Lucas Francis of Lisbon High School rounds third base on his way to home plate during last month’s win over Spruce Mountain. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Dodging rain drops and most opponents’ No. 1 starters along the way, Oxford Hills and Lisbon emerged from the blink that is Maine’s high school baseball season as the only two unbeaten teams in the state.

Lisbon coach Randy Ridley applauded his team’s perfect regular season, noting the Greyhounds added the achievement to their list of goals during the season once they realized it was attainable. But he said his team is quick to turn the page.

“Now that we’ve done it, they realize there’s some other things we’ve got to accomplish,” Ridley said. “Being the No. 1 seed (in Class C South) puts us in a good spot.”

Tuesday’s preliminary round will help determine how good that spot is. The top-seeded Greyhounds (16-0) await the winner of  the prelim between No. 9 Old Orchard Beach (6-10) and No. 8 St. Dom’s (7-9).

In the region’s other prelim, No. 7 Winthrop hosts No. 10 Mt. Abram (8-8) for the right to face second-seeded Maranacook (15-1) in the quarterfinals. The Ramblers won both of their MVC games with the Roadrunners this season, 8-3 and 5-3.

The two C South quarterfinals that are already set pit MVC vs. Western Maine Conference, including No. 4 Monmouth Academy (13-3) hosting No. 5 Traip Academy (10-6).

Quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday.

Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer is glad to have the top seed and home field in Class A North and thinks his senior-laden team is prepared for the perils of the postseason.

“Obviously, everything gets washed away now,” Slicer said. “I’m proud that we’ve had a great season. Going No. 1 showed in the long run we’ve earned it, but baseball’s a funny sport. You can have a bad day or one bad bounce and season’s over.”

The Vikings (16-0) host an eighth-seeded Skowhegan (8-8) team that edged Brunswick for the final playoff spot by 0.23 of a point in the Heal point standings. Oxford Hills’ 12-2 win in their only regular-season meeting was Skowhegan’s last loss, and is enough to add to Slicer’s discomfort.

“They’ve won four in a row. Obviously, they had to work hard to get in,” he said. “It looked like they were going to be out of the hunt and then they fought hard to get in there. It’s difficult going up against those teams that are peaking at the right time.”

Calming Slicer’s nerves somewhat is a glaring absence from the tournament — Bangor, which won the last five state championships. The Rams, who eliminated the Vikings from the region the last two years (2017 semifinal, 2018 final).

“It’s a little different, that’s for sure,” Slicer said.

No. 3 Edward Little (11-5) can’t avoid revisiting recent playoff eliminations. On Thursday, it hosts the team that has upset it each of the last three years (quarterfinals last year and semifinals the two previous), No. 6 Mt. Ararat. The Red Eddies do have a win in their only meeting this year, 5-3, on May 8.

No. 5 Lewiston (9-7) travels to Augusta for another Thursday quarterfinal to face No. 4 Cony (11-5). The Blue Devils won the only regular season meeting, 1-0, on May 13.

Unlike A North, only one quarterfinal is set in B South: No. 4 Mountain Valley (13-3) hosts No. 5 Fryeburg Academy (12-4) in another MVC-vs.-WMC clash.

Leavitt and Oak Hill will have to win a road prelim to reach the quarterfinals. The 11th-seeded Hornets take on No. 6 Wells (8-8), with the winner advancing to face No. 3 Freeport. No. 2 Greely gets the winner of the 10th-seeded Raiders’ (8-8) prelim against No. 7 Morse (9-7).

In Class D South, No. 3 Buckfield (9-6) opens in the quarterfinals against No. 6 Vinalhaven/North Haven (5-5), with the winner advancing to face No. 2 Richmond in the semifinals. The Bucks swept a May 24 doubleheader on the island, 11-1 and 16-4.


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