LEWISTON — After losing to York in the third round of the 11/12 Little League baseball state tournament, Lewiston knew it would have to beat them twice in the double-elimination tournament to get to Bristol, Connecticut, as the Maine representative at the New England Regional. 

After taking down York on Friday, Saturday morning brought an electric atmosphere in the crowd and in both dugouts. Jeffrey Randall pitched five innings, hit a home run and led Lewiston to an 8-4 win over York to win the Maine Major League crown. 

Lewiston will play Massachusetts next Sunday in the first round of the Little League New England Regional. 

“This is huge,” Lewiston manager Jim Caron said. “This is huge for the city. I’ve been in this league for 12 years and there’s been so many guys that have helped get this league to this point, and they were here today. When I first started here we didn’t have clinics in the winter, or baseball. It’s huge for the city, baseball-wise.”

Lewiston pitcher Jeffrey Randall delivers a pitch during Saturday’s game against York. He pitched 5 strong innings, only allowing two runs. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

At the beginning of the game, assistant coach Ron Chartier said Lewiston was going to pitch Randall the full 85 pitches, if they could, and ride or die with its ace on the mound. 

For five innings, Randall delivered, allowing just two runs, both in the fifth inning, and giving Lewiston a confidence on both sides of the ball. 

“Throw strikes because I have a good defense behind me, and if I let one up I know that they have my back,” Randall said. “I knew that I had other good players coming in after me.”

Both offenses took a little while to get going. 

York’s John Jacobsohn held Lewiston to just two base runners in the first two innings, while Randall set York down in order in the same time.

“Jeffrey is the captain of this baseball team, he’s the emotional charge, the guy that’s going to get them up, the positive thinker,” Caron said. “The boys tend to want to listen to what he has to say. With him on the mound it gave a lot of kids that, ‘OK, he’s on the mound.’”

In the third, after York got the bases loaded but failed to score, Lewiston found its swing. After a flyout, Ethan Blue hit a single, followed by a double off the wall from Joe Dube. Randall was next up, and his double scored both base runners to take a 2-0 lead. 

Michael Caron followed up with a triple that scored Randall and all of a sudden, Lewiston had what felt like a commanding 3-0 lead on York. 

York went 1-2-3 in the fourth inning thanks to an unassisted double play by Dube at first base. 

Lewiston’s confidence grew and carried over into the fourth inning. 

Andrew Theriault walked to lead off the bottom of the frame, followed by a walk by Ian Allen. After an out, Blue was at the plate again and drilled a home run to put Lewiston up 6-0. 

It was his first of his career.

“I hit a couple in practice but it was my first one in the game,” Blue said. “It gives me a lot of memories. I didn’t know how far it was but I knew if it was going to go, it was going to go.”

Dube doubled again right after Blue’s bomb, followed by a home run by Randall to deep left field to increase Lewiston’s lead to eight. 

“It felt great,” Randall said. “I was happy for my teammates, also, because Ethan got his first one today.”

“(Ethan) is probably our best contact hitter on the team. We decided in Districts that he needed to be at the top of the lineup,” Caron said.

Down eight runs, York’s back was up against the wall. 

The visitors scored twice in the fifth with two outs. Robbie Hanscom reached on a fielder’s choice, followed by a single from Parker Murch. Back-to-back base hits from Lucas Ketchum and Jack Joyce scored two and York injected some life into the team. 

Ryan Cummins took down Lewiston in order in the sixth, keeping his team’s deficit at six runs.

Cummins reached on an infield single against Dube, who came on in relief, then was moved over after Jacobsohn and JJ Luchette walked to load the bases. Dube walked Hanscom, allowing Cummins to score and make it 8-3 Lewiston.

“The goal was Joe all along to come in,” Caron said. “Joe doesn’t have a breaking ball, he’s just a big boy and he throws hard. We talked about that with power pitchers, sometimes you’re going to go up there and you won’t find it so if I take you out, it’s just baseball. Then it was next man up and Ethan Blue came in.”

After giving up an RBI single by Murch, Blue got the final two outs, the final one a fly ball his brother, Dylan, in right.

“‘Don’t blow it,’” Ethan Blue said. “You don’t want to look like an idiot in front of people, just do what I had to do.”

Dylan Blue closed the game for Lewiston against Cumberland-North Yarmouth on Thursday, and on Saturday his brother closed the tournament. For Caron, the ‘Blues Brothers’ came in clutch when it mattered most. 

“They are, by far, my two dirt dogs,” Caron said. “Ethan, I can put him anywhere and he will find a way to get a hit, steal a base, and he got to end it on the mound today. Dylan, same thing… To his credit he’s taken it and he made two great plays. Last play of the game he made the catch. They’re my dirt dogs.”

York manager Ed Gullison wouldn’t have changed much about the game, other than, of course, the score.

“A single or double, anything that could have lit it up, and there was a lot of scenarios that could have changed it but the bottom line is they didn’t quit,” Gullison said. “They didn’t quit in these games against Lewiston and it turned out to be a good tournament.”