GORHAM — The Searsport baseball team made a habit, in recent years, of competing for the state Class D championship.

The Vikings have won five state high school diamond titles since 2015 and nearly won the opportunity to compete for a sixth in that span when it faced No. 3 St. Dominic Academy of Auburn in the Class D South championship on Tuesday, June 14 at Ed Flaherty Field at the University of Southern Maine.

Searsport’s Kyle Larrabee. Photo by Mark Haskell

The game went down to the wire, but it was the Saints who scored the lone run in the top of the seventh inning and knocked out the defending champions 1-0.

Coincidentally, the Searsport softball team also played St. Dominic Academy for the regional title earlier in the day, which the Vikings won 1-0 in eight innings.

With the victory, St. Dominic (9-8) advanced to the state Class D championship game, where it will play Machias (16-2) on Saturday, June 18 at 4:30 p.m. back at USM.

For Searsport, the two-time defending state champion, the campaign concluded at 13-5.

Searsport’s Drew Bagley. Photo by Mark Haskell

Josh Wright singled twice, while Drew Bagley, Nate Ashey and Gage Ellis also singled in the tough-luck loss for the Vikings.

Ethan Pelletier, Curtis Wheeler and Ryan Bussiere had hits for the Saints, while Pelletier, ultimately, scored the game-winning run.

Wright worked 6 2/3 innings on the hill for Searsport and allowed three hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. Gage Ellis went 1/3 of an inning and struck out the only batter he faced.

Ashton Hammond tossed a five-hit shutout for St. Dominic and yielded one walk to go with nine strikeouts.

Searsport’s Chase Brassbridge. Photo by Mark Haskell

Team members for Searsport, coached by John Frye, R.J. Robertson, Mel Grant and Otis Kneeland, included Ashey, Bagley, Chase Brassbridge, Sam Cahill, Oliver Carbisiero, Easton Cox, Andrew Donald, Ashton Ellis, Cole Ellis, Gage Ellis, Kyle Larrabee, Eli Law, Charles Lewis, Tim Smith, Robert Walker, Wright, Kael Morrill, Kenny Boehmer and Goodwin Wiseman.

Team members for St. Dominic Academy, coached by Bob Blackman, Grant Sperry and Dave Enos, included Tanner Berry-Hart, John Broke, Bussiere, Thomas Casserole, Ridge Dionne, Miles Frenette, Ashton Hammond, Daniel Iwauanyanwu, Mason LaFlamme, Jayden Lynn, Brockton Morissette, Timothee Ouellette, Pelletier, Campbell Perryman, Kyle Reed and Wheeler.

“We just didn’t come up with timely hits,” said SDHS coach John Frye. “We had good chances in the sixth. We had second and third with nobody out.”

The Vikings had an opportunity to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning in a scoreless game. Ashey singled off first base and got to third after a bunt single by Gage Ellis.

After Ashton Ellis lined out to second, Cahill hit a shot back to the mound, which was fielded by Hammond, who tracked down and tagged out Ashey between third base and home plate for the second out of the inning.

Searsport’s Sam Cahill, right, among others. Photo by Mark Haskell

After Hammond intentionally walked Wright to load the bases, he ended the inning with a strikeout and the Saints tiptoed out of trouble.

“We thought Ashton’s was going to drop in when he hit that line drive at the second baseman,” said Frye. “Sam hit the one up the middle and the pitcher made a great play. Then they intentionally walked Josh. That was a great move by their coach.”

In the seventh, the Saints seized that momentum after Pelletier reached on an error, followed by back-to-back hits from Wheeler and Bussiere to load the bases.

Ouellette grounded out to Cole Ellis deep in the hole at second base. Cole Ellis ran and tagged first base for the second out of the inning, but not before Pelletier scampered home with what proved the game-winning run.

“Cole made a great play at second, but he couldn’t throw it home,” said Frye. “That’s the game. Both pitchers were tremendous. Their pitcher is only a sophomore. He’s going to have a great career.”

Searsport graduates four seniors, most notably Wright, who finished the season with an 11-1 record on the mound.

“He’s had a great four years,” said Frye of Wright. “I wish we could have gotten the championship game, but sometimes runs come to an end. And this year was St. Dom’s time. Hopefully we rebound and come back next year.”

Searsport, the top seed in Class D South, defeated No. 4 Greenville 10-0 in the semifinals to advance to Tuesday’s regional final, while St. Dominic, the third seed in the region, defeated No. 6 Vinalhaven 19-0 in five innings in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Richmond 5-2 in the semifinals to advance.