Potent offense leads Machias baseball team back to Class D state final

The Machias Memorial High School baseball team broke through to capture its first regional championship last spring.

With a veteran cast coming off a dominant run to its second straight Class D North crown this spring, coach Sam Whitney’s Bulldogs are one victory away from taking that final step of achieving statewide supremacy in the small-school ranks.

Machias, whose 16-2 record this year represents the most victories for the program in a season since the 1960s, will face South champion St. Dominic Academy of Auburn for the state crown at 1 pm Saturday at Flaherty Field on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

The Bulldogs will enter that game riding a 12-game winning streak, including an 11-0 victory over No. 2 Stearns of Millinocket in Tuesday’s North championship game after a 9-5 win at No. 1 Wisdom of Saint Agatha in the semifinals.

“We talked about this in the very first practice of the season,” Machias coach Sam Whitney said. “We got the boys together again and said we have the very same team coming back, we’re going to be facing the same tough competition, but with last year’s experience under our belts we were confident that we were going to be one of the top teams. We just had to show up every day and perform.”

The Bulldogs, the No. 4 seed in Class D North, have combined stifling pitching — including 10 shutouts among its 16 victories — with deep, potent offense — five starters have batting averages above .500 and two others top .400 — to earn its way back to the state final .

The pitching staff is anchored by senior Kashman Feeney, who has struck out 82 batters in 42 innings and has a 1.00 earned run average. Classmate Kyle Anderson (2.72 ERA) has been the No. 2 starter, and along with senior Jayden Rhodes and juniors Kason Ferguson and Ethan Foss, each has pitched between 14 and 18 in this spring.

“We had the same pitchers back this year, and with Kashman and Kyle our aces like it was last year,” Whitney said. “When they’re on there’s very few teams that will hit the ball consistently against them. Both of them have pitched tremendously this year.”

Anderson, the starting first baseman, boasts a team-leading .593 batting average with 32 hits in 54 at-bats, four home runs and 28 RBIs, but his robust numbers are not an anomaly on a team with a .467 team batting average .

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