah Runci, Riley Boulay, Charlie Spiegel, Anthony Sanbord, Dylan Abbott, Dagen Moody, Vincent Bonnarigo, Tanner Veilleux, Anfernee Glidden, Chris Kelly and Donnie Resh. The coaches are Luke Boulay, Mike Abbott and Travis Veilleux.
Oceanside includes Nathan Coombs, Jude Forti, Karl Ilvonen, Abe LeMole, Obie Miller, Aidan Munro, Carson Murphy, Austin Pagano, Ben Poland, Caleb Powell, Trevor Reed, Ben Ripley and Cole Stevens. The team is managed by John Murphy.
In the district tourney, Waldo County beat Oceanside 2-0 and 15-8, as well as Five Town 6-5. Oceanside lost to Waldo County twice, and defeated Lincoln County 16-4 in 4 innings, Medomak Valley 2-1 (game shortened due to inclement weather) and Five Town 5-3 in seven innings.
Spiegel put an exclamation point on Friday's title victory with a long home run to left field in the fifth inning. Miller ripped a home run over the fence in left for Oceanside earlier in the game.
Boulay and Spiegel pitched for Waldo County, while Ripley, Stevens and Reed worked on the hill for Oceanside.
Boulay and Spiegel combined to allow nine hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. The Oceanside trio allowed for 16 hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.
Pacing Waldo County's offense were Snow (2 singles, 3 runs, RBI, stolen base), Runci (3 singles, 3 runs, stolen base), Boulay (single, 2 doubles, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Spiegel (single, double, home run, 2 runs, 6 RBIs), Veilleux (2 singles, double, 2 runs, RBI), Resh (single), Moody (run) and Abbott (single, 2 runs, RBI).
For Oceanside, Reed (single, RBI), Munro (run), Ripley (2 singles, run), Miller (single, home run, 2 runs), Stevens (single, run, RBI), Forti (double, run), Murphy (single, run) and Ilvonen (double, run) led the charge.
Waldo County scored three runs in the first inning to set the tone, while the champs added one in the third, three in the fourth and eight in the decisive fifth.Oceanside tallied one run in the second and third innings, five in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Besides Spiegel's monster three-hit, two-run, six-RBI day, the winners received solid offensive efforts from several players, especially Runci and Veilleux who both had three hits. In fact, Runci scored two runs in the same inning — the fifth — when Waldo County 11 batters to the plate.
As is typical with most Little League games, even all-star games, there were strong defensive plays by players from both teams as well as a number of fielding miscues that led to runs.
Besides the excitement of the game, most of the players cheered when Waldo County's Runci's foul ball smashed out a parked vehicle's back windshield. But something tells us the owner of the vehicle was not cheering.
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon.
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