GORHAM — St. Dominic Academy is heading back to a baseball state championship game for the first time since 2015.

The third-seeded Saints defeated top-seeded Searsport 1-0 in the Class D South championship Tuesday at Ed Flaherty Field on the campus of the University of Southern Maine.

“It’s been a while since I (coached) in a game like that,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “The boys surprised me, again, and they did a heck of a job.”

St. Dom’s will face D North champion Machias (16-2) on Saturday at USM at 1 p.m.

The Saints defeated Bucksport 14-6 to win the Class C state championship in 2015.

St. Dom’s (9-8) loaded the bases in the top of the seventh through consecutive singles by Ethan Pelletier, Curtis Wheeler and Ryan Bussiere. Timothee Ouellette grounded out to first base to score Pelletier and give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The ball bounced past the first baseman, but he grabbed it in time to get Ouellette out.


“With the bases loaded, I was just trying to get a hit,” Ouellette said. “I was thinking right side up the middle to get a hit, it got that lucky bounce and went over the first baseman to get that lucky play to get the run in.”

“It felt good,” Pelletier added, “after getting that single, my team helped me out getting home. It was a team effort.”

Pelletier might have scored from second on Bussiere’s single, but Blackman held him at third.

“It comes down to foot speed,” Blackman said with a chuckle. “We already pinch ran for (Pelletier) earlier in the game, so we had to go station-to-station, we knew that, and there was only one out. I knew we had two opportunities with Timothee Ouellette (and Miles Frenette) coming up. They recognized they didn’t want to face Timothee, well they had to face Timothee (because the bases were loaded). They walked him earlier and they had nowhere to put him. I felt good Timothee was going to get that run in for us.”

The Vikings got to Saints starting pitcher Ashton Hammond in the bottom of the sixth. Catcher Nathan Ashey hit a single into right field and reached third on a bunt single by Gage Ellis.

Ashey’s single hit squarely on first base and bounced into the outfield.


“I saw the ball going to first base, I thought it was going foul,” Pelletier, who played first base, said. “I tried to grab it with my hand, but it got by me.”

Ashton Ellis popped out to the second baseman for the first out. On a fielder’s choice, got Ashey caught in a rundown between third and home for the second out. Gage Ellis took third while hitter Sam Cahill reached second base on the play. The Saints intentionally walked Josh Wright to load the bases, then Hammond struck out Cole Ellis to end the inning.

“The whole game, I was hunting for strikeouts,” Hammond said. “I was trying to blow it past them, get the slider working. I didn’t change that much, I just focused a little more and got the adrenaline going.”

Hammond had eight strikeouts, while allowing five hits.

Blackman said intentionally walking Wright was an easy decision.

“He had two hits (earlier in the game), and he was making solid contact,” Blackman said. “Ashton was throwing strikes, he didn’t walk a batter, it didn’t scare me to load the bases. I felt good that we had a force at any base, so I felt comfortable. Had (Hammond) been all over the place, I probably wouldn’t have been (confident about walking Wright) but he had great command today of all three of his pitches (fastball, curveball and slider). It didn’t bother me.”


The Vikings (13-5) left a base runner at first in the bottom of the inning and their rally came up empty.

The Saints had the first opportunity to score in the top of the fourth when Hammond walked and later stole second base. He moved to third on an error that also allowed Thomas Casserly to reach first base. With Ridge Dionne at the plate, Casserly stole second, but Dionne grounded to the second baseman to end the inning.

Ethan Pelletier started St. Dom’s top of the fifth with a fly ball that dropped into right field for a single. He was lifted for pinch-runner Jayden Lynn, who stole second base. Searsport starting pitcher struck out Wheeler and Bussiere for the first two outs. Ouellette worked a walk, but the Searsport shortstop caught Miles Frenette’s line drive to end the inning.

Hammond cruised through the first five innings, only facing 16 batters and allowing only two hits. Dionne, the Saints’ catcher, helped by picking off Wright at first. In the bottom of the fifth, Hammond struck out the side.

“I was on cruise control,” Hammond said. “My slider was working, my fast ball was (working), it just kept getting better.”

St. Dom’s is in a state title game for the ninth time in 25 years. The Saints won Class C championships in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015.


Editor’s note: Story updated to change the time of the Class D state championship game.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story