SOUTH PARIS – Due to declining enrollment, Gardiner will be contending for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title in Class B next season, so Tuesday’s tilt with Oxford Hills was its last regular season game in Class A.

The Tigers went out with a bang. In a game with a spot in the KVAC championship game and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern A playoffs on the line, they rode a combined no-hitter from Kyle Stilphen and John Bobrowiecki to an 8-0 win over the Vikings.

Like Gardiner, Oxford Hills (13-3) had already clinched a bye in the Eastern A tournament, and will enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed.

“There was a lot riding on this game. You still get the two or three seed, you know that going in. But you’re still playing for something special,” Vikings coach Shane Slicer said. “And (Stilphen) is the type of kid you want on the mound. He’s one of the best players in the league, and he showed it today.”

Stilphen fanned 12, walked three and hit a batter in five innings of work. He left the game after 89 pitches.

“We have him on a pitch count and we’re just making sure we don’t overuse him,” said Gardiner coach Jim Palmer. “We didn’t use him in the middle part of the season to kind of keep him fresh through the back side, and he had a great game the last time out and then came out and shut them down.”

Bobrowiecki, a southpaw, worked the last two innings and struck out four while walking three. It was the Tigers’ second combined no-hitter of the season.

Gardiner (15-1) got all the runs it needed in the first with a two-out rally off Viking starter Ben Goodall, who threw a no-no of his own two outings ago against Mt. Ararat. Stilphen singled and scored on Sean McNally’s double to the left-field corner. McNally (2-for-4, three RBIs) moved to third on an errant throw from the outfield, then scored on Roland Kennerson’s single to right.

“We talk about two-out runs all the time,” Palmer said. “That’s when you can make things happen and team kind of get on their heels a little bit.”

The Vikings’ best chance to answer came in the bottom of the first. Stilphen struck out the first two hitters, then walked the bases loaded before getting Ryan Yates swinging for the third out. He then struck out the side on 10 pitches in the second.

“We had our opportunity early when he walked three guys, but we didn’t get a hit, so you can’t say we had a lot of opportunities,” Slicer said. “We just didn’t hit the ball very well. We’re going to face some good pitchers down the stretch. We’ve got to hit the ball a lot better than we did today or we’re going to have an early season.”

Their best chances to break up the no-hitter came with the last batter Stilphen faced, Justin Frechette, and the first batter Bobrowiecki faced, Goodall. Both smacked line drives to right field that were tracked down by Josh Wheelock.


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