Tidewater Oil seemingly was in the driver's seat and only a handful of outs from winning the Maine Independent Baseball League U19 title from the sixth seed, but the No. 1 River Dogs broke their leash and snapped back to life late to grab the wheel and momentum en route to an 8-7 victory at Morton Field.

No. 6 Tidewater Oil worked methodically to grab a 7-0 advantage on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 9, only to see that edge — and the Waldo County team's momentum — evaporate in the summer heat and humidity as the 'Dogs pulled out the one-run victory.

To make things more interesting, Tidewater Oil (8-10) put two runners on base in the top of the seventh inning, but could not push the tying run across the plate in the championship game at the Capital Area Recreation Association facility.

The River Dogs finished 15-3.

Tidewater Oil, which is Midcoast in the Belfast area, includes Dylan Abbott, Jason Bartlett, Isaac Bernosky, Brandon Cournoyer, True Crane, Joey Curtis, Reid Gagnon, Eamon Goscinski, Liam McConnell, Patrick McConnell, Obie Miller, Sam Moody, Dakota Payson, Ethan Porter, Aiden Schecter, Tanner Veilleux and Tommy Walker. The team is coached by Kurt Payson, Tim Moody and Penson Bartlett.

In the championship game, Tidewater Oil scored four runs in the second inning, one in the third and two in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage. However, the River Dogs stayed tough and bite back to plate five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Below: Watch videos and photos.

Click for more photos and videos.

Click for more photos and videos.

Click for more photos and videos.

Although Tidewater Oil's overall record may not indicate it, the team played a bundle of close, competitive games this summer, which prepared it well for a strong postseason run. In fact, in the first game of the playoffs, the local squad trailed Skowhegan 5-1 before it rallied to pull out the victory.

The league was put together, and spearheaded by Scott Cournoyer, after the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic halted other summer youth baseball leagues such as American Legion, Babe Ruth and even Little League.

The single-elimination playoffs in the Maine Independent Baseball League — which has 17U and 19U age divisions — were in full swing with champions crowned over the weekend — and one area squad nearly pulled out a title.

Tidewater Oil, which includes players from Knox and Waldo counties and plays home games at Searsport District High School, earned a berth in the 19U league final.

The postseason began on Monday, Aug. 3 and playoff games have moved along at a fast ball-pitched pace through the week, as the semifinals and championship games were played on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9 at the CARA complex.

Four of the area’s five teams — Raiders and Maineiacs of Waldoboro, as well as Midcoast from Waldo County and Rock Coast Rip Tide (Camden-Rockport area) in the 17U division — were eliminated earlier, which left Tidewater Oil in the 19U division alive, until the final games were contested on Sunday, Aug. 9.

During the regular season, Tidewater Oil finished 6-9 in the U19 division and Rock Coast Rip Tide 9-5-1, Maineiacs 6-7, Midcoast 7-9 and Raiders 3-12-1 in U17 play.

On Wednesday, Aug. 5 in the 17U North playoffs, No. 3 Rip Tide defeated No. 6 Hermon 10-7, No. 2 Machias bested No. 7 Sebasticook 16-0 and No. 1 Motor City beat No. 8 River Hawks 6-0.

The final North quarterfinal playoff game was played on Thursday, Aug. 6 as No. 5 Midcoast hit the road to beat No. 4 Downeast Storm 7-6.

On Tuesday, Aug. 4 in the 17U South playoffs, No. 6 Maineiacs were downed by No. 3 Skowhegan 10-9 in the quarterfinals, while on Monday, Aug. 3, No. 9 Raiders fell to No. 8 Fairfield 9-3 in a prelim playoff encounter.

Additional 17U South quarterfinal playoff clashes saw No. 2 Turner Bandits swing to a 3-2 win over No. 7 Messalonskee, No. 4 Winthrop bested No. 5 Capital Bombers 5-3 and No. 1 Falmouth defeated No. 8 Fairfield 10-0.

In the next round of the U17 North playoffs on Friday, Aug,. 7, No. 1 Motor City beat No. 5 Midcoast 10-7 and No. 2 Machias downed No. 3 Rip Tide 5-3.

The same day in the South, No. 2 Turner Bandits beat No. 3 Skowhegan 4-2 and No. 4 Winthrop bested No. 1 Falmouth 5-2.

In 19U quarterfinal playoff games on Thursday, Aug. 6, No. 6 Tidewater Oil beat No. 3 Skowhegan 8-5, No. 1 River Dogs beat No. 8 River Jacks 11-7, No. 2 Motor City beat No. 7 Fairfield 7-1 and No. 4 Acadians beat No. 5 Messalonskee 1-0.

At Augusta on Saturday, No. 1 River Dogs beat No. 4 Acadians 6-0 and No. 6 Tidewater Oil bested No. 2 Motor City 10-0.

In Saturday's 17U semifinals (zone championships), No. 2 Turner Bandits beat No. 4 Winthrop 9-5 in the South and No. 1 Motor City defeated No. 2 Machias in the North (score unavailable). In the championship on Sunday, Aug. 9 at CARA, Motor City beat Turner 6-5, as the champs trailed 5-1 before they scored five runs in the fifth inning.

