RICHMOND — Two-and-a-half hours later, Tim Ouellette’s rough start was all but forgotten.

Ouellette blasted a ninth-inning home run, Ashton Hammond pitched 8 1/3 innings of shutout relief and third-seeded St. Dominic topped No. 2 Richmond 5-3 in an exciting Class D South baseball semifinal Friday at Gerald N. Seigars Memorial Baseball Field.

On Tuesday, the Saints will face the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 4 Valley and No. 1 Searsport in the regional final at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. St. Dom’s won the state title in 2022.

The game had been tied 3-3 since the second inning when Ouellette, who had been 0 for 3, came to bat against Richmond pitcher Connor Vashon with teammate Tom Casserly (walk) on first. Vashon’s first pitch was low and down the middle. His second pitch was in the same spot, and Ouellette swung away.

“The last time we played them, I hit a double off him. I was just looking for that ball nice and low and just turned on it,” said Ouellette, who admitted he had to remind himself to not let Richmond’s 293-foot right-field fence tempt him. “I had to think, ‘up the middle, up the middle, up the middle’. It was just a nice swing and it carried.”

Ouellette’s day didn’t start so well. He allowed three runs on two hits, a walk and an error in one-third of an inning before coach Bob Blackman swapped him out at shortstop with Hammond, who allowed three hits the rest of the way while walking two (one intentional). At one point, he retired 12 of 13 batters.


“Ashton, when he’s on, is as good as anybody we can throw out there,” Blackman said. “He limited them to just a couple opportunities, and when they did have guys on base, he dug down and held them.”

Richmond pitcher Wyatt Cassidy throws against St. Dominic during a Class D South semifinal baseball game Friday in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

St. Dom’s tied the score in the third when the Saints turned three walks and two hits against Richmond starter Wyatt Cassidy into three runs, with Riley Daigle’s two-run single the key blow. Although reliever Rhys Terry allowed zero runs on three hits over five innings, he also walked five batters and hit two more. All told, Richmond pitchers walked 11 batters, including two in the deciding ninth inning.

“I think we probably gave one away today,” Richmond coach Ryan Gardiner said. “If we didn’t walk 11 people I’d say it was still 3-1. You can’t do that. You’re lucky you’re still in the game if you walk 11 people.

“I can’t the fault the kids for their effort. All the kids that pitched today gave it their best, and we just couldn’t find the plate.”

Both teams had their chances to win earlier. Richmond loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two out on two singles and an intentional walk, but Hammond struck out Cassidy to force extra innings. In St. Dom’s half of the inning, Hammond (walk) and Ouellette (hit batter) reached with two outs, but Miles Frenette lined out to third baseman Kenny Mecham to end the threat.

Richmond catcher Hunter Mason had two hits and also threw out three baserunners on steal attempts. Vashon singled, walked and reached on an error. Frenette walked three times for St. Dom’s and also was hit by a pitch.

St. Dom’s eliminated Richmond 5-2 in last year’s D South semis.

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.