Wiscasset won its first regional title in school history Wednesday afternoon, shutting out two-time defending champion Buckfield, 4-0, in the Class D West final at Mahaney Diamond.

Tyler Bailey threw a four-hit shutout and struck out seven for the Wolverines (10-9), who will try to derail the Bangor Christian dynasty in Saturday’s state game at Mansfield Complex in Bangor.

Forget deceiving. The champions’ record is a big, fat lie. Wiscasset dropped from Class C to D this season and is the only Class D school in the B and C-dominated MVC. One of the Wolverines’ regular-season wins was over Class C West finalist St. Dom’s.

“That strength of schedule,” Buckfield coach Joe McLaughlin said. “It’s the best team we’ve faced by far.”

That familiarity with tough opponents and top-flight pitching helped Wiscasset score two runs in the top of the first inning against Buckfield ace Jonah Williams. The Wolverines added one in the fourth and another in the sixth.

Williams, who struck out 16 in a two-hit shutout of Searsport in the semifinals, went the distance on three days’ rest. The left-hander scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked four.

“We heard about him the past week,” said Bailey, a sophomore on a Wiscasset club with only three seniors and 11 total players. “We heard about his off-speed and also how he threw hard. We practiced, and I think we did pretty well against it.”

Chandler Longfellow, Bailey and Grant Hefler had RBIs for Wiscasset.

Williams, Jared Eastman, Gerry Gagne and Jon Randolph provided the Bucks’ base hits.

Bailey did not allow a hit after the third inning. Buckfield (11-5) stranded six base runners through four frames and seven overall.

The Bucks twice left a runner at third base.

“I felt like everybody in the order had their chances,” McLaughlin said. “We just couldn’t get them consistently. And they played great defense. I guess they made one error, but it was inconsequential.”

Randolph and Williams each singled in the third.

Wolverines center fielder Matt Craig and right fielder Nate Howard put away three hard-hit fly balls to avoid any damage.

“Usually when I get runners on base, I try to keep myself calm and pitch through it and not let it bother me,” Bailey said.

In the fourth, Jacob Kraske walked and Matt Beaucage reached on an error. Bailey struck out the side, however, including Gagne and Randolph looking to escape the jam.

“He got into some situations, first-and-third, where it could have gone either way,” Wiscasset coach Mike Bowles said. “He got out of it, and I think it was a confidence booster. To limit the top half of the order the way we did is a testament to how he prepares.”

Wiscasset was aggressive against Williams in the first, getting its initial three hitters aboard.

Hefler singled to left field. Bryson Grover placed his sacrifice bunt in a tricky spot down the first base line. Williams mishandled it, and both runners were safe.

Daren Wood’s single to center loaded the bases, setting up Longfellow’s sacrifice fly and Bailey’s run-producing groundout to second.

“They came out aggressive swinging the bat, which is what you should do against a pitcher who’s in the zone usually,” McLaughlin said. “He’s a competitor. That’s why the two runs, I wasn’t really fazed. Some kids might get down on themselves. It actually fired him up more.”

Craig cranked a leadoff triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 in the fourth.

He also walked and scored in the sixth. Craig scampered home after Hefler’s low line drive eluded Owen Bennett’s diving bid at third.

“Facing Jonah today, I would put him up there with some of the best in the Mountain Valley Conference,” Bowles said. “Knowing that we’d faced (Dirigo’s Kaine) Hutchins and (St. Dom’s Mike) Bryant and (Monmouth’s Nate) Gagne, it wasn’t anything that shocked us. We practiced the past couple days to prepare for it, and they executed the game plan.”

Bailey retired 10 of the final 12 Bucks, the lone exceptions coming when he hit Kraske with a pitch in the sixth and plunked Tyler Vallee in the seventh.

“The beginning of the game I couldn’t get (my curve) working. Then in the middle of the game it started to work for me, and that was a key piece in the win,” Bailey said. “It helped me a lot later in the game.”

Prior to its current run of three consecutive regional title game appearances, Buckfield hadn’t appeared at states since 1997.

Keenan Stockdale and four-year starters Williams and Bennett are the only seniors.

“They need to be proud of what they’ve done,” McLaughlin said. “They’ve had a great run. They’re a Buckfield team that people can look back on, and they can take some pride in that. And I think they get it.”


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