Baseball season ends painfully

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In a season so wide open that literally any playoff participant had a chance to go all the way, South Portland and Scarborough entered the postseason full of optimism last week, but both went home disappointed.

It would be Cinderella 11th seed Windham winning Western Class A, while the Red Riots and Red Storm fell short.

South Portland’s 14-2 regular season mark was its best in a decade and gave the Red Riots the top seed in the region.

In the quarterfinals, last Thursday versus No. 9 Cheverus, South Portland got a two-hit shutout performance from left-handed ace Henry Curran, but couldn’t score a run for him until the bottom of the eighth inning, when Robert Graff delivered a clutch hit, driving in Hayden Owen to end it.

In Saturday’s semifinals, versus No. 4 Marshwood, South Portland again struggled to score, but got a great effort on the hill from Graff. The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the third, but the Red Riots tied the game in bottom of the sixth. Graff preserved the 1-1 tie through 10 innings, when he was required by rule to end his spectacular two-hit, 14-strikeout outing. Marshwood then pushed across two runs in the top of the 11th and when South Portland couldn’t answer, its year was over at 15-3 after the 3-1 setback. Sam Troiano did have three hits, including a triple, in defeat.

Scarborough overcame an 0-4 start to its season to go 9-6-1 and earn the No. 5 seed for the playoffs. After blanking No. 12 Sanford, 5-0, in the preliminary round, the Red Storm went to Marshwood last Thursday for the quarterfinals.

The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and added two more runs in the fourth. Scarborough got one back in the sixth, but that was it for offense and the Red Storm went down to a 4-1 defeat, finishing their year at 10-7-1.

Scarborough senior standout Ben Greenberg, who will play at Fordham University in New York City next year, was named a finalist for Maine’s “Mr. Baseball” Dr. John Winkin Award. The winner will be announced June 27.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.