High school baseball

'Resilient' Oceanside puts rally caps on to surge past Hermon

Quarterfinal playoff victory thrusts Mariners into semifinals against No. 1 Ellsworth
By Mark Haskell | Jun 07, 2018
Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer Oceanside's Matt Waldron makes a connection against Hermon on June 7 in a high school baseball game in Rockland. The host Mariners beat the Hawks 6-4 in a Class B North quarterfinal playoff game.

Rockland — Resilient has been a word that has described the Oceanside baseball team this spring. Game in and game out, the Mariners, more often than not, demonstrate resiliency.

And with the chips down against No. 5 Hermon in the Thursday, June 7 Class B North quarterfinal playoff game, the No. 4 Mariners proved the definition of that term — with the season on the line — as the hosts erased a two-run deficit with a two-out rally and a four-run sixth inning to claim a 6-4 victory over the visiting Hawks on Morrill Field.

See video, and more photos, below.

With the win, Oceanside (15-3), which defeated No. 13 Presque Isle 2-0 in a prelim playoff game 24 hours prior, advances to the semifinals, where it play at top-ranked Ellsworth (16-1) on Saturday, June 9 at 1 p.m.

The Mariners and Eagles did not play each other during the regular season.

Hermon, which defeated No. 12 Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield in a prelim playoff contest to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinal, saw its season wrap at 12-6.

Leading the Mariners at the plate Thursday were Uriah Thongsophaphone (single, stolen base), Michael Dougherty (2 runs), Titus Kaewthong (home run, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Jonah Carlson (run), Logan Sheridan (2 singles, RBI), Jack Freeman (double, single, run, RBI), Ben Ripley (2 singles, 2 RBIs) and Matt Waldron (single).

For the Hawks, Nate Allain (single), River Mullen (RBI), Keith Pomeroy (run, stolen base), Alex Applebee (single, run), Kent Johnson (double, 2 runs, stolen base, RBI) and Mark Mailloux (single, stolen base) paced the offense.

Dougherty, Waldron and Freeman pitched for the hosts, as the trio combined to allow four hits and six walks, with four strikeouts.

Jacques LaBonte and Pomeroy pitched for the visitors, as the two allowed nine hits and eight walks, with four strikeouts.

“All year long this has been a resilient team,” said Mariner coach Don Shields. “There’s no lead we have not looked at and not come back from. I mean we’ve lost three games and, only once can I think where we fell behind and we just didn’t have the energy to come back. This is what this team does.”

The Mariners sailed out of the gate in the first inning when Dougherty drew a one-out walk followed by Kaewthong, who connected on a two-run blast over the center-field fence to put the hosts in front.

Kaewthong did not see another pitch in the game as he was intentionally walked twice and unintentionally walked once.

But the Hawks did not trail for long as they knotted the score with a pair in the second frame when Mullen plated Applebee and Hawes knocked home Johnson on a sacrifice fly.

Then, in the third stanza, Hermon took a 4-2 lead after an RBI-double by Johnson and another RBI by Rush.

Coach Shields praised Waldron’s effort in relief, as he went 2 1/3 innings in relief of Dougherty, as Waldron faced 10 batters, and kept Oceanside’s deficit at two runs.

“He hadn’t pitched for two weeks, he came in when we were down 4-2 and we needed to shut down from our bullpen,” Shields said. “And Matt Waldron did a phenomenal job. We won this game because our relief pitching was able to pull it off. He stepped up when he needed to and that was his best pitching outing of the year.”

And Waldron's efforts on the hill set the stage for the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Mariners, which began the frame with the top of the order, drew back-to-back, one-out walks by Dougherty and Kaewthong before a Mike Norton Jr. groundout put the hosts down to their final out of the frame.

From there, the Mariners plated four straight runs with two outs as Sheridan and Freeman ripped back-to-back RBI-singles to knot the score — followed by a two-run single from Ripley — to turn a two-run deficit into a two-run cushion for Oceanside.

The games do not get easier for the Mariners as they are now tasked with unseating the top-ranked Eagles. And Shields said when you get to this point, anything can happen.

“They’ve got two real good pitchers, like most teams do at this point [in the playoffs],” he said. “One of their pitchers was the player of the year in the [Penobscot Valley Conference]. Obviously they’re 16-1 and they’re a quality ball team. But we’re a real good ball team and we’re seven innings from Mansfield [Stadium and the regional final]. That’s the way we see it.”

Hermon at Oceanside baseball
Oceanside hosts Hermon on June 7 in high school baseball in Rockland. (Video by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Jack Freeman. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Logan Sheridan, left, and Hermon's Cody Hawes. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
From left, Oceanside's Logan Sheridan, Michael Dougherty, Jack Freeman and Uriah Thongsophaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Michael Dougherty. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside players and coaches in the dugout. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Ben Ripley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Ben Ripley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Ben Ripley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Maguire LeBlanc. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Nate Coombs. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Maguire LeBlanc, right, and Hermon's Adam Rush. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Maguire LeBlanc. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongsophaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongsophaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Logan Sheridan, right, and Hermon's Adam Rush. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Michael Dougherty. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongsophaphone, right, and a Hermon base runner. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
From left, Oceanside's Matt Waldron, Michael Dougherty, Logan Sheridan and Uriah Thongsophaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Maguire LeBlanc. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Matt Waldron. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongsophaphone, right, and Hermon's Cody Hawes. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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