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- The Forecaster
(Ed. Note: For the complete Deering-Westbrook and Portland-Thornton Academy baseball, McAuley-Cheverus softball, Cheverus-South Portland and Portland-Scarborough boys’ lacrosse and Cheverus-Waynflete and Waynflete-Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse game stories, with additional photos and box scores, see theforecaster.net)
The fun has begun for everyone and the short and sweet spring sports season promises to be triumphant across the board.
Whether the sport is baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis or track, local athletes have already made a mark.
Here’s a glimpse:
Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s baseball teams went a combined 9-2 to start the year.
The Stags beat visiting Biddeford in their opener (4-3, in nine innings), were victorious at Bonny Eagle (8-3), then outlasted host Sanford in 11 innings Saturday, 4-3, to start 3-0. Against the Tigers, Alex Libby earned the win, Chris Vallee had three hits and Chris Billings and Jack Whaley had two RBI apiece. In the win over the Spartans, Logan McCarthy had a two-run double to tie the game in the seventh inning, then drove in Jack Casale for the winning run. Matt Gedaro came on in relief to earn the win. Cheverus went to Westbrook Tuesday, hosts Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), plays at South Portland Saturday and welcomes Noble Tuesday of next week.
Deering, which won just four times in 2014, won three of its first four contests under new coach Josh Stowell. After falling at Massabesic in the opener (5-3), the Rams won at Gorham (9-3), then rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to edge visiting Biddeford (6-5) and scored in the seventh to beat visiting Westbrook (5-4). Against Gorham, Colby Dame went the distance to earn the victory, allowing just one earned run. Kevin Goldberg had three hits. Luciano Minverino drove in three runs and Nick Bevilaqua had two hits and two RBI. Deering came back against the Tigers thanks to an RBI single from Goldberg and a two-run game-winning single from James Sinclair. Bevilaqua and Goldberg had two hits apiece. In the win over the Blue Blazes, Deering scratched its way back from a 3-0 deficit and won it when Pat Viola singled in Dominick Bernard. Goldberg and Viola both had three hits and Sam Luebbert went the distance.
“I was just looking for a pitch,” said Viola. “I worked the count. I got a curveball in the zone and I just hit it. The past couple years, we’ve been on the losing side of walkoffs, but this feels good.”
“It’s a great feeling,” Goldberg said. “To win two games in a row on walkoffs is unbelievable. We just tried to generate anything we could get, just get people on base. We battled back yesterday and we knew we could do it again and we did it.”
“I wouldn’t mind doing it a little earlier, but I’ll take it,” added Stowell. “I think guys are starting to buy in. We only won four games last year, but we lost quite a few by one or two runs, so we were a team that was close to being 8-8. We were on the fringe. Now we’re executing more and that’s how you gut out these one-run games.”
Deering hosted South Portland Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes preseason favorite Marshwood Thursday, goes to Bonny Eagle Saturday and visits Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.
Portland, which welcomed back former standout player and coach Mike Rutherford this spring, also won three of its first four. The Bulldogs set the tone with a 5-3 victory at Marshwood. Last week, they edged host Windham, 4-2, blanked visiting Massabesic, 4-0, and dropped a 3-2 home decision to Thornton Academy in eight innings. Against the Eagles, Ryan Ruhlin got the win in relief and had a pair of hits and Jake Knop added three hits. Charles Barnard threw a two-hit shutout against the Mustangs. Barnard also tripled, as did John Williams. George Chaison-Lapine had a pair of hits. In the loss, Portland had no answer for Golden Trojans standout Ben Lambert, but the Bulldogs stole a couple runs to tie the game in the fifth. Thornton Academy pushed across a run in the eighth to win it. Ruhlin took the loss.
“We would have stolen that one if we somehow won,” Rutherford said. “Lambert was better than us. There’s nothing to hang our heads about. I’m proud of how we came back down, 2-0. We did get a little bit of momentum, but Lambert was dealing.”
Portland was home with Scarborough Tuesday, welcomes Noble Thursday, visits Gorham Saturday and is at Westbrook Tuesday of next week.
“I’d love to be greedy and be 4-0, but 3-1 is a great start,” said Rutherford. “It doesn’t get any easier. I’m happy with how we’re playing.”
Waynflete lost at home to Gray-New Gloucester (13-0, in five innings), fell at Traip Academy (19-1) and at home to Old Orchard Beach (14-4) to start 0-3. Against the Seagulls, the Flyers led until the seventh, when they surrendered 11 runs. Waynflete hosted Greater Portland Christian School for a doubleheader Monday, welcomes Sacopee Valley Friday, visits North Yarmouth Academy Saturday and plays at Old Orchard Beach Monday of next week.
McAuley’s softball team split its first four outings. The Lions opened with a 5-4 loss at Marshwood, handled visiting Cheverus, 10-2, fell at Windham, 5-1, then routed visiting Westbrook, 15-4. Against the Stags, Taylor Whaley threw a six-hitter with nine strikeouts and hit a home run. Ally Tillotson also homered.
“It feels great,” said Whaley. “I was really excited to be at home. Obviously beating Cheverus is a big win for us. We’ll go forward from this.”
