Bucksport pitcher Jake Guty faces the Orono baseball team on May 9, 2022. Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Schilmoeller

The Bucksport High School baseball program typically finishes among the upper echelon of its class each spring.

Take the 10 years preceding the 2022 campaign.

Beginning with their final year of Class B competition in 2011, the Golden Bucks have won at least one postseason game in eight of those 10 seasons, highlighted by winning the 2015 Class C North championship and making additional regional final appearances in 2011 and 2013.

Bucksport may be even more dominant this spring, earning the top seed in Class C North and winning its first regional title in seven years with Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over Mount View of Thorndike at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor.

The 19-1 Golden Bucks, winners of their last 14 games, will return to Mansfield Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday to play Lisbon — the only undefeated team left statewide this spring — for the state championship.

One more victory would earn Bucksport its first state title in the sport.

“When you get to the state game, this is what you want,” said first-year Bucksport head coach Josh Jackson, who played on the school’s 2003 Eastern Maine Class B championship team.

“You want to go up against the best of the best and just see what you have, compete and play the best game that you can. There’s not a lot that gets to these guys. The moments don’t get too big. This team as a whole is just playing for each other, and that’s been our biggest strength all year.”

It’s no secret that another key to Bucksport’s success has been its top pitchers, seniors Jake Guty and Ty Giberson.

That duo anchors a staff that has yielded only 16 runs in 20 games with nine shutouts and eight other games when the Golden Bucks allowed just one run. That latter string includes the team’s lone loss, a 1-0 decision at Class B North champion Ellsworth in early May on an unearned run.

Guty is 8-0 after pitching the Golden Bucks to a 4-2 victory over Mount View of Thorndike in Tuesday’s Class C North final on a complete-game three-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Giberson is 6-1 after getting the win and striking out 15 batters in Bucksport’s 7-1 semifinal victory over Houlton. He was named the 2022 Penobscot Valley Conference player of the year and a Mr. Baseball finalist for his effort on the mound and at the plate, where he batted .489 during regular-season play with 18 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in as many attempts.

“It’s great to be able to piggyback your [number one pitcher] with your [other number one pitcher],” said Jackson of his aces. “We’re very fortunate to be able to do that. Coming into the season we knew we’d be able to compete in just about every game we played strictly from what our pitching was going to do for us.”

Giberson and Guty have been backed by senior reliever Cam Rich and sophomore lefthander Gavyn Holyoke to compose a staff that has not yielded more than three runs in any game this spring and already has been involved in two no-hitters during the postseason.

Holyoke and Rich combined for a five-inning perfect game during the Golden Bucks’ 16-0 Round of 16 victory over No. 16 Sumner of East Sullivan, while Guty and Rich held Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield hitless during Bucksport’s 6-1 quarterfinal win over the No. 8 Huskies.

The pitchers have been aided by a defense that includes senior Tyler Hallett, a former shortstop and center fielder now playing catcher for the first time in his high school career.

“It’s not easy to catch Jake and Ty on a nightly basis — especially for someone who doesn’t typically catch — but he’s done a great job,” Jackson said. “He’s got such a great baseball IQ. He limits mistakes and keeps it simple, and he’s done a great job.”

Other defensive support has come from the outfield combination of senior Kaleb Nightingale in left field, freshman Jason Terrill in center and sophomore Ayden Maguire in right, as well as from junior third baseman Brandon Elden and sophomore second baseman Gunny Cyr.

“It’s been a great defensive year,” Jackson said. “We’ve limited mistakes and had a bunch of errorless games when we’ve made good plays, and [Tuesday] was another one of them. There were no errors and some great plays that kept things intact.”

Lisbon improved its record to 20-0 with a 10-0, five-inning victory over Maranacook of Readfield in Tuesday’s Class C South final.

Coached by Randy Ridley, the Greyhounds feature senior pitcher-infielder and Mr. Baseball finalist Hunter Brissette, the Mountain Valley Conference Class C player of the year.

Brissette threw a two-hit shutout in the regional championship game, while junior third baseman Levi Tibbetts hit a three-run triple and an RBI single as the top-ranked Greyhounds surged past the No. 6 Black Bears.

Lisbon will be seeking its third state championship, having captured the Class B crown in 1979 and the Class C title in 2019.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...