After losing its first game of the Senior League state baseball double-elimination tournament late last week, Waldo County coach Rick Rodgerson summed up the general feel in the clubhouse with one phrase.

“It woke them up,” he said.

Mere days later, Waldo County found itself in the state final with the right, if it won, to move onto the regional tournament. And the locals did not disappoint.

Waldo County jumped to an early lead and never trailed, winning its third straight game to knock out Coastal with a 7-2 victory to clinch the Senior League state title Monday night at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

Waldo County now moves on to the Eastern Regional Tournament, to be played Aug. 5-11 in West Deptford, N.J. The winner of regional tournament will advance to the Senior League World Series, which will be held back at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

After dropping its first game of the tournament 7-6 to Scarborough, Waldo County outscored its opponents 26-5 over the final three games to grab the crown.

“These guys have worked really hard for it,” said coach Rodgerson. “We’ve coached them all the way up through from 9 and 10s and missed the state tournament in all but one year. And they finally won, and they really deserve it.”

Team members include Adam Higgins, Adrian “Buddy” Ellis, Nick Rodgerson, Cody Varney, Dillon Corliss, Matthew Palmer, Luke Lockhart, Kaleb Cook, Patrick Later, Zach Beaudry, Garth Clements, Tomas Graham and James Harvey. The team is managed by Rick Rodgerson and coached by Nick Varney and Eric Lockhart.

Leading the newly-crowned state champs at the plate Monday were Rodgerson (single, 2 runs), Higgins (double, 2 singles, 2 runs), Palmer (single, double, 2 runs), Later (single), Cook (triple) and Ellis (single, run).

For Coastal, Anthony Bianco rapped two singles, while Sam Grindle added a base hit.

Palmer started on the hill for Waldo County, allowing three hits and three walks, while striking out 10 batters through six innings of work. Varney closed the door in the seventh, walking one and fanning one.

“Matt’s a very strong pitcher,” said coach Rodgerson. “He was first -eam all conference Class A third baseman and he pitched for us, and nobody really hit him very hard. And if they did everyone just played real good defense behind him. He kept them off balance and got the job done.”

Grindle surrendered nine hits and four walks, while striking out five in a complete-game effort on the hill for Coastal.

Waldo County got on the board quickly in the first inning after Beaudry earned an RBI after drawing a bases-loaded walk, while Later followed with an RBI-single to put the home team up 2-0. Coastal knotted the game 2-2 after Bianco rapped an RBI-single and another run came in on an error.

Waldo County took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back.

Ellis drew a walk and quickly scored on an error, while Rodgerson later crossed the plate on an RBI-single by Higgins. Waldo County added two more runs in the third inning after Higgins singled and scored on an RBI-double by Palmer, who missed a home run to straightaway left field by mere feet. Palmer later took third on a wild pitch and scored on an error.

Waldo County pushed across an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning after Rodgerson reached on a fielder’s choice and scampered home on an RBI-double by Higgins.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.