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  • Bangor Daily News

    Caribou baseball stuns No. 1 Ellsworth to advance to Class B state final

    By Sam Canfield,

    2024-06-11
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1cPTed_0toAGogO00

    The No. 6 Caribou Vikings are champions of Class B North baseball for the second time ever.

    Leaning into their slogan, “Why not us?” the underdog Vikings silenced the Ellsworth-heavy crowd at Mansfield Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, dispatching the No. 1 Eagles 4-2.

    Caribou never trailed in Tuesday’s title game, taking a 4-1 lead through three innings and holding on for the historic win.

    “People have been doubting us all year. Nobody expected the Old Town win — nobody expected any of these wins,” Caribou junior shortstop Brayden Brescia said. “We’ve proved everybody wrong. It feels great.”

    The Vikings first coined the phrase after demolishing reigning state champion Old Town (12-5) 12-2 five days ago, and have ridden this wave to a win over No. 7 Oceanside (11-7) and now a victory over Ellsworth (17-2), who was playing its sixth straight regional title game.

    Caribou became the first team not named Ellsworth or Old Town to win B North since Brewer did back in 2018.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=368XMI_0toAGogO00
    Caribou junior Bryce Dillon pitched a masterful 5.1 innings versus Ellsworth on Tuesday, throwing four strikeouts and allowing one run on two hits. Credit: Sam Canfield / BDN

    “I just went into the game [thinking] ‘there’s no pressure on us, they’re the No. 1 seed,’ junior pitcher Bryce Dillon said. “Just gotta play Caribou baseball.”

    Dillon threw a gem for the Vikings, going 5.1 innings with four strikeouts and one earned run, allowing just two Ellsworth singles.

    Junior Luke Beidelman (1.2 innings, two singles, one run) took it from there, inducing an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the sixth, and throwing an eight-pitch strikeout in the seventh.

    “That’s by far the best my son Bryce has pitched all year,” four-year head coach Josh Dillon said. “Ellsworth’s a phenomenal team. Nine times out of 10 they beat us. But with that slogan, ‘Why not us?’ the boys are playing well — they’re in the moment. This is a history making team.”

    The Vikings got all the offense they’d need in the early going, scoring once in the second on and thrice in the third.

    Viking junior Dawson St. Pierre (1-for-2) opened the scoring with a two-out double in the top of the second, before Ellsworth tied it 1-1 on an RBI single from senior Wyatt Bragdon (2-for-3).

    Caribou then got hot again in the third, beginning with a Brescia (2-for-4) double, followed by back-to-back walks and then a two-run single for junior Keegan Bell (1-for-4). Dillon (0-for-2) walked in a run three batters later.

    Ellsworth junior Brayden King (four innings, nine strikeouts) came on in the fourth and held Caribou’s bats to three walks and no runs, but it was too little, too late.

    “I’m proud that we kept this dynasty going,” King said. “We’re bringing it right back next year, and winning it next time.”

    Caribou will play for its first ever gold glove versus the winner of No. 1 Greely and No. 2 Yarmouth at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the University of Southern Maine.

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