PORTLAND – The Stags posted a big fourth inning against Gorham on Saturday, wringing five singles and a walk from the Rams’ pitching to pile up three runs. With Jack Casale on the mound, Cheverus were doing everything in their power to secure a W, and secure a W they did: 5-1.
“We understood going in that we would need to play clean defensively and take advantage of each opportunity offensively,” Gorham head coach Chuck Nadeau said of his boys’ contest with the Stags. “Cheverus is a very solid team with experienced, competitive kids. I think we got what we expected to get from them – we just didn’t match them.”
Ben Nelson opened the game with a single for Gorham. He reached second on a Komulainen single, third on a pass ball during Kyle King’s at-bat and home when King sac-flied.
1-0. From there, however, the action turned against the Rams: Logan McCarthy scored for the Stags in the second to tie things up, and Griffin Watson scored in the third to inch them ahead. Then, in the fourth, Cheverus exploded for three, one each from Watson, Casale and Justin Ray. Gorham starting pitcher Adam Peterson checked out midway through the stretch, and Komulainen stepped in as relief, but Cheverus had simply found a rhythm.
Nadeau expressed confidence in his pitchers, who, except for stumbling in the third, otherwise looked solid. “I thought our pitching was good enough to win the game,” Nadeau said. “We cracked the door open a few times for Cheverus, and (Maxx) St. John hurt us both times. Otherwise, I like the way our guys competed and kept us within striking distance. We just couldn’t support their efforts with enough offense.”
St. John went 2-3 with a single and double on the day.
Casale, the Stags’ ace on the mound, held Gorham largely silent at the plate, giving up just four hits total – King added a single in the sixth and Roop a single in the seventh. Sure, Casale clipped Nolan Brown in the first and walked Roop in the fifth, but he tallied seven Ks as well, effectively stomping out any Rams’ spark before it could catch fire.
Of course, Casale’s defense backed him up admirably. “Casale did a nice job of settling into his rhythm after our fast start,” Nadeau said. “Cheverus got the big play from their third baseman to end the top of the first with the bases loaded – from then on it was difficult for us to get any momentum again. I credit Casale for that.”
Gorham retires for the year at 15-3. Cheverus, now 17-1, will play Falmouth in the Regional final on Wednesday, June 14.
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Gorham’s Logan Drouin runs down Cheverus’s Cam Dube, midway between third and home; both boys catch air.
Griffin Watson dives back to first for the Stags vs. Gorham.
Justin Ray reels in an infield fly for the Stags vs. the Rams.