The 2019 American legion baseball season brings about yet another set of changes to schedules, divisions and teams.

Rogers Post, Auburn’s legion team, has dissolved and will only field a junior legion team. Three Auburn players, Giles Paradie, Jake Arel and Ethan Brown are joining Pastime, the Lewiston-based team which has one player from Lisbon, Levi Levesque.

Pastime and Rogers are moving to the South Division, as the 16 teams are split in half between two sections, down from three a year ago.

Bessey Motors, the Oxford Hills area squad, will also play in the south along with Charles J Loring (Cheverus), Topsham Post, Cole Post Eagles (Massabesic), Staples Crossing (Marshwood) and Rumford, a new team this season.

Rumford comeback

The Rumford Falcons are back after not fielding a team last season. Mountain Valley High School coach Steve LaPointe is taking the reigns after Bethel wasn’t going to field a team.

Rumford is mostly Mountain Valley High School players, with Cole Brown from Dirigo and Tyler Hill from Telstar joining the group. Leavitt Area High School was another school that the Falcons could pull from, but no players have joined yet.

LaPointe is also bringing in his lone post-grad player in Hunter Ames, a star a year ago in high school and now a pitcher for Hilbert College. LaPointe should bolster an already exciting pitching staff for the Falcons.

“I think we can be competitive,” LaPointe said. “We have quite a bit of pitching. We have probably 12-14 guys that are totally committed and four or five guys that said, ‘Coach, if you need five guys then give me a call.’”

Following Ames is Mountain Valley’s Cam Godbois, who had an earned run average of 1.12 this spring, according to LaPointe.

“A lot of teams run out of pitchers in double-headers but we shouldn’t, so I’m pretty excited about it,” LaPointe said. “We are the only team in the south division that isn’t Class A schools.”

Bessey Motors returning everyone

Coming off a close loss in the Class A state final against Scarborough on Saturday, Bessey Motors is entering legion fully-stocked as it attempts to avenge its runner-up finish last summer in the state final.

Outfielder Cam Slicer of Bessey Motors said “Everyone is playing that played school ball.”

Maine baseball commit Colton Carson is also returning to play legion baseball, a summer after being ejected from a playoff game after a pitch-count dispute regarding his previous start.

Coach Shane Slicer was not available for comment, but with the entire team returning, Bessey Motors should be a favorite for the title.

Pastime shifts

Jake Brown is leaving his post as head coach of the Pastime legion team after three years. Brown’s other obligations have become too large for the Scarborough varsity hockey coach to juggle with hockey and a summer internship with Scarborough High School filling most of his schedule.

“In a perfect world I would’ve loved to coach, especially one more year,’ Brown said. “I think Pastime will have a really good team this year and my cousin (Brock Belanger) has one more year, too, so it was really a tough decision. It just came down to my job here in Scarborough. I have a new job here which requires me to work more in the summer… Between the summer hockey stuff and work I really just couldn’t pull it all off. I think Pastime deserves a coach who can fully commit. So, I think with the team they’re going to have it’s going to be a pretty strong team. I thought it was the right time to have a coach that could fully commit to the season.”

Chris Reed, an assistant coach on Lewiston’s varsity baseball team, is taking over a team that has been the zone champion in two of the previous three seasons.

“I think (Reed) will have a good team and have a chance to compete at the state level, as well,” Brown said.

Reed wasn’t aware until recently that he would be the head coach.

“(Brown) kind of stepped away from it and so since I’m on the Lewiston staff there was already an understanding I would get involved with legion, anyways, so I was going to give Jake a hand but he ended up needing to be replaced,” Reed said.

As for the team, Brown was Edward Little’s best pitcher and Giles Paradie, after missing the high school baseball team on suspension, will bring a good bat and a good option behind the plate if Belanger can’t go, who is returning for his post-grad season after playing at Husson University.

Hunter Landry, Jack Leblond and Owen Cox are just some of the players that should bring some firepower to the Pastime lineup, while Reed is energetic about Danny May’s defense in center field.

“May runs them down in center as good as anyone,” Reed said.

Pastime, like many teams, has to adjust to a new schedule.

“We should be very good but the thing is, all this outside of legion ball it’s really cut down on the amount of legion teams and really has kind of made the teams a little deeper than they have been in the past,” Reed said. “It’s only an eight-team division but it’s going to be solid.”

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