“t’s exciting,” said McAuley first-year coach Dawn Armandi, of win number one in her career. “We hit much better today. It seemed more consistent.”
Whaley had two hits against the Eagles. Anya Chase earned her first victory against the Blue Blazes and Lillie Donovan hit a home run. McAuley was at Biddeford Monday, hosts Portland Wednesday, visits South Portland Friday and Cheverus Saturday and welcomes Gorham Monday of next week.
Deering has already eclipsed its combined win total of the past three years, starting 2-3. After a 9-6 loss at Portland, the Rams rallied for a 12-10 win at Cheverus. Last week, the Rams were outslugged by visiting Windham, 17-9, beat host Westbrook, 3-2, and lost at home to Biddeford, 15-1. Cierra Burnham had four hits and three RBI, while Cassidy Coyne doubled twice in the loss to the Eagles. In the victory over the Blue Blazes, Kaylee Helmick earned the win, Sidney Giroux had two hits and Siobhan Densmore tripled. Deering was at Portland Monday, hosts South Portland Wednesday, goes to Gorham Friday and welcomes Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.
Portland, which won its opener, 9-6, over visiting Deering, lost its next four: 12-2 to visiting Thornton Academy, 9-3 at Noble, 8-0 at home to Sanford and 10-9, in eight innings, at Massabesic. Taylor Crosby had two hits versus Noble. Anna Evans had three against the Mustangs, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold a 9-5 lead in the seventh inning. Portland was home against Deering Monday, goes to McAuley Wednesday and Marshwood Friday, then returns home Monday of next week to face Cheverus.
The Stags were still seeking their first win at press time. Cheverus started with a 12-10 home loss to Deering, then fell at McAuley (10-2) and at Marshwood (13-0). Josie Bradshaw had two doubles and an RBI against the Lions.
“We’re plagued by injuries right now,” said Stags first-year coach Cynthia Wescott. “A big thing with us is going game-by-game.”
Cheverus was home with Windham Monday, visits Westbrook Wednesday, hosts Biddeford Friday and McAuley Saturday, then plays at Portland Monday of next week.
Cheverus’ boys’ lacrosse team opened with an 18-4 win at Deering, then lost at home defending Class A state champion South Portland, 15-6, and Gorham, 14-9. Against the Red Riots, Tom Lawson and Nick Schleh both scored twice, but the Stags went scoreless for 31 minutes, 25 seconds.
“I was actually happy with our play,” said Cheverus coach Bill Bodwell. “We played with them at times. Hopefully we see them again.”
Lawson, Schleh and Alex Nason all had two goals against Gorham. The Stags were at Bonny Eagle Tuesday and visit Falmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story).
Deering bounced back from its 18-4 home loss to Cheverus in its opener with an 11-5 victory over Portland and an 11-2 home loss to Thornton Academy. In the win, Nate Richards had five goals. The Rams host Scarborough Wednesday, go to Messalonskee Friday and visit Bonny Eagle Tuesday.
Portland beat host Noble, 12-2, in the opener, then fell at home to Windham (12-4) and Deering (11-5) and at Scarborough (17-0). After going to Thornton Academy Tuesday, the Bulldogs visit Edward Little Saturday.
Waynflete opened with an 18-6 home loss to two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth, then won at York, 9-6, and at home over Fryeburg Academy, 13-4. Harry Baker-Connick had four goals and Will Nelligan added three in the victory over the Raiders. The Flyers were at NYA Tuesday, go to Oak Hill Friday and host Freeport Monday.
Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team is once again very competitive, despite its youth. The Flyers opened with a 13-4 win at NYA, then held off visiting Cheverus, 9-6, thanks to four goals from Nina Moore.
“We’re young, but a lot of girls have played with upper level players for a long time,” Moore said. “That experience has made us better and better. Our intensity level keeps coming up.”
“Today let us see what we need to work on,” said longtime Flyers coach Cathie Connors. “The girls did a great job keeping composure in a close game.”
Waynflete then fell from the unbeaten ranks with an 8-4 loss to Kennebunk. Christian Rowe had two goals in defeat.
“This is why I coach,” said Connors. “When we lose, but it feels to me like we won because of how we’ve improved and never gave up. I’m so proud of the girls.”
Saturday, the Flyers improved to 3-1 with a 10-7 victory at Greely behind three goals from Isabel Canning on her birthday and two more from Helen Gray-Bauer. Waynflete was at Fryeburg Academy Monday, hosts Gould Academy Wednesday and goes to Scarborough for a crossover battle Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story).
Cheverus, the defending Eastern A champion, lost its opener, 9-6, at Waynflete, despite two goals from Anne Veroneau.
“This was really the first time we’ve played together,” said first-year Stags coach Jennifer Wescott. “After we talked at half, it clicked. I wish it would have been a little better, but we have the ability. It all came down to possession.”
Cheverus hosted Messalonskee Tuesday, welcomes Windham Thursday, goes to Bonny Eagle Saturday and visits Portland Tuesday of next week.
