Junior Legion baseball

Midcoast states case loud, clear in tournament at Mansfield Stadium

Midcoast wins three of first four games, including one in extra innings
By Zack Miller | Aug 05, 2019
Photo by: Ken Waltz Midcoast's Jason Greenleaf takes a swing at a pitch against the Hammond Lumber Loons on Aug. 2 in the American Legion Junior Legion state baseball tournament at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor. Midcoast rallied to win 5-4 in eight innings.

Bangor — With the Zone 1 tournament behind it, the Midcoast American Legion Junior Legion baseball team turned its attention — as well as arms, legs, bats and gloves —to the state tournament.

Midcoast entered the double-elimination state playoffs as No. 3 North, and had four straight days of play as the squad, comprised of players from Knox and Waldo counties, stood at 3-1 in four contests played Friday through Monday, Aug. 2-5 at Mansfield Stadium.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The team was back on the same diamond on Monday night, Aug. 5 in an elimination game, as Midcoast beat Lisbon 4-2.

With the win, the local squad makes it back to Mansfield for a fifth straight day on Tuesday, Aug. 6 for potentially two games at 5 and 7:30 p.m., which would be the championship.

Midcoast fell to No. 3 South Fairfield 7-4 on Sunday, Aug. 4, after it beat the No. 1 North Acadians 7-2 on Saturday night, Aug. 3 and earned a 5-4, eight-inning comeback victory over the No. 2 North Hammond Lumber Loons on Friday night, Aug. 2.

The loss to Fairfield dropped Midcoast to the brink of elimination, as the local team fought for its tournament life against No. 1 South Lisbon on Monday night at the same venue. Midcoast proved up to the task with a 4-2 victory.

The win advances Midcoast to play No. 2 North Quirk Motor City of Hampden (3-1) on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the championship game the same night at 7:30 p.m. to play Fairfield (3-1).

Motor City topped Fairfield 9-7 on Monday night for the opportunity to play Midcoast.

Motor City also beat Midcoast 3-0 in the Zone 1 tournament on Tuesday, July 30 to earn the No. 2 seed in the state tournament.

MIdcoast also had five players participate in the league's all-star game on Sunday, Aug. 4 as Jason Bartlett, Sam Moody, Aidan Schecter, True Crane and Joey Curtis represented the North. South beat the North 6-4 in the game.

Midcoast also had Logan Putansu and Tommy Walker represent it on the league's all-rookie team.

Midcoast, sponsored by Penobscot Bay Dentistry in Belfast and led by manager Scott Cournoyer, assistant manager Christie LeVesque, head coach Chris Lavalle and assistant coaches Penson Bartlett and Tim Moody, include Dylan Abbott, Andrew Abelon, Jason Bartlett, Brandon Cournoyer, True Crane, Joey Curtis, Eamon Goscinski, Jason Greenleaf, Chris Kelley, Liam McConnell, Sam Moody, Ethan Porter, Logan Putansu, Aidan Schecter, Tanner Veilleux and Tommy Walker.

The standings for the state tourney were: North — No. 1 Acadians, No. 2 Quirk Motor City, No. 3 Midcoast and No. 4 Maine Sluggers. South — No. 1 Lisbon, No. 2 Hammond Lumber Loons, No. 3 Fairfield and No. 4 Waterville.

The following is a recap of the Midcoast's first four state tournament contests:

No. 3 North Midcoast 4, No. 1 South Lisbon 2

At Bangor Aug. 5, Midcoast jumped ahead early and padded its lead to hold off Libson.

Midcoast scored one run in the first inning and three in the fifth. Lisbon scored both runs in the fifth inning.

Jason Bartlett (single, double, RBI) led the Midcoast offense, while Brandon Cournoyer (single, RBI), Sam Moody (single, RBI, run), Joey Curtis (2 singles, run), True Crane (single) and Tanner Veilleux (run) had strong at-bats.

Lisbon's offense was led by Jack Tibbetts (single, RBI), Neil Larochelle (single, run), Ethan Brown (single, run), Nick Ferrenece (single) and Hunter Brissette (single).

Moody tossed a complete game for Midcoast, as he threw 92 pitches with 58 strikes, and gave up two runs on five hits, with three walks, and two strikeouts.

