Three-peat title sweep pretty sweet for KnoxersChamps rule Camden-Rockport league for third straight season
Rockport — It has been said bad things happen in threes, but for the Knoxers baseball squad in the Camden-Rockport Little League, wonderful, memorable things happen in threes, such as a delicious, rare championship three-peat.
Despite battling player injury issues all season, which often left them undermanned, the Knoxers finished as the league champions for the third straight season with a high-scoring victory over McCormicks on Thursday night, June 13 at Marge Jones Recreation Facility.
The Knoxers prevailed 13-11 to cement the title.
The Knoxers, the regular-season East Division champs, include Cole Anderson, Eben Merrifield, Liam Haining, Noah Erskine, Connor Hedstrom, Wyatt Johnson, Sam Conlan, Brady Hedstrom, Austin Charkowick, Oscar Horowitz, Ivan Young and Nolan Delehey. The manager is Derek Anderson and coaches Neil Delehey and Rob Charkowick
McCormicks, the regular-season West Division champs, includes Spencer Johndro, Sam Hebert, Kerry Sabanty, Avery Hallett, David Audette, Nathan Levig, Simon Fedarko, Aiden Kehoe, Alec O'Dwyer, Jay Hokkanen, Jeremy Fraser and Jackson Bernier. The manager is Kenny Johndro and the coaches Brian Hebert and Aaron Fedarko.
During the regular season the Knoxers finished 11-1, with the lone loss coming against McCormicks when the Knoxers forfeited due to having only eight players (thus, the champs never actually lost a game they played this spring). For the majority of the season Knoxers had only 10 players due to injuries to Conlan and Haining.
During the playoffs, the Knoxers beat Hope General 12-3 and Rotary 5-1 to get to the championship game. Knoxers finished 14-1 overall.
McCormicks, which finished 9-3 during the regular season and 11-5 overall, lost to Rotary in the first round of the playoffs and beat Lions and Rotary to advance to the championship game.
The final regular-season standings included: West Division — McCormicks 9-3, Rotary 8-4 and Lynx 5-7. East Division — Knoxers 11-1, Hope General Store 3-9 and Lions, 0-12.
The league's double-elimination playoffs began June 1. This was the first year in which Knox Suburban teams played in the C-R Little League, which is expected to become Five Town Little League in the future.
In Thursday's league championship game, Knoxer pitchers Anderson, Charkowick and Erskine combine to record 17 strikeouts. McCormicks pitching was provided by Johndro and Hebert, who combined for nine strikeouts.
The Knoxers scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning after two walks and a double from Erskine. McCormicks responded in its half of the third stanza to take a 4-2 cushion, thanks to a series of walks and a hit by Johndro.
The Knoxers then plated two more runs with a single from Anderson and double by Conlan, who later scored following two wild pitches.
McCormicks responded with three runs in the fourth inning on a three-run home run by Sabanti, a shot that was hit on the first pitch he saw following a pitching change.
The Knoxers came back in their half of the fourth to score five runs. The scoring was kicked off by a series of walks and a timely double by Delehey.
McCormicks scored three additional runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 10-9 lead. But Knoxers responded with four runs in the bottom of the stanza with key hits and aggressive base running.
The Knoxers never looked back as McCormicks was only able to score one additional run for the 13-11 final.
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media 30 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.
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