Matt Kinney, Matt Truman, Pat Liddy, Greg Creek, Mark Rogers, Ryan Flaherty.

Those are some of the names of the past winners of the John Winkin Award, or “Mr. Maine Baseball” as it is known to many. It’s a list to which Poland’s Joe Douglass and Oak Hill’s Josh Jillson have a chance to add their names next week.

Douglass and Jillson are among four finalists for the award announced Thursday. Old Town’s Jarrett Lukas and Gordon Webb are the others. The winner will be announced at the Maine High School Senior All-Star Baseball Classic, which will be held at 7 p.m. on June 22 at St. Joseph’s College’s Larry Mahaney Diamond. The award considers a player’s dedication to baseball, their school and their community over their high school career.

Jillson, a left-hander, was the ace of the Oak Hill staff the last two years, leading the Raiders to the 2006 Class B state championship. Shortly thereafter, he signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Maine.

“I’m pretty excited (about being a finalist),” Jillson said. “It’s something I always thought would be a pretty big honor. My career went so much better than I thought possible, winning states and then getting an offer to Maine and going there.”

This year, having lost his catcher and a number of other teammates to graduation, he struggled at times. He finished 4-2 with a 1.79 ERA while leading his team to the regional quarterfinals. He also played the outfield and first base and hit .305. He was a KVAC second-team, All-Conference selection and was a finalist for Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

“Josh’s win/loss numbers weren’t great, but he got his ERA down below 2 in the Yarmouth game and he had 83 Ks in 52 innings,” Drouin said.

“I really strongly feel that he deserves the award,” he added. “We play every season in high school baseball to win a state championship, and he did that. In fact, he carried the team while doing it.”

Douglass led the Knights to the Western Class B final, where they lost to Greely. Also a southpaw, he went 5-1 on the mound. When he wasn’t pitching, he played first base and the outfield. As a leadoff hitter, he hit .500 for the second straight year and drew 22 walks. He was named the Western Maine Conference’s Player of the Year for the second straight year.

“He’s been a very consistent performer, especially the last couple of years,” said Poland coach Dave Jordan. “Talent-wise, he definitely has the ability to perform at a high level.”

Douglass will attend college and play baseball at St. Joe’s in the fall. He was at a Sea Dogs’ game Thursday night and could not be reached for comment.

Lukas, a pitcher/shortstop for Old Town, won the Gatorade Player of the Year Award after batting .531 with four home runs. He will join Jillson in Orono in the fall.

Webb, Bangor’s catcher, batted .553 and slugged .842 while leading the Rams to Saturday’s state title game against Deering. He had three home runs and 16 RBIs.


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