LEWISTON — Lewiston stayed alive in the Maine Little League 11/12 state tournament with a 10-3 over Cumberland North Yarmouth on Thursday at Giroux Field.

Lewiston’s Michael Caron slides into second with a stolen base before Cumberland’s Ezra McDuffie can put the tag on him during Thursday’s game in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Lewiston 11/12 All-Stars move on to the championship round, where it will face York on Friday at 5:30 p.m.. If Lewiston wins, the two teams will face off again on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the state championship and a spot at the New England tournament. If York wins Friday, it will claim the state title and go to New Englands.

Lewiston fell to York on a walk-off on Tuesday, but bounced back Thursday in a game coach Jim Caron said was as close to perfect as possible for his squad.

“It went close to script,” Caron, who used four pitchers, said. “We know we are deep pitching, and we have thrown the same three or four guys all tournament so there were some guys we wanted to get some reps from.

“Joe (Dube) and Jeffrey (Randall) aren’t available tomorrow, but we had some other guys. Dylan Blue was everything we knew he was going to be. He came in and threw strikes, he has a really good breaking ball and pitches to contact, and that’s what he did.”

Blue pitched the final two innings and gave up only one run. His performance earned him the player of the game award, which is presented by the opposing team. 

Advertisement

Lewiston’s Ethan Blue led off the game with a double and later scored off a Randall single to put Lewiston up 1-0 early. 

In the bottom of the first, starting pitcher Mchael Caron put down Cumberland in short order in his only inning of the game before taking over at catcher. 

In the second, Lewiston’s Joe Dube bounced back from his hitless performance in Lewiston’s loss to York with a towering three-run home run to left center field to increase his team’s lead to 4-0. 

“He’s a big kid, and at the end of the day, Dube is 12,” Jim Caron said. “At the end of the day, you’re a 12-year-old boy, there’s a lot of stress on him. Today was a good day for him and he smoked that ball. That was amazing.”

Dube took the mound in the second inning and got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam without giving up a run.

Lewiston tacked on two more runs in the third when Michael Caron singled and Ian Allen walked. A stolen base and two wild pitches scored Caron, and Allen was pushed home on a Dylan Whitlow single make it 6-0.

Advertisement

In a win-or-go home game, Cumberland never quit. 

Ezra McDuffie led off the bottom of the third with a hit-by-pitch. McDuffie then moved to third on a wild pitch and a stolen base. Two batters later, Asa Giffune walked and stole second, and Andrew Padgett stepped up to the plate with two on and one out. 

Padgett drilled a 1-1 pitch into the outfield that scored both base runners and cut the deficit to 6-2.

“Our team’s been in the state tournament the last two years, so they kind of understood what it’s about, understand the competition and understand they did well,” Cumberland coach Mark Piesik said. “They’re already happy with what they did … they did a good job.”

Cumberland again loaded the bases in the third before Lewiston escaped and maintained its two-run lead. 

Lewiston and Cumberland were both held scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, leaving the door open to a Cumberland comeback. 

Advertisement

That was until Michael Caron stepped up to the plate in the sixth. 

With Dube and Randall on base after Cam Morin scored on Randall’s single, Caron drilled a home run to center field to put the game out of reach at 10-2.

“We’ve been working on that swing, doing some things differently, and the last couple of games he’s been hitting the ball again,” Jim Caron said. “He’s stroking. We’ve been talking about staying back, and he’s not the biggest kid on the team but he’s strong. He made the adjustments. And that’s one thing we’ve talked about as a team, a lot of teams can hear the adjustments, but our boys make them.”

Cumberland scored its final run in the sixth when Liam Coull tripled and came home on Ezra McDuffie’s single.

Cumberland lost, but its players were unfazed. After the game, the team applauded the fans and ran a lap around the field. Lewiston took notice.

“I’ve been coaching All-Stars for a long time, and that group of parents, coaches and kids represent what Little League is all about,” Caron said. “They just lost a game and they’re running around and playing.

“I use them as an example for my kids. They took their moment coming to states and from our barbecue, to opening ceremonies, to sticking around, they get all the credit.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. 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.