Deering dropped its opener, 16-11, at Mt. Ararat. Emily Krabbe and Micary Verville both scored times. The Rams hosted Noble Tuesday, visit Biddeford Thursday and play at defending Class A champion Massabesic Tuesday of next week.
McAuley fell in its opener, 17-5, to visiting Marshwood, despite three goals from Amanda Spink. The Lions were home with Biddeford Tuesday, go to Noble Thursday and visit Westbrook Tuesday of next week.
Portland edged host Biddeford, 9-8, in its first game. Lexi Michaud had five goals. The Bulldogs went to Massabesic Tuesday, host Scarborough Thursday, Cony Saturday and Cheverus Tuesday of next week.
The outdoor track regular season began last week.
Deering’s boys joined Scarborough and Thornton Academy at Noble and placed fourth. Iid Sheikh-Yusuf won the mile in 4 minutes, 40.48 seconds. Jacob Coon was first in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches). Ezra Chapola took the triple jump in 39-10.5.
The Rams girls joined Noble and Scarborough at Thornton Academy and came in fourth. Nicole Wipkey finished first in the 800 (2:35.44).
Cheverus hosted Marshwood, South Portland and Westbrook and placed first. Jake Schott won the 110 hurdles (17.24) and the high jump (5-10). Jake Dixon was first in the 400 (51.41 seconds). Nick White was tops in the discus (148-10) and the shot put (52-10). The Stags won the 400 (45.36) and 3,200 (9:26.05) relays.
The Stags girls joined Marshwood and South Portland at Westbrook and finished second behind the Red Riots. Sarah Mount won the 300 hurdles in 52.39 seconds. Emily Grinnell took the discus (85-2). Katelyn Gendron won the long jump in 15-11 and the triple jump 32-11.
Portland joined Biddeford and Sanford at Windham and came in fourth. Jonathan Bobe won the 200 in 23.47.
The Bulldogs girls were also fourth at that meet and got a win from Raven Bradenday in the mile (6:20.39).
McAuley joined Gorham and Massabesic at Bonny Eagle and came in fourth. Samantha Witkowski was the top finisher, placing third in the pole vault (7-0).
Waynflete joined Gray-New Gloucester and Yarmouth at York and both genders came in fourth.
Cheverus hosted a girls’ city meet Monday, against Cheverus, Deering, McAuley and South Portland. Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s boys competed at South Portland Tuesday.
Waynflete competes at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday.
The biggest news in tennis’ first week was Portland’s girls losing their opener, 3-2, to visiting Windham, a setback which snapped the Bulldogs’ 25-match regular season win streak. Portland started a new streak with a 4-1 victory at Deering Friday. After hosting Thornton Academy Monday, the Bulldogs visit Scarborough Wednesday and Gorham Friday and play host to Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.
Cheverus won its first two matches by 5-0 scores, downing visiting Massabesic and Bonny Eagle. The Stags went to Westbrook Monday, play at McAuley Wednesday, host Sanford Friday and play at South Portland Monday of next week.
Deering sandwiched home losses to Gorham (4-1) and Portland (4-1) around a 5-0 win at Westbrook. The Rams were at Scarborough Monday, visit South Portland Wednesday and play host to Massabesic Friday.
McAuley opened with a 3-2 loss at Marshwood, beat visiting Biddeford, 4-1, then lost at home to Gorham, 4-1. The Lions were at Windham Monday, welcome Cheverus Wednesday, play host to Bonny Eagle Friday and visit Sanford Monday of next week.
Defending Class C champion Waynflete began with a 4-1 home loss to Cape Elizabeth, then defeated visiting York (3-2) and Freeport (4-1). The Flyers were at Lake Region Monday, host defending Class B champion Greely Wednesday, go to rival NYA Friday and welcome Kennebunk Monday of next week.
On the boys’ side, seven-time Class C champion Waynflete lost at two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth in the opener, 4-1, then blanked host York and Freeport. The Flyers visit Greely Wednesday, welcome NYA Friday and go to Kennebunk Monday of next week.
Cheverus won by 5-0 scores at Massabesic and Bonny Eagle to start its season. The Stags were home with Westbrook Monday, host Thornton Academy Wednesday, go to Sanford Friday and welcome South Portland Monday of next week.
Deering dropped its opener, 3-2, at Gorham, for its regular season loss since 2013. The Rams then beat visiting Westbrook, 5-0, and held on for a 3-2 victory at Portland. Deering hosted Scarborough Monday, welcomes South Portland Wednesday, visits Massabesic Friday and plays host to Sanford Monday of next week.
Portland lost at home to Deering in its first outing, 3-2. After playing at Thornton Academy Monday, the Bulldogs welcome Scarborough Wednesday and Gorham Friday, then play at Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.
Deering’s baseball team celebrates its 5-4 walkoff victory over Westbrook Friday. The Rams won in their final at-bat for the second game in a row.
McAuley’s Lillie Donovan slides into home as Cheverus catcher Margaret Rigney stands in the way during the teams’ game last week. Donovan was safe on the play and the Lions prevailed, 10-2.
Waynflete senior Helen Gray-Bauer and Cheverus junior Allie Scott take a draw during the Flyers’ 9-6 win last week.