Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 7, 2014
Coastal team plays in Senior League World Series
Above, the Coastal team, front row from left: Harrison Vinal, Mike Reiley, Hunter Cote, Nick Bianco, Garrison Looke. Back row: Coach John Chipman, Dakota Chipman, Ethan Shepard, Jared Sawyer, Nick Bagley, Will Ricker, Will Entwisle, Assistant Coach Loriman Looke. Left, Ethan Shepard hits a home run for the Senior Coastal Little League.
by Jessica Brophy
Eleven members of the 12-member Coastal Senior League baseball team competed in New Jersey last weekend as part of the annual Senior League World Series. The team lost both its games 4-2, struggling each game to get bats moving.
Senior league is for players aged 14 to 16. The Coastal team includes players from Stonington, the Blue Hill Peninsula and the Ellsworth area, and their home field is located at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. Coach John Chipman said the team went 7-4 for the regular season, up against teams from Bangor and Bucksport.
The team ended up going to the Senior League World Series in New Jersey by default, said Chipman. “There are six districts in the state, and in our district there are two teams—Coastal and a team from Bucksport.” The Bangor team received an automatic bye into the series as a host team, and as the Bucksport team was unable to attend the series, Coastal was declared the district and state champion. Chipman said there were only four days to prepare for the games.
The team played its first game on Friday night, August 1. Due to a rain delay they played on a “backup” field and two hours later than scheduled. It was “still very wet,” said Chipman. There was a lot of rain in New Jersey over the weekend, but Chipman said the organizers of the series did a good job of rearranging games as needed.
During the game against the New Jersey state champions, Chipman said the team “played well and pitched well. Our defense was incredible.” Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t there and the team went down 4-2.
Coastal was also dealt a blow when center fielder Will Ricker of Blue Hill made a diving catch during the game and broke his shoulder. “He actually finished the game, he tried pitching but said his arm hurt, but wanted to finish the game in center [field],” said Chipman. Ricker even hit a double later that game. The next morning, Ricker awoke with pain and at the hospital discovered his shoulder was broken.
This left the Coastal team in a bit of a pickle in terms of pitching. “Will was slated to pitch,” said Chipman. In senior league, a pitcher can throw up to 30 pitches without requiring some days off. If the team won Saturday’s game, they would be slated for a double-header on Sunday, which meant Chipman had to use his remaining pitchers very carefully to keep them available for Sunday.
Again, the team played against a New Jersey team, this time out of West Bedford. The game also ended 4-2, with more great defense and a lackluster offense, said Chipman. The highlight of the game was a home run by Ethan Shepard of Stonington.
“At his very first at bat at the first senior league game of the season he hit a home run,” said Chipman. “And at the last at bat in New Jersey he hit a home run.”
Coastal Senior League Roster
Ethan Shepard, 15, Stonington
Hunter Cote, 15, Otis
Nick Bagley, 15, Hancock
Jared Sawyer, 16, Ellsworth
Dakota Chipman, 16, Surry
Harrison Vinal, 16, Blue Hill
Mike Reiley, 15, Brooklin
Garrison Looke, 15, Blue Hill
Will Ricker, 16, Blue Hill
Will Entwisle, 16, Sedgwick
Nick Bianco, 15, Brooklin
Coach John Chipman, Surry
Assistant Coach Lorriman Looke, Blue Hill
Regular season assistant coaches who did not travel to New Jersey:
Assistant Coach Corey Bagley, Hancock
Assistant Coach Ben Eley, Blue Hill
Regular season member who did not travel to New Jersey:
Tyler Brenton, 15, Penobscot