By the Beacon Sports Staff
The Southern Maine Community College baseball celebrated its second Yankee Small College Championship this past Saturday at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach. The Wolves took on the College of Saint Joseph’s of Vermont in the championship game, posting a 5-1 win behind the pitching of Dylan Francoeur and the batting of Peter Stauber.
After spotting the Fighting Saints of St Joe’s a one-run lead in the first inning, the Wolves would keep the Saints off of the big board with defensive gems. SeaWolf catcher Peter Stauber threw out a Saint runner trying to steal third, ending the second inning. Then the Wolves would turn a double play at the end of the fifth inning, stomping on any ideas the Saints had about rallying.
The SeaWolves would get all the scoring they needed in the third inning, as they would take advantage of hit batsmen and a passed ball.
Jeaden Suazo would start the inning off by earning first base with a walk. Ian Westphal would follow with a single to third base, placing SMCC runners at first and second. After Cody Bryant struck out, Defensive Player of the Tournament Peter Stauber would fill the bases when he was hit by a pitch.
Stefan Lesco would gain base in the same manner as Stauber, forcing across the first SeaWolf run when he was struck with a pitch.
Caleb Burpee, the sixth SeaWolf batter of the inning, would connect with a double to left field advancing Lesco to third base after Stauber and Westphal crossed home plate. Lesco would complete his trip around the base paths as he would score on a pass ball.
Sean Adams and Junior Nunez would end the inning for the SeaWolves, as they would ground out and strike out respectively. After eight batters, five of whom reached base, the damage was done, as the Wolves would score all the runs they would need to bring home the rings.
Colby Gunter would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when he smacked a deep hit just out of reach of the right fielder’s outstretched arm. Gunter would slide into third under the throw from the second baseman to the third and score as the third baseman could not handle the throw.
Dylan Francoeur, who would be named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, would retire the last six outs of the game striking out four St Joe’s batters. Shortstop Stefan Lesco would assist with a put-out in the sixth, and Francoeur would assist on the final out of the game when he would collect a short throw from the first baseman and tag first with plenty of room to spare.
The Wolves took to the field against Great Bay Community College in the second semifinal game after GBCC held on to win against Central Maine Community College in the opening game of the day.
SMCC would get on the big board in the first inning on a Dylan Francoeur homer over the left field mini-Green Monster. The Great Bay Herons would score a run apiece in the third and sixth innings. The Herons could not muster enough runs to threaten the Wolves throughout the seven innings of play.
The Wolves would send nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs and stranding one. Junior Nunez would gain first base on a fielding error by the Saints’ second baseman. Nunez would be replaced with pinch-runner Ian Westphal, who would take second on a passed ball, after which Colby Gunter would draw a walk.
Jeaden Suazo’s single to left field would drive in Westphal and advance Gunter to third. Suazo would steal second, setting up a double steal which would enable Gunter to score from third when Suazo took off for second.
Derek Foss would get on base with a walk as Suazo would take third on a wild pitch. Cody Bryant’s sacrifice fly to center field would allow Suazo to score pushing the third run of the inning across the plate for the Wolves.
The final run of the inning would be manufactured when Stauber reached base on a single, advancing Foss to third. Francoeur reached first on a fielder’s choice, advancing to second on an errant throw, which allowed Stauber to advance to third as Foss would be tagged out in a run-down. Stauber would grab third base as the Herons forced Foss into an out.
The SeaWolves’ scoring would end when Stauber crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Beacon would like to congratulate the SeaWolves’ 2018-19 baseball squad and their coach Dave Walsh on a job well done.