High school baseball

Stepping it up: Two-time defending state champs get down to business

No. 1 Searsport earns comfortable back-to-back playoff wins; finals on-deck
By Ken Waltz | Jun 11, 2017
Photo by: Ken Waltz Searsport's Colby Snow makes a connection against Valley of Bingham on June 8 in a high school baseball game. The host Vikings beat the Cavaliers 9-2 in a Class D quarterfinal playoff game. Searsport followed that up with a 13-1, 5-inning win over Buckfield on June 10 in the semifinals.

Searsport — With back-to-back state Class D baseball championships on their résumé, Searsport has one focus this spring — namely, to make it a trifecta.

And the always championship-driven Vikings plan to take it one step at a time to hopefully reach their ultimate goal.

It is a four-step, four-game plan that includes, if all goes as planned, another shiny addition to the school's trophy case.

Well, two steps traveled, two steps remain on the glorious journey.

The No. 1 Vikings (15-3) have earned another trip to the Class D South championship game with back-to-back solid performance and postseason wins — 9-2 over No. 8 Valley of Bingham (2-11) on Thursday, June 8 and 13-1 in five innings over No. 5 Buckfield (9-9) in the semifinals on Saturday, June 10, both home affairs.

Click for photos from the Valley at Searsport game.

Watch video below.

During the regular season, Searsport did not play Buckfield or Valley.

The Vikings move on to the regional championship against No. 2 Richmond on Tuesday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's College in Standish.

The Bobcats (16-2) beat No. 6 Greenville (10-8) 11-1 in five innings in the semifinals. Richmond also beat 7 Forest Hills (5-9) 26-4 in the quarterfinals.

Searsport did not play Richmond this season, but did beat Greenville 13-0 and 13-3.

On Thursday, the home-standing Vikings took the first step on winning back-to-back-to-back state crowns with a solid, matter-of-fact quarterfinal playoff victory over Valley on a beautiful spring afternoon.

The Vikings built a comfortable early lead against the No. 8 Cavaliers en route to a 9-2 victory in front of a large crowd.

Charlie Spiegel, Ben Powell, Barrett Grant and Isaiah Runci pitched for the Vikings as the group combined to allow two hits, two walks and fanned six.

Searsport scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth. Valley tallied one in the fourth and seventh.

For the Vikings, Barrett Grant (single, run, RBI), Colby Snow (2 singles, 2 runs), Spiegel (single, double, 2 runs), Mitchell Philbrook (double, run, RBI), Powell (single, run), Liam McMillan (2 singles, run, RBI) and Runci (double, run) led the offense.

For Valley, Josh Brown (double) and Nathan Ames (single) scored runs. Keegan Farnham and Joey Thomas knocked in runs.

Ames started on the mound for the visitors and worked the first five innings. Brown finished the final two frames. The duo combined to allow nine hits and four walks, with two strikeouts.

One of the highlights defensively for the Vikings was a sensational sliding catch just inside the right-field foul line by Cameron Watt midway through the game. Philbrook also threw out a runner at the plate from left field.

Veteran Viking coach John Frye said the team and coaches have talked about the four steps it will take to get back to the state championship level and, on Thursday, "we got through step one — with good pitching and some great defensive plays and some timely hitting."

However, Frye added the Vikings know they must continue to improve if they want to make another appearance in the state game — three games, and three steps, from now.

The coach said he felt Ames threw the ball well, "but we put some good at-bats against him early and helped our pitchers settle in and they took over the game.

Searsport has five state titles to its credit, winning Class C crowns in 1972, 1975 and 2006 and Class D titles in 2015 and 2016. The Vikings also finished state runners-up in 1981, 1999 and 2007.

Semifinal playoff

On Saturday, Spiegel and Powell pitched for the Vikings, as the duo allowed two hits, three walks and struck out eight.

Ethan Jackson and Jake Kraske worked the hill for the Bucks, as they allowed 10 hits and five walks, with a strikeout.

Searsport scored three runs in the first inning, six in the second and four in the fourth to settle the matter. Buckfield plated its run in the first.

The hosts again had a strong offensive performance, led by Grant (2 hits, 3 runs, RBI), Snow (hit, 3 runs), Spiegel (2 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBIs), Philbrook (2 RBIs), Powell (hit, run, 2 RBIs), MacMillan (hit), Watt (run), George Dakin (hit, 2 RBIs), Moody (hit, run) and Runci (hit, run, RBI).

For Buckfield, Zachary Grover and Ethan Jackson had the hits, while Grover added an RBI.

Valley at Searsport baseball
Searsport hosts Valley on June 8 in high school baseball playoff game. (Video by: Zack Miller of VStv)
Searsport's Mitchell Philbrook. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Daegan Moody, left. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Isaiah Runci. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Assistant coach Mel Grant. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant, left, and assistant coach Mel Grant, Barrett's father. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Colby Snow. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Charlie Spiegel. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
From left, Searsport's Mitchell Philbrook, Daegan Moody and Cameron Watt. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ben Powell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Charlie Spiegel, front, and Colby Snow. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ben Powell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ben Powell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ben Powell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Liam MacMillan. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Charlie Spiegel, right, and Valley's Josh Brown. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Cameron Watt after making a tough sliding catch in right field. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Cameron Watt after making a tough sliding catch in right field. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Cameron Watt after making a tough sliding catch in right field. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Ben Powell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Mitchell Philbrook. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant, right, and Valley's Keegan Farnham (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Valley's Keegan Farnham (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Liam MacMillan. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
From left, Searsport's Charlie Spiegel, Colby Snow and assistant coach Mel Grant. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Searsport's Barrett Grant, left, and assistant coach R.J. Robertson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

Staff Profile

Ken Waltz
Sports Director
594-4401, extension 114
Email Me

Ken Waltz has been member of the media nearly 35 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon, who lives in North Carolina.

Recent Stories by Ken Waltz