PARIS — He had a tough act to follow, but Wyatt Williamson eagerly embraced the pressure of taking the mound in top-seeded Oxford Hills’ Class A North semifinal against No. 5 Lewiston on Saturday.

Keeping Blue Devil batters off-balance and letting his ultra-dependable defense do its job were foremost on Williamson’s mind, not following up Colton Carson’s no-hitter against Skowhegan in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The junior right-hander did more than that, though. He also gave himself an early 1-0 lead to work with a sacrifice fly. Fifth-inning doubles by seniors Rodney Bean and Janek Luksza in the fifth made the difference in a 3-1 Oxford Hills victory.

“Every single time I go pitch, I always have the same mindset,” said Williamson, who caught Carson’s no-no against Skowhegan. “We’ve got the best defense in the state. If I throw strikes, we’re going to win. We have a really good chance of winning, anyway.”

It was the winning formula Saturday as Williamson scattered five hits and didn’t walk anyone while striking out six. Eight of his 12 remaining outs came on ground balls.

“He’s been just like that all year,” Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer said. “He doesn’t walk many. Pressure doesn’t get to him. Pressure doesn’t get to him. I mean, he can throw, obviously. But the more intense the game, the better he gets.”


The Vikings (18-0) did not commit an error. The Blue Devils (10-8) committed just one miscue, though it did prove costly.

“Every practice, we go as hard as we can in the field,” said Luksza, a shortstop. “We work on diving, picking ball, just everything. And it helps a lot.”

“We’re on a mission right now,” he added.

Oxford Hills makes its second consecutive trip to the regional final will face No. 3 Edward Little (13-5) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Morton Field in Augusta.

Protecting the 1-0 lead, Williamson allowed just one baserunner through the first five innings — a Brodi Farinas pop fly that dropped into no-man’s land between three Vikings in right field for a single in the third.

Williamson fielded Robert Dostie’s grounder back to the mound for the third out of the inning, then went on to retire the next 10 Blue Devils. He needed just eight pitches to get through the third and five to retire the side in the fourth.


“There was definitely a few innings where I pounded the zone real good,” Williamson said. “I had a few tough innings where I started off a batter, like, 3-0. But I came back, so that was nice.”

Was there any pressure following Carson’s performance two days earlier?

“Not really,” Williamson said. “I just try to throw strikes. I don’t really have much pressure. I know I’ve got a really good defense.”

“He was outstanding,” Lewiston coach Darren Hartley said of Williamson. “We had a plan. We stuck with our plan. They had a couple of balls fall today and we didn’t really have much fall in for us. Two big pitches cost us a couple of runs.”

Lewiston starter Hunter Landry did a good job of limiting the damage in the first inning after Oxford Hills loaded the bases with none out on a Cam Slicer double, an error and a walk.

Landry got Ashton Kennison on a called third strike for the first out. Williamson followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Slicer for the second out before Landry ended the inning with another backwards K on Will Dieterich.


“(Getting the first run) helped a lot,” Williamson said. “Somebody asked Coach O (assistant coach Joe Oufiero) how many runs we needed in the first to win the game, and Coach O said ‘All we need is one.’ That’s what we got.”

Landry settled down and kept the deficit at one, working around a leadoff walk in the second and stranding a runner at third with one out in the fourth.

“It’s been our MO this year. We’ve struggled a little early,” Hartley said. “I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that Hunter would get in the groove, which is exactly what he did.”

With the top of Oxford Hills’ order due up in the fifth, Hartley pulled Landry, a lefty, and inserted right-hander Owen Cox, who Ethan Cutler greeted with an infield hit.

Cox retired Slicer on a bunt attempt that was popped up to third, but Bean followed with a gapper to left-center for a double that sent Cutler to third. Luksza swung at the next pitch and laced it to right for a double that scored both runners and made it 3-0.

“I was looking first-pitch fastball and he threw it out over the plate, so I just tried to drive it,” Luksza said. “He throws good, he’s got good off-speed, so if he was going to throw a fastball first pitch, I just wanted to hop on it.”


“I didn’t want either one of these guys (Landry and Cox) to have to face their lineup three times, because that’s how you get in trouble with these guys,” Hartley said. “I’m sure we’d like to have a couple of pitches back, but it was a great game played by two good teams. I know I’m proud of our guys and I’m sure Shane knows we gave them everything they wanted.”

The Devils mustered a rally against Williamson in the fifth. With one out, Andon Cox reached with a single, moved up on a wild pitch then went to third on Owen Cox’s infield hit. Another wild pitch with Landry at the plate got them on the board, and Landry singled to become the tying run with runners at the corners.

Williamson ended it there with a strikeout to Jack LeBlond and fly out to right by Keegan McLaughlin to keep it 3-1.

“That strikeout to LeBlond was huge, very huge,” Slicer said. “They could have made that very close.”

“I don’t know if Wyatt can pitch much better than that. He was on,” Slicer said.

Robert Dostie’s two-out single brought the tying run to the plate in Lewiston’s seventh, but Williamson got another fly out to right field to punch the Vikings’ ticket to the final.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.