Tibbetts (77 pitches with 47 strikes) and Ferrence (38 pitches with 21 strikes) pitched for Lisbon, and combined for four runs on eight hits, with three walks, and five strikeouts.

Right off the bat — quite literally — Midcoast came alive, as Moody lined a single to left field to start the game. After an out, Bartlett smacked a double to center field, which plated Moody from second, as Midcoast jumped ahead 1-0.

The local squad built its lead in the fifth, as Curtis hit a one-out single to left field, followed by a Veilleux walk to put runners on first and second.

Chris Kelley laid down a bunt and reached first on an error by the Lisbon first baseman, which allowed Curtis to score and Veilleux to advance to third.

Cournoyer hit a line drive single to center to bring home Veilleux, as Kelley moved to third.

Moody kept the offensive parade alive with a sacrifice fly to left field, which allowed Kelley to tag up from third, and put Midcoast up 4-0.

Lisbon plated its two runs in the bottom half of the inning with two outs, but Moody regained his composure on the mound and shut the opponent's bats down the rest of the way.

No. 3 South Fairfield 7, No. 3 North Midcoast 4

At Bangor Aug. 4, Midcoast fell behind early and never recovered for its first loss of the tournament.

Fairfield scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second and one in the fifth. Midcoast scored one in the second, two in the third and one in the fifth.

For Midcoast, True Crane (2 singles, 2 RBIs) led the offense, while Tommy Walker (2 singles), Logan Putansu (single), Joey Curtis (single), Jason Greenleaf (single, RBI, run), Jason Bartlett (2 runs) and Sam Moody (run) had strong plate appearances.

Nate Bickford (2 singles, triple, RBI, 2 runs) led Fairfield, while Dylan Coombs (single), Jacob Ryder (single), Chris Dow (2 singles, RBI, 2 runs), Zach Nickerson (single, run) and Mike Roy (single, RBI), Matthew Berry (RBI, run) and Dom Wilson (run) had strong at-bats.

Putansu (74 pitches with 44 strikes), Chris Kelley (30 pitches with 14 strikes) and Moody (24 pitches with 13 strikes) pitched for Midcoast, and combined for seven runs on nine hits, with six walks and four strikeouts.

Ryder (108 pitches with 61 strikes) and Dow (20 pitches with 9 strikes) worked the bump for Fairfield, and combined for four runs on seven hits, with eight walks and seven strikeouts.

"This [contest] was challenging," said coach Scott Cournoyer. "[We had] missed opportunities hitting-wise, we left too many base runners on [and had] a couple called third strikes, where we need to make an adjustment. Basically, the differences in the game.

"We didn't have as great of pitching, because we were down to our fourth and fifth pitchers, but Logan [Putansu] did a nice job for us [on the mound]. We couldn't really get the bats rolling to make up the difference.

"The team's energy was really good in the dugout, pretty much the whole game. The [players] were in it, and it was a tough situation. All these kids are huge baseball lovers."

No. 3 North Midcoast 7, No. 1 North Acadians 2

At Bangor Aug. 3, Midcoast jumped out early and held the Acadians in check the rest of the way. Midcoast scored three runs in the first inning, two in the third and two in the seventh. The Acadians scored their runs in the seventh inning.

Jason Bartlett (3 singles, RBI, 2 runs) led the Midcoast offense, while Aidan Schecter (single, 2 runs), Sam Moody (2 singles, run), Joey Curtis (2 singles, 2 RBIs, run) and Brandon Cournoyer (single) had strong at-bats.

Porter Isaacs (single, RBI) led the Acadians, while Grady Wellman (single) and Logan Beckwith (run) had strong plate appearances.

True Crane pitched a complete game, as he hurled 98 pitches, with 66 strikes, and allowed two runs on three hits with one walk, and eight strikeouts.

Isaacs (97 pitches with 61 strikes), Brady Findlay (30 pitches with 19 strikes) and Owen Gaundreau (21 pitches with 7 strikes) pitched for the Acadians, and combined for seven runs on 12 hits, with five walks and eight strikeouts.

"Right at the beginning we scored three runs, and [the Acadians] pulled their pitcher," said coach Cournoyer. "We kind of leveled out [after that]. We left the bases loaded in the second inning, stranded two more runners in the third, but the bats were going and we were rock-solid defensively.

