STANDISH — Larry Mahaney Diamond, for all intents and purposes, has been a home away from home for the Searsport baseball team.

The Vikings have won four of the last five regional championships at the home of St. Joseph’s College and are 7-1 at the venue in their last eight playoff games — all regional and state finals.

And while they were technically the visitors by virtue of their seeding against top-ranked Richmond in the Class D South championship game on Wednesday, June 16, the No. 3 Vikings needed every bit of that home field advantage against the No. 1 Bobcats.

Richmond (13-3) rallied to tie the score 3-3 late in the high school diamond game, but sophomore Nate Ashey came around and scored on an error in the top of the seventh as Searsport held on to clinch the regional crown with a hard-fought, 4-3 victory.

Searsport District High School baseball, 2021 Class D South champions. Zack Miller

“The bus ride up was awesome,” said Ashey. “Everyone was so hyped. And we kept the energy up and the scoreboard shows it all.”

With the win, Searsport (9-10) advances to the state Class D championship game, where it will face Machias on Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m. at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

Machias beat Southern Arookstook 13-8 in the Class D North final, also held on Wednesday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

Team members for Searsport, coached by John Frye, R.J. Robertson, Otis Kneeland, Mel Grant and Connor Kneeland, include Nathan Ashey, Drew Bagley, Chase Brassbridge, Samuel Cahill, Brady Clements, Andrew Donald, Ashton Ellis, Cole Ellis, Gage Ellis, Gabe Kneeland, Kyle Larrabee, Cody Reynolds, Timothy Smith, Isaias Therio, Hunter Treat, Robert Walker and Josh Wright.

Team members for Richmond include Andrew Vachon, Cole Alexander, Chance Taylor, Dylan Ramsey, Max Viselli, Connor Vashon, Ben Johnston, Sebastian Dube, Teeghan Gilpatric, Hunter Mason, Wyatt Cassidy, Alex Roy, Zander Steele, Cale Harrington, Kenny Mecham and Rhys Terry.

The Vikings defeated No. 6 Vinalhaven 12-2 in six innings in the quarterfinals and No. 10. St. Dominic Academy of Auburn 13-1 in five innings in the semifinals to advance to Wednesday’s regional final.

Combined, Searsport and Richmond have won the last five state Class D baseball championships, as Richmond won in 2018.

Earlier in the North playoffs, Machias (13-3) beat No. 7 Bangor Christian 13-5, No. 3 Stearns of Millinocket 3-1 and No. 11 Wisdom 6-5.

Searsport softball and baseball players with their Class D South championship hardware. Zack Miller

On Wednesday, Searsport scored one run in the first inning, two in the fourth and one in the seventh, while Richmond scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Ashey not only bookended the game with the first run of the game in the first and scored what proved the game-winning run in the seventh, but he also recorded the final out when he pulled off his catcher’s mask and retired Vachon for the final out of the game.

“Just doing my job,” said Ashey. “That’s all I can do out here. Just trying to get us to states.”

The Viking offense was led by Cole Ellis (single), Wright (double, run), Brassbridge (double, single, run) and Gage Ellis (single).

For the Bobcats, Viselli (single), Vachon (single, run), Mason (hit), Vashon (single, run), Cassidy (single, run) and Steele (3 singles, run, stolen base) paced the offense.

Wright went the distance for Searsport on the bump and allowed eight hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. The junior also threw 109 of 110 allotted pitches.

“It’s one of the best feelings ever in high school,” said Wright. “We come out here, work our butts off on the field in practice and show it in the games.”

Alexander pitched the first four innings and Vachon the final three frames for Richmond, as the duo scattered five hits, four walks and hit three batters, with seven strikeouts.

Searsport was patient at the plate throughout the game, but particularly in the early going as they worked to build Alexander’s pitch count.

“That was part of the plan,” said Ashey. “We knew once we got him out, they didn’t have a whole lot behind him. Respect to all those guys, but we had to get him out to be able to win this game.”

Alexander plunked Ashey with the first pitch of the game and Ashey moved to second after a pickup off attempt to first base went wide. After Reynolds was hit by a pitch, Wright helped his cause as he grooved a pitch to deep left field that plated Ashey to put Searsport up 1-0, but Reynolds was cut down between third and home for the final out.

“Gotta jump on the teams early,” said Wright. “That’s how we win.”

In the fourth, Wright was hit by a pitch to start and moved to second on a fielder’s choice before Brassbridge belted an RBI-double to deep left field to plate Wright. Brassbridge came in moments later on a Gage Ellis bloop single to center field to make the score 3-0 Searsport.

Richmond got on the board in the fourth when Vachon singled to left, moved to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a ground out by Taylor. Vachon then came in on a Searsport infield error.

The Bobcats added another in the fifth when Steele reached on a single to right, scooted to second on an error and after Alexander grounded out to short — which allowed Steele to move to third base — Steele came in on a Viselli RBI-single between third and short to bring Richmond within a run.

Richmond saw the tying run cross the plate in the sixth when Vashon scored on an infield single by Mason.

Then, the Vikings pulled ahead for good in the seventh.

Ashey drew a walk to start the frame and stole second base on Vachon’s first pitch to Cahill.

Cahill then laid down a bunt and the Richmond catcher’s throw to first base sailed past the bag and into foul ground, which allowed Ashey to come around to score and for Cahill to move up to second base.

Searsport has won eight state titles in its history, including four in Class C and four in Class D.

The Vikings won Class C in 1972 (5-2 over Richmond), 1975 (7-1 over Greely of Cumberland), 2006 (5-2 over St. Dom’s) and 2008 (5-0 over Livermore Falls). The Vikings won Class D in 2015 (4-3 over Stearns of Millinocket), 2016 (10-2 over Penobscot Valley of Howland), 2017 (6-5 over Bangor Christian) and 2019 (11-0 over Central Aroostook of Mars Hill).

The Vikings also finished Class C runners-up in 1981 (9-3 to Oak Hill of Wales), 1999 (17-3 to Livermore Falls) and 2007 (7-3 to St. Dom’s).

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller

Scene from Searsport and Richmond on June 16 in high school baseball in Standish. Zack Miller