2005 Maine State Little League® Tournament Results
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Maine State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

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Maine State Tournament
Host - Falmouth (District 6)
At Grubb Field

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Bucksport
District 2 Champions Camden-Rockport
District 3 Champions Bangor East
District 4 Champions Saco/Maremont
District 5 Champions Elliot Avenue (Lewiston)
District 6 Champions Westbrook

Click here to view 2005 district tournament results for Maine.

Tournament Results:

Opening Round:
Elliot Avenue 5, Bucksport 0
Camden-Rockport 7, Saco/Maremont 5

Winner's Bracket Semifinals:
Elliot Avenue 7, Bangor East 0
Westbrook 10, Camden-Rockport 0 (5 innings)

Elimination Bracket Quarterfinals (six teams remain):
Bangor East 8, Saco/Maremont 7 (elim.)
Camden-Rockport 7, Bucksport 3 (elim.)

Winner's Bracket Finals:
Westbrook 8, Elliot Avenue 2

Elimination Bracket Semifinals (four teams remain):
Camden-Rockport 3, Bangor East 2 (7 innings; elim.)

Elimination Bracket Finals (three teams remain):
Elliot Avenue 9, Camden-Rockport 2 (elim.)

Championship Game:
Westbrook 1, Elliot Avenue 0 (TITLE)


When Westbrook High School reached the championship game of the 2005 Maine Class A state baseball tournament, it was the start of a memorable summer for the amateur baseball community in the Portland suburb. The Blue Blazes stormed through the Western Maine playoff bracket with little difficulty before eventually losing to Eastern Maine champion Oxford Hills High School by a 9-4 score.

Many of Westbrook's players honed their baseball skills in the city's local Little League program. When this year's crop of Westbrook Little Leaguers are set to begin their high school careers, Blue Blazes coach John Engelhart will almost assuredly be waiting with open arms.

Westbrook's Little League all-star team also cruised through the local competition, winning the District 6 tournament and then outscoring three opponents by a 19-2 score to win the Maine state championship at Falmouth Little League's Grubb Field. It was the start of a dream summer for Westbrook: the Pine State champions went on to win the New England Region tournament, and became just the third Maine league ever -- and the first in 34 years -- to reach the Little League World Series.

Westbrook rode the powerful right arm of Nick Finocchiaro to a pair of victories at the state tournament, including a 1-0 championship game victory over Lewiston's Elliot Avenue Little League. Finocchiaro struck out fourteen batters in the championship game, allowed only four hits, and did not walk a batter.

Two of Elliot Avenue's hits came in the fourth inning, when the District 5 champions mounted their most serious threat of the game. McKae Hyde opened the inning with an infield single, and moved to third on Cody Dussault's double into the right center field gap. A mis-handled popup then loaded the bases with no outs.

After a visit to the mound by Westbrook manager Rick Knight, Finocchiaro struck out the next three batters to escape the threat.

"I told him to go right at them," said Knight of the conversation on the mound. "I moved the infield in because the play would have been at the plate, but he got out of it himself."

"Bases loaded and no outs, and we couldn't capitalize on it," said Elliot Avenue manager Jim Hyde. "All we needed was to have one fly ball and tag up, and I think we would have broken the ice."

Finocchiaro was dominant on the mound for the second time in the state tournament -- he struck out 12 in a 10-0 victory over Camden-Rockport Little League in Westbrook's opener -- and he also benefited from solid defensive support. Center fielders Mitch Chapman and Jared Martin ran down three drives into the outfield gaps to help keep Elliot Avenue's offense in check.

"(Finocchiaro) had the defense behind him," said Knight, who was a coach for Westbrook's 1985 and 2002 state championship teams. "But he also pitched a nice, heady game."

Finocchiaro also keyed the rally that produced the game's only run. The burly right-hander opened the bottom of the sixth inning with a double into the left field corner, and after a pair of strikeouts, Jacob Gardiner slapped a single into right field that scored Finocchiaro and gave Westbrook its second state championship in four years.

Hyde, Elliot Avenue's starting pitcher, struck out eight and allowed only four hits in a complete game effort.

Westbrook's win was its second over Elliot Avenue in the tournament. A five run rally with two outs in the third inning helped propel Westbrook past the Lewiston-based club, 8-2, in the winner's bracket finals. Reid Columbe drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the first run, then Sean Murphy drove a 2-2 fastball over the center field fence for a grand slam home run to break the game open.

The runs, all of which were unearned, were the first allowed by Elliot Avenue's pitching staff in five games. Elliot Avenue had won ten consecutive games -- nine via shutout -- after an opening round loss in the District 5 tournament. The Lewiston club tallied single runs in the third and fourth innings, but Westbrook reliever Zach Gardiner retired six batters in a row to close out the win.

Murphy struck out eight and allowed four hits in four-plus innings of work to earn the victory.

The win lifted Westbrook into the state championship game, and Elliot Avenue earned a rematch with a 9-2 win over Camden-Rockport in the elimination bracket final. Tucker Beaudoin, making his first start of the international tournament, took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning to keep his team's hopes alive.

"What a gutsy performance," said Jim Hyde.

"We've been going with a one-two (pitching) punch all the way through, and it's worked out for us," said Jim Hyde, who had relied on McKae Hyde and Joe Sullivan for most of the pitching duties throughout the tournament. "Tucker stepped up big time."

"He pitched a heck of a game," Camden-Rockport manager Will Gartley agreed. "He wasn't overpowering, but he hit his spots and kept our guys off balance (by changing speeds)."

Elliot Avenue slowly built a 4-0 lead, before a five-run rally in the sixth put the game out of reach. Hyde led off the sixth with a homer, while Scott Ouelette and Alex Parker added run-scoring hits later in the inning.

The next day, Finocchiaro was in control throughout the game, and Westbrook advanced to the New England Region tournament.

Westbrook struggled early at the region tournament, striking out eighteen times in an opening round loss to Farmington (Connecticut) Little League. The Maine champions opened the tournament with three consecutive losses, but Westbrook's appearance in South Williamsport was pre-ordained, in a strange way. Maine's previous two Little League World Series berths came in 1951 and 1971 -- coincidentally, the only two occasions in which Westbrook High School had previously reached the state championship game. When the Blue Blazes reached the 2005 title game, their younger cohorts were well-positioned for the journey to South Williamsport.

Three consecutive wins -- including a rematch against Farmington in which the Maine champions struck out only four times -- helped Westbrook blaze a trail -- in blue, no doubt -- to the Little League World Series.

Follow Westbrook at the New England Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Winner's Bracket Finals 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Westbrook 0 0 5 0 0 3 8 - -
Elliot Avenue 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 4 -
  Elimination Bracket Finals
Elliot Avenue 1 0 1 0 2 5 9 - -
Camden-Rockport 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 6 -
  Championship Game
Elliot Avenue 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 -
Westbrook 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 -

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Last revision: 06/11/2006