Baseball, softball playoff action begins!

12 years ago

Houlton Pioneer Times photograph/Gloria Austin
sp-htlbase-dc5-pt-23CELEBRATE — Gage Hunt, No. 10, is congratulated by Kole Buzzeo and the rest of his teammates after he scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to overtake Mattanawcook Academy, 4-3, last Wednesday.

Shiretowners may meet Lynx again 
By Gloria Austin
Staff Writer

    Houlton baseball coach Shawn Graham said of his anticipated Class C quarterfinal opponent, “They are not your typical number-seven seed.”
    The Shiretowners will face the winner of Mattanawcook Academy/Madawaska on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Bob Ruth Field in Community Park.
    If Mattanawcook Academy wins, it will be the third time the teams have met on the season.
    If Madawaska should win, the Shires defeated them twice 8-1 and 9-6.
    Mattanawcook Academy, who Graham feels will be the victor, has played the Shires to a split on the regular season. The Lynx taking a 2-0 win at home in the Shires’ second game of the season. The Shires came from behind last week for a 4-3 victory in the bottom of the seventh inning on their home field.
    “We were very fortunate to pull out a win,” Graham said.
    Graham knows his team will have to play fundamental baseball, with a few “small ball” components.
    “They have a very strong pitcher in Chase Vicaire,” said Graham. “He throws a good fastball and mixes in a nice slider. He keeps the ball down and throws strikes. We will need to match Vicaire in the pitching department.
    “Our pitchers need to throw strikes, keep the ball down and play sound defense,” added Graham. “If we have trouble putting the ball in play, we may have to revert to some bunting to move runners along or possibly some hit-and-run situations and things of that nature.”
    Graham’s game philosophy hasn’t swayed over the years.
Houlton Pioneer Times photograph/Gloria Austin
sp-htlbase-dc3-pt-23CONNECTS — Houlton’s Ashley Drew connects with the ball for a hit during last Wednesday’s game against Mattanawcook Academy.

    “If a team can field the ball cleanly for the most part, keep walks to a minimum and get a few timely hits, the team has a shot to win,” he said. “We are apt to be a little nervous to start considering our young team, but I think we will be OK once we get a couple innings under our belt.”
    Most of the players on the Houlton team know how to win, as they rose to success in their soccer and basketball seasons.
    “Regardless of the outcome, we’ve had a superb season,” Graham said. “This is a team which lost six starters from last year’s squad and didn’t reach the playoffs for the first time in seven years. This year’s players’ hard work and dedication have, and will hopefully, transform into a solid play-off run.”