Rockland District High School held a going-away party Saturday morning but, ultimately, the Tigers only enjoyed one of the gifts delivered to them by their guests.

The Tiger baseball and softball squads played their final regular-season home games on Morrill Field and South Field, both on Thomaston Street, respectively Saturday.

And when the dust settled on the games, the Rockland softball squad had walked away with 16-10 victory over visiting Mount View of Thorndike. It was a positive way to end the Tiger program at home, especially given the fact Rockland will not advance to the upcoming Eastern Class B playoffs in its final year. It was the second win of the season by the Tigers over the Mustangs.

The Tiger baseball team was not as fortunate in its final regular-season home game as the Mustangs, who had only one win coming into the game, upset highly-ranked Rockland 3-1. The good news for the Tigers is they may get to play at least one regional playoff game at home in the coming days.

Both Rockland teams have one regular-season game remaining at Lincoln Academy of Newcaste on Tuesday, May 31 at 4:15 p.m. Mount View finishes the campaign at Camden Hills on Tuesday, May 31 at 4:15 p.m.

RDHS and Rockland High School alumni returned for the Tigers’ final regular-season home games and Su Johnson, the daughter of Bob Morrill, for whom the Rockland baseball field is named, threw out the first pitch of the baseball game. Johnson is an alumnae of RDHS and aunt of Luke Morrill, a senior pitcher/shortstop for the Tigers, who plays regularly on his grandfather’s field.

Rockland District High School and Georges Valley High School will combine to form Oceanside High School next year.

In the Maine Principals’ Association Heal Point Standings for Eastern Class B baseball, Rockland (10-5, 93.5938 points) is fourth and Mount View (2-13, 14.2969 points) 17th. Waterville (12-2, 115.4688 points) is first in the 19-team region.

In the same region for softball, Rockland (4-11, 12.9297 points) is 17th and Mount View (2-13, 7.4609 points) 18th. Medomak Valley (14-1, 127.7734 points) is first in the 19-team region.


The Mustangs stayed the course and recorded their most important victory in several seasons, but, at the same time, spoiled the Tigers’ final regular-season home party.

“It’s huge for the program,” said Mount View coach Chris Hink. “The biggest thing for these guys is the last few years have been so rough. Something like this can jump start a program.

“I’m so proud. I’m just beaming with pride for these kids. That’s huge. All season long it hasn’t felt like [a] 1-14 [record]. We’ve been upbeat and know what they’re capable of doing and today they showed that potential.”

There was not much scoring Saturday, but the most important runs came late. The Tigers led 1-0 after four innings before Mount View tallied the tying run in the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh stanza.

Adam Higgins (7 hits, no walks, 4 strikeouts) earned the complete-game pitching victory for Mount View, while Tony Campagnoli and Billy Joyce combined on the hill to allow four hits, five walks and eight strikeouts for the Tigers.

Leading the Mustang offense were Aaron Elkins (run), Craig Nealley (single), Higgins (single), Alec Davis (single), Taylor Reynolds (run), Ricky Moulton (single) and Jack Simpson (run).

For Rockland, Justin Snow (single), Luke Morrill (single), Dan Hendricks (2 singles, run), Steve Widdecombe (single, double) and Joyce (single) led the charge.

The game’s pivotal moments came in the top of the sixth inning, when Reynolds reached on an error and a walk issued to Jake Aitken put two runners on for Mount View, prompting a Rockland pitching change. Joyce, the new Tiger hurler, then gave up a single to Moulton to load the bases.

Hink then brought in Erik Larrabee to pinch hit and he executed the suicide-squeeze bunt to perfection to the third-base side to plate Reynolds and give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. The Tigers did double back and tag out Aitken, who tried to take third on the play, for the second out of the stanza, but the damage had been done.

“We were [anticipating the bunt],” said Rockland coach Joe Nelsen. “The game is a matter of inches. A couple inches to the left, that’s a double play ball and we’re out of the inning. Great execution on their part. We knew it was coming, but it fell in there.”

“We showed it, they were ready for it and we just executed it,” said Hink. “That was the difference.”

After McCormick reached on another Tiger error to load the bases, Elkins was hit on the hand by a pitch to force home Simpson, who came in to pinch run for Moulton after the squeeze play.

Hink said Higgins’ effort on the mound was key. “That was Adam’s first start of the season. At the beginning of the season he wasn’t strong enough to handle a whole game. We thought [we would get] two or three innings today out of him, get a good start to the game and we did that.

“We just got it going and [the players behind him] started making plays and Adam was like, ‘My arm’s good,’ so we went the distance. He’s never gone that long in any game in his whole high school career. We knew he had it in him, but just could his arm handle it?”

The coach said the left-hander has had shoulder issues and Mustang coaches have tried to change his delivery and work on getting his arm stronger.

Coach Nelsen, while disappointed his squad lost its final regular-season home game, said it was a solid game by both clubs. “Defensively, up until [the sixth] inning when we had a few miscues, both teams played unbelievable baseball. Both defenses made the plays out there, especially Mount View. They came down and they took two or three doubles in the gap away from us and that shorted up our long innings.

“It’s a good time right now to get this out of our system, if you want to call it a goose egg. I told the kids after the game, ‘Remember what this feels like. We did it now and this is the time to get geared up for continuation [in the playoffs].’ “


Rockland notched its second win of the campaign against the Mustangs, this time in a high-scoring affair. There were plenty of hits, walks and players scurrying around the bases Saturday.

For Rockland Catherine McDonald (9 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts) pitched the win, while Hailey Giggey (11 hits, 14 walks, hit batter, 9 strikeouts) took the loss for the Mustangs.

Rockland tallied one run in the first inning, five in the second, four in both the third and fourth and one in both the fifth and sixth stanzas. Mount View scored two in the first, one in the second, four in the fifth and three in the seventh.

Keying the hosts’ offense were Abby Hersom (single, double, 4 runs), Danica Gustin (5 walks, 3 runs), Molly Mellor (run), Emma Davis (run), Hannah Hersom (2 singles, triple, 2 runs), McDonald (single), Hannah Plourde (2 singles, 2 runs), Danielle Gargan (single, 2 runs), Kaylee Salo (hit, run) and Paige Bradshaw (hit).

For Mount View, Channing Murphy (2 hits, run), Brianna Moody (hit, 2 runs), Wendy Gibbs (double, 2 runs), S. Gilley (double, run), Giggey (2 doubles, 3 runs), Fran Stevens (single, run) and Vicki Lufkin (double) keyed the offense.

Veteran Tiger coach Don Pietroski said he was proud his squad pulled out a victory in its final home game. “I told them, ‘We’re the last Rockland softball team to play here and we won our last game.’ We’ve had a lousy season in many respects, but in many respects we’ve had a good season too.

“I’ve got to give Mount View credit. They never quit and just kept coming back and coming back at us. We’re better than what our record shows, I do believe that. But we’re happy. The kids are happy. We’re going to go to Lincoln Academy [May 31] — we played them really well the other day — and try and play as good as we did the other day. And maybe we’ll get a win [to finish the year and program].”

Mustang coach Mike Gagnon said his squad never quits but gave up too many runs to expect to win Saturday’s game. “You can’t give up that many runs and expect to stay in the game, but our season’s kind of been like that,” he said. “We’ve been [mercy-ruled] a couple times, but we lost a bunch of close games where one more hit [might have been the difference]. We didn’t play horrible today, we just didn’t play well and that’s the bottom line.”

Village NetMedia Regional Editor/Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at