The First forfeits Zone 2 play-in game due to lack of playersGardiner to face Franklin County, Post 51 to play RTD July 19
Rockland — The First, the Rockland-based American Legion baseball team, has completed its regular season and had hoped for a successful postseason run in the Zone 2 playoffs.
However, that run was over before it started.
The First, ranked fifth amongst six teams in Zone 2, was forced to forfeit its scheduled play-in game against No. 4 Gardiner Thursday, July 17 due to lack of players.
Thus, The First's season ended at 6-10.
Next, Gardiner (7-9) will face No. 2 Franklin County (9-6) on Saturday, July 19 at 10 a.m., while No. 6 Post 51 (6-10) of Messalonskee will face No. 1 RTD of Madison (11-4) at 2 p.m. the same day in the Zone 2 playoffs at Memorial Field in Skowhegan.
Post 51 defeated No. 3 The Red Barn of Augusta 4-0 in another play-in game Thursday.
The final regular-season standings included: RTD 11-4, Franklin County 9-6, The Red Barn 7-8, Gardiner 6-9, The First 6-9 and Post 51 5-10.
RTD and Franklin County earned automatic bids to the postseason by virtue of holding the top two seeds.
The following is a breakdown of three of the last four regular-season games played by The First:
Madison 7, The First 2
At Madison July 14, Madison clinched the top overall seed in Zone 2 with a win over The First.
Taylor Bacon pitched six innings and Chase Nelson one for Madison.
Kam Nelson (2 double, single), Derek LeBlanc (single), Trevor Hisler (double) and Chase Nelson (single) paced the hosts.
Information for The First was unavailable.
The First 4, Franklin County 3
At Farmington July 10, The First kept things interesting as it prevailed over Franklin County by a single run.
Caleb Jacob pitched 5 2/3 innings for The First and allowed three runs on five hits, while Ryan Allender closed the game on the hill.
Jacob, Drew Townsend and Mike Wolff had two hits for The First. Townsend doubled and came in on an RBI-single by Wolff to break a 3-3 tie late in the game, which proved the difference in the win.
Gardiner 8, The First 7
At Gardiner July 9, The First scored seven unanswered, but Gardiner did the Midcoast squad one better and prevailed by a run.
Joe Chamberlain, Chander Crans, Thomas Curtis and Connor Graffam had two hits for The First, which committed four errors in the seventh inning.
Graffam allowed four runs in six innings of work for the visitors.
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