Area 17U rosters

Maineiacs (Waldoboro) — Isaac McCollett, Ethan Reed, Garret Hutchins, Hayden Staples, Isaac Simmons, Tucker Holgerson, Aaron Reed, Isaac Bickford, Eli Pluecker, Porter Gahagan, Donnie Havener, Walker Simmons, Blake Morrison and Wyatt Simmons. The team is coached by Keith Simmons.

Raiders (Waldoboro) — Max Moody, Noah Crosby, Isaiah Staples, Ryan Jarvis, Kallon Mortensen, Tyler Metcalf, Logan Look, Tristan Francis, Ivan Murphy, Matthew Holbrook, Sam Moody and Kyle Smith. The team is coached by Matt Moody.

Midcoast (Belfast) — Oliver Tarbox, Zepherin Leppanen, Kyle Ingraham, Matthew LeBlanc, Curtis Littlefield, Dakota Harriman, Cody Reynolds, Jacob Lindelof, Andrew Donald, Cole Ellis, Ashton Ellis, Gage Ellis, Declan Knowlton, Daveon Raven, Noah Hurd, Anthony Lepore, Liam McConnell, Patrick McConnell and Nathan Ashey. The team is coached by Fred Black.

Rock Coast Rip Tide (Five Town) — Elias Libby, Duncan Oakes-Nelsen, Alex Bartlett, Bowen Brann, Joe Coffey, Cameron Brown, Sawyer Olsen, Mason Chadwick, Lucas Moody, Blade Brann, Owen Hotchkin, Owen Berez, Landonn Tabbutt, Eben Fagonde and Ben Tohanczyn. The team is coached by Barrett Brown.

The following is a recap of reported playoff results featuring local teams:


Playoff: No. 1 River Dogs 8, No. 6 Tidewater Oil 7

At Augusta Aug. 9, Tidewater Oil held the advantage in the championship contest much of the way, but the River Dogs pawed back for the victory. Tidewater Oil scored four runs in the second inning, one in the third and two in the fourth, while the River Dogs plated five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Gagnon (3 hits, 2 RBIs, run) led Tidewater Oil at the plate, while Abbott (2 hits, 2 RBIs, run), Bartlett (2 hits, run), Curtis (hit, run), Walker (hit, run), Cournoyer (hit, RBI, run), Payson (hit) and Obie Miller (run) had strong offensive showings.

For River Dogs, with first names unavailable, Economy (2 hits, 4 RBIs, run) led the offense, as Partridge (hit, run, RBI), Labonte (hit, 2 RBIs), Spiegel (home run), Knott (hit, 2 runs), Hatch (hit), Moore (hit, run), Pomroy (hit) and Allain (2 runs) were key at the plate.

Charlie Spiegel, who plays for Searsport for school ball, hit a home run in the sixth inning to bring the River Dogs within one run.

Bartlett, Aiden Schecter and Cournoyer pitched for Tidewater Oil, as trio combined to allow nine hits and five walks, with two strikeouts.

Thayer, Partridge and Labonte toed the rubber on the mound for the River Dogs and combined to allow 11 hits and five walks, with 10 strikeouts.

There were plenty of standout defensive plays by the squads, including for Tidewater Oil in the infield and outfield.

Playoff: No. 6 Tidewater Oil 10, No. 2 Motor City 0 (5 inns.)

At Augusta Aug. 8, Tidewater Oil hit on all cylinders in a mercy-shortened upset of the No. 2 seed. Tidewater Oil scored six runs in the first inning and four in the fourth.

Tidewater Oil was led by a host of players at the plate, as Curtis (2 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Payson (2 hits, 2 runs, RBI), Gagnon (3 hits, run, RBI), Walker (2 hits, 2 RBIs, run), Abbott (hit, run, RBI), Bartlett (3 hits, 2 runs), Crane (hit, RBi) and Schecter (run) had strong showings.

For Motor City, with last names unavailable, D'Angelo (hit), Crowley (hit) and Tash (hit) led at the plate.

Crane pitched a complete game for Tidewater Oil as he allowed three hits and four walks, with eight strikeouts.

Evans and Crowley worked the bump for the hosts, as the two combined to allow 15 hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.

Playoff: No. 6 Tidewater Oil 8, No. 3 Skowhegan 5

At Norridgewock Aug. 6, Tidewater Oil pulled the upset on the road after falling behind early. Tidewater Oil scored one run in the third inning, five in the sixth and two in the seventh. Skowhegan plated five runs in the second stanza.

Leading Tidewater Oil at the plate were Curtis (2 hits, 3 RBIs, run), Bartlett (2 hits, 2 runs, RBI), Schecter (3 hits, run), Abbott (2 hits, run), Gagnon (2 hits, run), Crane (2 hits, RBI), Cournoyer (hit, RBI) and Walker (hit, RBI).

For Skowhegan, with first names unavailable, Kruse (2 hits, run, RBI), Phelps (3 hits, run), Debias (hit, run), Louder (hit, run), Annis (hit, 2 RBIs), Berry (RBI), Mcewen (RBI) and  Bickford (run) had strong at-bats.

