The Queen City Athletics Riverdogs defeat Bessey Motors twice Wednesday to claim the American Legion baseball state title at Husson University in Bangor.

The Riverdogs entered the day needing to beat unbeaten Bessey twice. They won the first game 5-3 in eight innings and then won the second 4-1.

Oxford-based Bessy Motors, which is made up mostly of players form Oxford Hills but has some from Lewiston and Edward Little, scored in the first inning of the opener and led until the top of the sixth inning when Queen City plated two runs to go up 3-2.

Bessey, the South’s No. 3 seed, answered in the bottom of the sixth when Aiden Gonzalez singled home Josh Murphy to tie the game at 3-3.

Neither team scored in the seventh, so the game went to extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Queen City’s Anthony Chiappone doubled home Grady Vanidestine, and Chiappone later scored on sacrifice bunt by Logan Levensalor, putting the Riverdogs ahead 5-3.

Bessey threatened in its half of the eighth. Eli Soehren singled with two outs, and Andrew Merrill followed with a single that advanced Soehren to third, but Chiappone, who pitched the eighth, stranded both base runners at the corners, forcing a second game.


Both teams finished the first game with nine hits. Bessey was led by two apiece by Murphy and Wyatt Knightly. Murphy also scored once and drove in a run, while Ethan Cutler and scored twice. Soehren, Merrill, Gonzalez and Isaiah Oufiero each contributed one hit.

Murphy started on the mound for Bessey and struck out 11 batters in six innings.

Vanidestine, Chiappone and Kam Hale led Queen City with two hits apiece. Vanidestine and Chiappone scored twice and Hale drove in two runs.

In the second game, Queen City broke a scoreless tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Logan Burns drove in Levensalor, and then Collin Peckham singled home Evan Nadeau, giving Queen City a 2-0 advantage.

Soehren led off the top of the fourth with a single for Bessey. After a few pickoff attempts, he stole second base, then scored on a single by Kolby Brown.

That’s as close as Bessey got. Queen City added two more runs, one apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.


T.J. Llerena tripled and scored on Peckham’s two-out single in the top of the fifth. In the sixth, Chiappone doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Hale’s two-out single, pushing Queen City’s lead to 4-1.

Bessey put up a fight in its final at-bat in the top of the seventh. Its first two batters, Oufiero and Nick Binette, singled to put runners on first and second. Soehren walked to load the bases with two outs, but Chiappone ended the threat with a strikeout to secure the state title for Hampden-based Queen City, which also includes players from Brewer.

Chiappone earned a save in both games. Ethan Phelps earned the win in the second game and Peckham won the first game for Queen City, the North’s top seed.

Peckham paced the Riverdogs offense in the second game with a pair of hits and two RBIs. Chiappone added a double and scored a run.

Bessey Motors finished with six hits, led by two from Brown. Soehren, Oufiero, Binette and Knightly had Bessey’s other hits.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.