Bessey Motors advanced to the Senior American Legion baseball state championship by defeating Capital Area 8-5 on Tuesday night at Husson University in Bangor.

Oxford-based Bessey Motors will face Hampden-based Queen City at 4 p.m. Wednesday, again at Husson. As the only undefeated team in the tournament, Bessey will secure the state title if they are victorious in that game. If Queen City wins, then the teams will play again 30 minutes after the first game.

In Tuesday’s game, Bessey fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first but bounced back with three runs in the bottom half of the opening frame, taking advantage of a walk, a couple of Capital Area errors and an RBI single by Andrew Merrill to go up 3-2.

Back-to-back doubles by Capital Area’s Jackson Melendy and Tyler Hreben tied the game in the third. Then Capital went up 4-3 in the fourth when Max Byron, who tripled, scored on a suicide squeeze by Sam Flannery.

Once again, Bessey Motors responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs to take the lead for good. The bottom of the fourth started with four straight hits — a single by Josh Murphy, and RBI triple by Eli Soehren, an RBI double by Merrill that made it 5-4 and then a bunt single by Aiden Gonzalez. Merrill scored the third run of the inning after Kolby Brown hit into a fielder’s choice.

Bessey, which entered the tournament as the South’s No. 3 seed, added to its lead in the fifth inning when Hunter Tardiff led off with a single and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-4.


Capital Area, the fourth seed in the South, cut Bessey’s lead to 7-5 when Kam Douin scored on a balk.

Tardiff later scored on another wild pitch to push Bessey Motors’ advantage back to three runs, 8-5.

Merrill paced Bessey’s offense with two hits, two runs and two RBIs.  Murphy, Soehren and Tardiff also scored twice apiece.

Brown pitched and earned the win by striking out six and allowing four hits, three runs and walking one batter in six innings on the mound.

Augusta-based Capital Area was led by Hreben’s two hits, Douin’s two RBIs and Melendy’s two runs. Hrben singled and Douin tripled in Capital’s two-run first inning.

Queen City, the top-seeded North team, advanced to Wednesday’s championship round by beating third-seeded Bangor 4-3 on a walk-off home run in extra innings earlier Tuesday.

Bessey defeated Queen City 8-0 on Monday in a showdown of unbeaten teams.

In Monday’s elimination games, Capital defeated the South’s second seed, Franklin County, 5-4 and Bangor ousted Skowhegan, the South’s top seed, 6-4.

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