High school baseball and softball

Playoff diamond gems: Panthers, Mariners, Lions, Vikings qualify

After rainy, difficult spring, seven of 14 Midcoast teams earn postseason berths
By Ken Waltz | Jun 01, 2019

Augusta — Despite the consistent and persistent rain — and subsequent necessary flexible schedules — this spring, Midcoast high school baseball and softball teams made it to the end of the month-long regular season and for half of the 14 squads their diamond work paid dividends in playoff berths.

In baseball, Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, Searsport and Vinalhaven-North Haven are playoff-bound, while Camden Hills of Rockport, Belfast, Oceanside of Rockland and Mount View of Thorndike fell short of their postseason goals.

In softball, Medomak Valley, Oceanside, Searsport and Belfast need to prepare for the playoffs, while Mount View, Camden Hills and Vinalhaven-North Haven are finished for the spring.

Additionally, one area team — Searsport baseball — finished first in its region, while more than half the area squads will be at home and the others on the road for first-round games.

Searsport baseball had won three straight state Class D championships from 2015-2017, but lost in the regional final in 2018.

In another interesting development, Medomak Valley softball pushed ahead of Oceanside in the standings and, if the rivals meet in the quarterfinals, as they seemingly do most years, the next clash — their fourth straight in that playoff round — will be in Waldoboro.

The following are the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings and playoff pairings for Midcoast teams:

Baseball

In Class A North, Camden Hills (6-10, 50.6250 points) finished 10th, while Oxford Hills of South Paris (16-0, 197.5000 points) finished first in the 12-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs, thus, the Windjammers failed to qualify.

In Class B North, Medomak Valley (13-3, 103.1250 points) finished fourth, Belfast (8-8, 47.4219 points) 16th, Oceanside (4-12, 25.23.44 points) 19th and Mount View (2-14, 22.2656 points) 20th, while Ellsworth (15-1, 200.2344 points) finished first in the 21-team region. The top 14 teams qualify for the playoffs, thus, the Panthers advance, while the Lions, Mariners and Mustangs fail to qualify.

No. 4 Medomak Valley will host No. 13 Caribou (6-10) on Tuesday, June 4 at 3:30 p.m. in a prelim playoff game. The Panthers and Vikings did not play one another in the regular season. The winner will face No. 5 Mount Desert Island (8-8) or No. 12 John Bapst of Bangor (7-9) in the quarterfinals. The Panthers also did play the Trojans or Crusaders during the regular season.

In Class D South, Searsport (12-4, 129.7991 points) finished first and Vinalhaven-North Haven (5-5, 37.0833 points) sixth, as the top six teams in the nine-team region qualify for the playoffs, which means the mainland and island Vikings qualified.

No. 6 Vinalhaven-North Haven will play at No. 3 Buckfield (9-6) on Thursday, June 6 at noon in a quarterfinal playoff game. The islanders lost a pair of regular-season games to the Bucks — 11-1 and 16-4 – to end the campaign.

No. 1 Searsport receives a bye in the quarterfinals and will play No. 4 Greenville (10-6) or No. 5 Forest Hills of Jackman (7-4) on Saturday, June 8 in the next round. The Vikings beat the Lakers 13-2 and lost 5-1 in two regular-season games, but did not play the Tigers.

Softball

In Class A North, Camden Hills (0-16, no points) finished 12th, while Skowhegan (16-0, 180.7813 points) finished first in the 12-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs, thus, the Windjammers failed to qualify.

In Class B North, Medomak Valley (14-2, 139.0234 points) finished fourth, Oceanside (13-3, 136.6406 points) fifth, Belfast (6-10, 55.4688 points) 11th and Mount View (6-10, 30.8594 points) 16th, while Brewer (14-2, 177.5781 points) finished first in the 21-team region. The top 14 teams qualify for the playoffs, thus, the Panthers, Mariners and Lions qualify, while the Mustangs failed to advance.

No. 4 Medomak Valley will host No. 13 Presque Isle (8-8) on Monday, June 3 at 3:30 p.m. in a prelim playoff game. The Panthers and Wildcats did not play one another during the regular season.

No. 5 Oceanside will host No. 12 Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield (9-7) on Tuesday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m. in a prelim playoff game. The Mariners and Huskies did not play one another during the regular season.

If the Panthers and Mariners win their prelim games, it will set up a third battle between the area schools in the quarterfinals. Medomak Valley beat host Oceanside 5-0 to cap the regular season and earned enough Heal Points to move ahead of the the Mariners in the final standings. The Mariners beat the host Panthers 7-4 earlier in the season.

No. 11 Belfast will play at No. 6 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (14-2) on Tuesday, June 4 at 4 p.m. in a prelim playoff game. The Lions and Ponies did not play one another during the regular season. The winner will face No. 3 Hermon (13-3) or No. 14 Nokomis of Newport (6-10) in the quarterfinals. The Lions did not meet the Hawks or Warriors during the regular season.

In Class D South, Searsport (8-8, 46.7634 points) finished fifth and Vinalhaven-North Haven (2-8, 1.6667 points) eighth, while Greenville (14-2, 145.2232 points) finished first in the nine-team region. The top six teams qualify for the playoffs, thus, Searsport advances while the islanders fail to qualify.

No. 5 Searsport will play at No. 4 Valley of Bingham (8-4) on Wednesday, June 5 at 4 p.m. in a quarterfinal playoff game. The Vikings and Cavaliers did not play one another during the regular season. The winner will face No. 1 Greenville (14-2) in the semifinals.

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

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