Oak Hill’s Gavin Rawstron, left, greets Trent Drouin at home during a game against Gardiner on May 17 in Gardiner. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

A couple of hill-topping area baseball teams hope to be on the top of their respective mountains at the end of the postseason later this month.

With an open-tournament format this season allowing every team to qualify for the postseason — if it chooses — there are more teams than ever battling in the playoffs.

Just like two years ago, the last time there was a spring season, Oxford Hills will be the team to beat in Class A North as the No. 1 seed.

In Class C South, Oak Hill is the top seed, after competing in Class B South in previous seasons. Lisbon, which won the Class C state championship as the top seed in 2019, is the No. 4 seed this year despite a 13-2 record. Fellow area teams Monmouth and Mt. Abram are the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively. Also in the C South bracket are Dirigo (No. 8), Winthrop (No. 10), Mountain Valley (No. 12) and Spruce Mountain (No. 14). Telstar, which finished 16th in the final Heal points standings, opted out of the postseason due to “low numbers and other commitments,” according to athletic director Gail Wight.

Oxford Hills pitcher Elias Soehren winds up for a pitch during Wednesday’s game against Lewiston High School in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Oxford Hills might be the team to beat in A North, but second-seeded Lewiston showed in the regular-season finale earlier this week that the Vikings can be beat.

The Blue Devils are on a 13-game winning streak since opening the season losing both games of a doubleheader to Oxford Hills followed by a rivalry loss to Edward Little (No. 8 seed). Lewiston head coach Darren Hartley said after the EL loss that “we will be a better team on May 30.”

Hartley was right, but his team showed even more with revenge victories on consecutive days against Edward Little and Oxford Hills on June 1-2.

The way the bracket is set up, the Red Eddies host an opening-round matchup against No. 9 Mt. Blue, which went 8-7 after winning just one game combined from 2017-19. The winner of that game then faces Oxford Hills.

A couple area teams will face off in the Class B South opening round, with No. 6 Leavitt hosting No. 11 Poland. The other area team in B South, No. 16 Gray-New Gloucester goes against top-seeded Yarmouth.

Gray-NG first-year coach Jon DiBiase said during a midseason doubleheader loss to Poland that this year’s open tournament was something to look forward to, as his inexperienced team was in the midst of a 2-14 regular season.

“Thankfully we’re in the playoffs, and that’s how we’ve been looking at this year,” DiBiase said. “We’re just trying to get better each day so we can hopefully make a run in the playoffs.”

If Class D South No. 2 seed Rangeley — which before this season hadn’t fielded a team since 2018 — wants to make a run, the Lakers will first have to get past the winner of an opening-round game between No. 7 Buckfield and No. 10 St. Dom’s. Richmond is the top seed in the region.

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