Curtis and Crane pitched for Tidewater Oil, as the duo combined for eight hits and three walks, with six strikeouts.

Berry and Debias pitched for the hosts, and combined for 15 hits and three walks, with two strikeouts.


Playoff: No. 1 Motor City 10, No. 5 Midcoast 7

At Hermon Aug. 7, Midcoast's rally came fell short against Motor City. Motor City scored one run in the first inning, three in the second, one in the fourth and five in the fifth. Midcoast scored three in the fourth, two in the sixth and two in the seventh.

For Midcoast, LeBlanc (two hits, two RBIs) led the team, while Patrick McConnell (2 hits, run, RBI), Ashey (hit, run), Knowlton (2 runs), Liam McConnell (hit, 2 RBIs) and Reynolds (2 hits, run) had strong showings.

For Motor City, with first names unavailable, M. Hopkins (3 hits, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) led the squad as N. Hodgkins (hit, run, RBI), M. Seymour (2 hits), I. Hayes (run), C. Crossman (hit, run), Thomas (hit, run), Libby (hit, 2 runs), Downs (hit, run, RBI), K. Robert (hit RBI) and N. Thibodeau (run) had key at-bats.

Knowlton, Patrick McConnell and Reynolds worked the hill for Midcoast, as the trio combined to allow 11 hits and seven walks, with four strikeouts.

For Motor City, Graham, Crossman, Libby and Hopkins combined to allow eight hits and three walks, with five strikeouts on the mound.

Playoff: No. 5 Midcoast 7, No. 4 Downeast Storm 6

At Calais Aug. 6, Midcoast rallied in the sixth and seventh innings to down the hosts and advance to the semifinals. Midcoast scored three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh. Downeast Storm scored one in the first inning, four in the second and one in the seventh.

Cole Ellis (2 hits, run, RBI) led Midcoast, while Liam McConnell (2 hits, run), Patrick McConnell (hit, run, RBI), Knowlton (2 runs), Littlefield (hit, 3 RBIs), Leppanen (hit, RBI), LeBlanc (run) and Reynolds (RBI) also were strong on offense.

Leading Downeast Storm, with first names unavailable, on offense were T. Dana (2 hits, 3 runs), C. Sewell (hit, run, RBI), R. Sabattus (hit, 3 RBIs), S. Dana (hit, RBI), T. Bennett (hit) and B. Brown (hit, run).

Gage Ellis toed the rubber the entire way for visitors as he allowed seven hits and three walks, with one strikeout.

Sabattus and Brown pitched for the hosts, and combined for seven hits and 11 walks, with seven strikeouts.

Playoff: No. 3 Rock Coast Rip Tide 10, No. 6 Hermon 7

At Rockport Aug. 5, the Rip Tide benefited from a six-run fourth inning and blasted past Hermon into the semifinals. Rock Coast added individual runs in the first and second innings, in addition to two runs in the sixth, while Hermon plated five in the fourth and two in the sixth.

Leading the Rip Tide at the plate were Tohanczyn (run), Brown (2 runs, 2 stolen bases), Bo Brann (single, run), Libby (single, 2 runs, stolen base), Bartlett (double, single, run), Oakes-Nelsen (run), Coffey (single, run) and Hotchkin (single, run, stolen base).

For Hermon, Parker Foley (single, run, stolen base), Daniel England (single, run), Ben Moses (double, run), Johnny Kokoska (single, run), Anthony Crisafulli (run), Jason Wickett (single, run) and Chad Willis (3 singles, run) paced the offense.

Oakes-Nelsen, Bo Brann, Libby and Bartlett pitched for the Rip Tide, as the group allowed eight hits and six walks, with two strikeouts. Hermon pitchers allowed six hits and four walks, with eight strikeouts.

The Rip Tide broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning, led by a bases-loaded walk to Oakes-Nelsen, two-run single by Coffey and RBI-singles by Hotchkin and Bo Brann.

Playoff: No. 3 Skowhegan 10, No. 6 Maineiacs 9

At Norridgewock Aug. 4, the Maineiacs made a real go of it with a late rally, but the higher seed came out on top and advanced to the next round of the playoffs. The Maineiacs scored three runs in the fourth inning, two in the fifth and four in the seventh, while Skowhegan tallied two in the first and third and three in the fifth and sixth.

Leading the Maineiacs at the dish were Staples (single, 2 runs), Ethan Reed (double, single, 2 runs), Aaron Reed (2 singles, stolen base), Hutchins (2 singles, run), Morrison (single, run, stolen base), McCollett (home run, 2 runs, stolen base), I. Simmons (single) and Wyatt Simmons (single, run).

For Skowhegan, with first names unavailable, McCray (home run, 2 singles, 3 runs), Annis (double, single, 3 runs), McEwen (run, stolen base), B. Morgan (single), Green (single, stolen base), Mitchell (single, run), Alberico (run) and C. Tibbetts (single, run) paced the offense.

McCollett and Staples pitched for the Maineiacs, as the duo allowed nine hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts. Skowhegan pitchers allowed 11 hits and seven walks, with 10 strikeouts.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.