ORONO, Maine — Being an underdog on the road in postseason games is not a foreign concept for the Edward Little High baseball team.
As a No. 7 seed in 2022, the Red Eddies from Auburn upset two higher-seeded opponents en route to the Class A North regional championship game.
And in 2023, coach Dave Campbell’s club is on a similar path, this time as an eighth seed, thanks to the relief pitching and aggressive baserunning of senior Campbell Cassidy.
Cassidy pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings and scored the game-winning run on a throwing error in the seventh inning as the Eddies rallied to upend top-ranked Brewer 4-3 in a thrilling quarterfinal on Wednesday at the University of Maine’s Mahaney Diamond.
Cassidy had singled and advanced to second on Eli St. Laurent’s bunt single that had produced the tying run for the 10-7 Red Eddies, who will take on fourth-seeded Messalonskee of Oakland in a Friday semifinal.
Brewer wraps up 14-3.
Edward Little trailed 3-2 staring its final three outs in the face, but Brady Keefe started the rally with a line-drive single to right field, and after a fielders’ choice, Campbell recorded a base hit of his own to put pressure on the Witches.
Campbell stole third on a swinging strikeout by Brady Vincent, and scored when the throw skipped into left field.
“Coach gave me a one sign, so right when he turned his head back to home plate, I took off,” said Campbell, who struck out four and allowed just two hits in earning the win in relief.
“Cassidy is a very, very headsy young man who has great athleticism,” said Edward Little coach Dave Jordan. “He was able to get it done.”
The Witches mounted scoring threats in three of the first four innings, but Eddies’ starter Drew Smith was able to keep the damage minimal. A lunging catch in left by Caleb Albert to end the first thwarted a second-and-third, two-out threat by the Witches.
Brewer did reach Smith for two runs in the bottom of the third, when Rowan Valley ripped a two-run single to center field.
But the unfazed Eddies got both runs back in the top of the fourth, with Smith driving in the first on a sharp single to right and Gage Ducharme hustling out a grounder to short to thwart a double play, tying the game.
Brewer regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on an Evan Nadeau RBI single, but the Witches left the bases loaded.
Coach Dana Corey’s club stranded nine runners on the night, which has been a hurdle for the Witches throughout the season.
“That’s the one thing you can’t do, especially when you get into playoff games,” Corey said. “EL’s a very very good team. They’re a lot like us, they want to lay down bunts and move people around, and it just came down to who happened to execute near the end of the game.”
Brewer never mounted any more serious threats after the fourth, as Cassidy kept the Witches off-balance with a lively fastball that he admitted had more gas on it than usual.
“I love these situations, that’s what athletes love,” Campbell said. “My fastball had a couple more ticks than usual.”
“When he comes in relief he’s really tough,” Jordan said. “He pounds the zone, he’s got a lot of movement on his ball. He has that winning attitude being a senior captain.”
Kade Masseli and TJ Kramarz both singled and scored runs for the Red Eddies.
Nadeau had a single and a run scored for Brewer while Grady Vanidestine scattered six hits in a complete-game effort.