Ponies gallop past road-weary Windjammers to regional finalsStrong postseason run by Camden Hills ends against Foxcroft Academy
Dover-Foxcroft — The No. 8 Camden Rockport baseball team took its show on the road yet against Saturday, June 9, this time hoping for the squad's second upset in four days against a higher-seeded foe in the Eastern Class B playoffs.
However, the road-weary Windjammers (11-8) saw their exciting playoff run come to an end at the hands of Foxcroft Academy, as the visitors dropped a 6-0 decision to eliminate the Camden Hills from the postseason.
The No. 4 Ponies (14-5) move on to the regional final on Wednesday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, where they will face No. 2 Waterville (17-1) for the right to advance to the state Class B finals.
Remarkably, Waterville, trailing 13-1 in a semifinal playoff game against No. 3 John Bapst of Bangor (13-5), scored 13 unanswered runs to win a 14-13 thriller semifinal playoff earlier Saturday.
Against the Ponies, the Windjammers mustered only two hits on the day, singles by Connor Hart and Chandler Crans. The visitors also committed three fielding miscues against the Ponies, which the hosts capitalized on in the first few innings
For Foxcroft Academy, Ryan Rebar (single, run), Hunter Law (single, run), Cameron Fadley (single, run), Cody Coiley (single), Forrest Law (double), Caleb Smith (double, run) and Luke Olson (single) contributed at the plate.
Caleb McFarland pitched 4 1/3 innings for the Windjammers, scattering six hits and one walk, with two strikeouts. Elliot Grindle worked the final 2 2/3 innings on the hill, allowing one hit and no walks, with three strikeouts.
Rebar tossed six shutout innings, allowing one hit and five walks, with nine strikeouts for the Ponies. Law took the hill in the seventh, as he allowed one hit and one walk, with one strikeout.
"We didn't play our best game, but give [Foxcroft Academy] credit," said Camden Hills coach Jeff Hart. "Their kid [Rebar] threw a nice game, and to me they had a lot of bloopers find the right spots. We made a couple errors, they took advantage of them and that's the sign of a good team."
The Ponies galloped to a three-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, which began when McFarland hit lead batter Caleb Richard with a pitch, and Richard quickly stole second base, followed by Hunter Law reaching on an error, to quickly put runners at the corners.
Fadley then blooped an RBI-single over the shortstop's head to give Foxcroft Academy a 2-0 lead. Fadley followed Richard's lead and stole second and scored on a two-run single to right field by Coiley.
Then, what started as a defensive mistake, turned out to be an inning-ending double play for the Windjammers when McFarland struck out Forrest Law, followed by catcher Kyle Olehnik attempting to throw out Coiley, looking to steal Foxcroft Academy's third bag of the inning.
The ball ended up in center field, but Windjammer outfielder Coleman Powers made a strong, accurate throw to third baseman Chandler Crans, who applied the tag on Coiley, to end the inning.
McFarland had an efficient second inning, needing only six pitches to send the Ponies down in order. However, the hosts struck for two more runs in the third inning when Richard reached on an error and later crossed the plate on an RBI-single by Rebar, followed by an-single by Hunter Law.
Foxcroft Academy added what proved the final run in the game in the sixth inning on a passed ball.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Windjammers Saturday, including a tough break in the second inning that saw No. 9 hitter Aubrey Pennington, who laid down what appeared a perfect bunt single to advance teammate Ian Nason to second base, was called out for stepping on the plate during the bunt attempt.
The game proved bittersweet for Camden Hills senior Adam Carlsen, who was forced to sit out Saturday's semifinal game after being thrown out of the team's quarterfinal contest against the Wildcats for making illegal contact with the catcher on a play at the plate.
Carlsen is the team's No. 1 starter and also plays shortstop. "It was really, really, really tough," said Carlsen of watching his team from the dugout. "Probably one of the toughest things I've ever had to experience."
"I'd have liked to have come up here with a full squad and played them," said Hart in reference to Carlsen's absense. "But I guess that's the way it goes."
Earlier in the playoffs, Camden Hills defeated No. 9 Nokomis 9-6 in the prelim and No. 1 Presque Isle 6-3 in the quarterfinals after a long bide ride to Aroostook County. Foxcroft Academy has won three postseason games, including beating No. 13 Ellsworth 4-3 in the prelims and No. 5 Mount Desert Island 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.