High school baseball

Spring ahead: Oceanside returns to old haunt to host Gardiner

Cold weather persists as Mariners look to start another playoff-bound campaign
By Staff | Apr 12, 2018
Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer Oceanside's Ben Ripley digs down the first-base line during an April 11 preseason high school baseball game with Gardiner in Thomaston.

Thomaston — The Oceanside baseball team was back on the diamond at its old haunt on Wednesday, April 11, but will play most of its games this spring at a new venue.

In its first preseason game of the spring, the Mariners hosted Gardiner on its old — and, at this point, very cold — Thomaston field, but, ultimately, will play regular-season games at Robert "Bob" Morrill Field in Rockland.

Watch video below.

The Mariners will be on their new field for a game for the first time on Thursday, April 12 when they host Foxcroft Academy at 4 p.m. in another preseason affair.

The Mariners, led by coach Don Shields, in his seventh year (10th overall, including three with the former Georges Valley High School), include seniors Titus Kaewthong (catcher, outfield, pitcher), Logan Sheridan (pitcher, third baseball, first base), Jack Freeman (pitcher, first baseball, shortstop), Michael Dougherty (pitcher, shortstop), Michael Norton Jr. (outfield), Connor Harvey (outfield), Hunter Davis (second base), Matt Waldron (pitcher, third base, first base) and Silas Miller (outfield); juniors Ben Ripley (pitcher, infield), Uriah Thongaphaphone (pitcher, infield), Cole Stevens (pitcher, outfield), Maguire LeBlanc (catcher, first baseball), Tim Mazzeo (outfield, infield), Zach Cody (outfield); and sophomore Karl Ilvonen (catcher, outfield). The team lost two players to graduation.

The team again looks to make a strong push to the regional tournament. Last year, the Mariners finished 9-8 and lost to host Mount Desert Island 1-0 in a prelim playoff game

Shields said the team's strength will be its pitching depth. "We return all our starting pitching from last year and will look to Sheridan to be the ace of the staff. Dougherty and Freeman pitched a number of innings for us last year and our pitching depth should allow us to take advantage of the pitch-count rules that went into effect last year."

The coach said the team's defense was solid last season and "we will need to play strong defense again this year to take the stress off our pitching staff. Our infield is intact from last year, with the exception of third base and our outfield, has the speed to be one of the best [defensive] outfields in the [Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference]."

The coach said the Mariners need to improve their timely hitting. "We lost several one-run games last year and battled to get that key hit to drive in runs. We are hoping that improves in 2018 with experience," he said.

Staying healthy also will be paramount to the Mariners' success. "We lost several key players for a number of games to nagging injuries last season that I believe prevented us from going on a run. Avoiding those injury issues this season is necessary," the coach said.

"We are a playoff team in a very deep Northern Maine Class B and we will play several of those strong teams during the regular season, including Erskine Academy, Brewer, Hermon, Belfast and an up-and-coming Medomak Valley team. Add to that two crossover games with Class A Camden Hills and games against a young-and-improving Lincoln Academy and Morse from Southern B, we have a strong schedule and will need to be at our best every game this season."

Gardiner at Oceanside baseball
Gardiner at Oceanside baseball on April 11 in Thomaston. (Video by: Holly Vanorse Spicer and Zack Miller)
Oceanside's Michael Norton Jr. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside players come together on the mound. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Logan Sheridan. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Jack Freeman, right, and a Gardiner baserunner. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongaphaphone, left, and Jack Freeman. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Maguire LeBlanc. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Jack Freeman, front, and a Gardiner player. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Titus Kaewthong. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Ben Ripley. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongaphaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Uriah Thongaphaphone. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Jack Freeman. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Jack Freeman. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Oceanside's Michael Norton Jr. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
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