"I believe we sat them down one-two-three in the first three innings. It was kind of that energy and momentum shift. It seemed like [the Acadians] had kind of given up, and going into the seventh inning they got a single and a walk, but we didn't care if they stole [bases] because we just needed outs.

"This game was probably our best game of the season."

No. 3 North Midcoast 5, No. 2 South Hammond Lumber Loons 4  (8 inns.)

At Bangor Aug. 2, Midcoast scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth inning when Jason Bartlett crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Midcoast scored four runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth. The Loons scored two runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh.

Leading Midcoast at the plate were Tommy Walker (2 singles, 2 RBIs), Jason Bartlett (single, run), Brandon Cournoyer (single, RBI), Aidan Schecter (double, run), Sam Moody (single), Joey Curtis (single), Jason Greenleaf (single) and Tanner Veilleux (run).

Nick Woodside (2 singles, RBI) led Hammond Lumber, while Mitch Grant (single), Jake Thomas (single, 2 RBIs), Jacob Benttinen (double, 2 runs), Andrew Everett (single), Andrew Mayo (2 singles) and Joe Ardito (2 runs) had strong at-bats.

Curtis (103 pitches with 61 strikes), Schecter (40 pitches with 21 strikes) and Bartlett (19 pitches with 12 strikes) pitched for Midcoast, and combined for four runs on eight hits, with eight walks and six strikeouts.

James Smith (62 pitches with 42 strikes), Tyesn Paz (32 pitches with 21 strikes) and Mayo (28 pitches with 19 strikes) pitched for the Loons and combined for five runs on eight hits, with four walks and six strikeouts.

Midcoast was down to its final three outs, as the Loons broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning to go ahead 2-0, but Midcoast rallied to take a 4-2 advantage as the team put all nine batters to the plate in the inning, which flipped the script and put Hammond Lumber's back against the wall.

The Loons were up for the challenge, and, with two outs, scored two more runs to tie game 4-4 and force the extra inning.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Bartlett slapped a triple to left field to get into scoring position.

Schecter walked to put runners on the corners, and with one ball registered in the count, True Crane saw ball two go by and to the backstop, which allowed Bartlett to scamper home with the deciding run.

Hammond Lumber attempted to rally in the bottom of the inning with a two-out single, but Midcoast shut the Loons down to secure the victory.

"It was very, very tight," said coach Cournoyer. "We had some amazing defensive plays. Putansu had two diving catches, with one in the seventh and the final out in the eighth inning. The ball was absolutely scorched to [Putansu's] left and he laid out and caught it.

"Our center fielder Brandon [Cournoyer] made a diving catch for the second out in the eighth inning, which would have been a double, if not more, in the right-center gap. [It wasn't] just the defense and pitching, but timely hitting."

Midcoast versus Hammond Lumber Loons
Midcoast versus Hammond Lumber Loons on Aug. 2 in American Legion Junior League baseball play at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Zack Miller)
Midcoast's Chris Kelley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's True Crane. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis, right, and Hammond Lumber's Myles Hammond. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Aidan Schecter. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast players in the dugout watch teammate Sam Moody at the plate. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Sam Moody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Sam Moody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Aidan Schecter. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Eamon Goscinski, left, and Sam Moody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's True Crane. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Eamon Goscinski, left, and Hammond Lumber's James Smith. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Ethan Porter, left, and Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Sam Moody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Bartlett. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis, right, and Aidan Schecter. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Bartlett, right, and Hammond Lumber's Tyesn Paz. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Bartlett. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Bartlett. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Bartlett. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast players, including Jason Greenleaf, middle, and Eamon Goscinski, right, celebrate a play. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Banner at Mansfield Stadium, in reference to a similar statement movie "Field of Dreams." (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Tanner Veilleux. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Tanner Veilleux. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Tanner Veilleux. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Tanner Veilleux. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Sam Moody. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Joey Curtis. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Jason Greenleaf. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's True Crane. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's True Crane, left, and Hammond Lumber's Cameron Littlefield. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Aidan Schecter. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Sam Moody, left, and Aidan Schecter. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Logan Putansu. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Aidan Schecter, front. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Midcoast's Aidan Schecter, front. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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