Thu, Oct 30, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Spring sports season in full swing

Sports

Spring sports season in full swing

(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Biddeford baseball, Scarborough-South Portland softball, Cape Elizabeth-NYA, Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth, Scarborough-South Portland, South Portland-Cheverus and South Portland-Yarmouth boys' lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth and Scarborough-Yarmouth girls' lacrosse game stories, with box scores and additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net/section/sports).

The calendar has flipped to May and while summer is still several weeks away, Mother Nature has come around with increasing warmth and sunshine as the spring sports season got underway in full last week.

Local baseball, softball, lacrosse, track and tennis teams all created plenty of drama with much more to come.

Here's a glimpse:

Baseball

Scarborough's baseball team has been most impressive in the early going.

The Red Storm blanked visiting Thornton Academy (3-0), visiting Massabesic (5-0) and host Westbrook (7-0) before finally surrendering some runs in a 7-3 triumph at Bonny Eagle. Ben Greenberg threw a three-hit shutout against the Golden Trojans, Jayme Lappin one-hit the Mustangs (Greenberg paced the offense with a key double) and Greenberg threw a three-hitter at the Blue Blazes. In the win at the Scots, Lappin had another strong effort on the hill and Greenberg hit an inside-the-park home run, tripled and drove in three runs.

Scarborough was at South Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), hosts Biddeford Saturday and welcomes Noble Tuesday.

South Portland blanked visiting Biddeford in its opener, 6-0, behind Robert Graff.

"I liked my fastball today," Graff said. "I was hitting my spots. I kept them off-balance with my curveball."

"It was a very good start," said Red Riots coach Mike Owens. "We just kind of jumped on Robert's shoulders today. We put good swings on balls. We did the little things."

South Portland then downed visiting Noble, 6-5, lost a slugfest at Thornton Academy, 13-8, enjoyed a 4-3 victory at Massabesic, then improved to 4-1 with a 10-3 home win over Sanford. Against the Knights, Dillon Burns and Nick Whitten both drove in two runs and Whitten got the save. In the win over the Mustangs, Zac Marles earned the win and Matt Beecher had a key two-run hit. Marles hit a three-run double in the win over the Spartans.

After hosting Scarborough Thursday, the Red Riots go to Gorham Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 2-2 at press time. The Capers opened with a 4-3 (12 inning) win over visiting Old Orchard Beach, then lost at Freeport (6-1) and at home to defending Class B champion Falmouth (2-0). Last Friday, Cape Elizabeth returned to the win column with a 10-5 triumph at Gray-New Gloucester. Sam Kozlowski had the winning hit against the Seagulls, Tim Brigham homered in the loss to the Falcons, the Capers were no-hit by Falmouth's Thomas Fortier and against the Patriots, Zach Culver had three hits and an RBI.

Cape Elizabeth was at York Wednesday, visits Traip Friday and plays host to Wells Monday.

Greater Portland Christian School opened with a 12-1 (five inning) loss at Waynflete.

Softball

Scarborough's powerhouse softball team is up to its usual tricks, completely dominating the opposition. The Red Storm opened with a 15-5 romp at reigning regional champion South Portland, avenging last year's playoff loss. Marisa O'Toole had a three-run triple and scored three times, while Erin Giles gutted her way to the win on the mound.

"It doesn't matter when we play (South Portland)," said O'Toole. "It's always a great game. They're an awesome opponent. It's great for us to see what we need to improve on."

"I'm pleased," said longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin. "We took care of business. We hit the ball really well. Everything was positive. We go out there and try to win every game we play. We accomplished that mission today."

The Red Storm then handled visiting Gorham (17-1, in five innings), host Bonny Eagle (7-1) and visiting Portland (5-0). Against the Rams, Alyssa Williamson struck out 11, while Giles and O'Toole both hit home runs. Brenna Kent homered and Giles fanned 12 in the win over the Scots. Against the Bulldogs, Williamson threw a no-hitter and struck out 14.

Scarborough was home with Thornton Academy Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), plays at Noble Friday and welcomes Sanford Monday.

South Portland opened with a 12-0 (five inning) win at Bonny Eagle (ace Erin Bogdanovich threw a one-hitter and Olivia Indorf homered and tripled). Red Riots coach Ralph Aceto didn't pitch Bogdanovich in the loss to Scarborough, going instead with Danica Gleason (who had never pitched in high school) instead.

"I went with Danica," said Aceto. "She'd been chomping at the bit and bugging me for three years to throw. She's my number three pitcher. Being a senior and being Danica, she wanted to throw against Scarborough and I gave her the opportunity. Erin's been having some health issues. She has some kidney stones. I thought it would be a good idea to rest her today. I don't think Tom needs to see her anymore than he needs to see her anyway. That's double the reason."

While South Portland went down to defeat, an inside-the-park home run from Laurine German was a highlight.

"I knew it would be a tough game," Aceto said. "I'm extremely pleased with how my kids played. We could've quit and instead we battled the whole game."

The Red Riots bounced back with a 6-2 win at Thornton Academy (Bogdanovich threw a three-hitter and Indorf had three RBIs) and a 6-0 home triumph over Noble (Bogdanovich only allowed one hit and Indorf homered). Monday, South Portland fell to 3-2 with an 8-1 loss at Sanford.

The Red Riots were home with Massabesic Wednesday and played at Deering Thursday. Monday, they host McAuley.

Cape Elizabeth is making plenty of noise in Western B.

The Capers opened with a 14-0 (five inning) home win over Old Orchard Beach, then triumphed at Freeport (9-0), at home over Falmouth (11-1) and at Gray-New Gloucester (14-2). Katie Rabasca and Anna Goldstein combined a one-hitter against the Seagulls. In the win over the Yachtsmen, Ashley Tinsman had two hits, including a triple. Emma O'Rourke keyed a 15-hit attack against the Patriots, with a two-run triple. Tinsman doubled twice.

Cape Elizabeth was at York Wednesday, goes to Traip Friday and hosts Wells Monday.

Boys' lacrosse

Local boys' lacrosse teams have already played (and won) multiple games.

Preseason Class B favorite Cape Elizabeth toyed with visiting Lake Region in its opener, winning 19-0 (behind a half dozen goals from Justin Cary), then was stunned at North Yarmouth Academy last week, letting a 5-1 lead slip away in a 9-6 loss. The Capers were held to one goal in the game's final 34 minutes. Alex Bornick finished with a team-high three goals.

"We got off to a great start," said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. "Things were easy at the beginning. I'm sure it got into our guys' heads. We didn't get anywhere near the same looks we got in the first half. Then, we panicked a little bit and threw the ball away."

The Capers returned to form Monday night in epic fashion, rallying from an 8-3 deficit to stun host Falmouth, 11-10, on Griffin Thoreck's overtime goal. The win gave Cape Elizabeth a measure of revenge after losing to the Yachtsmen in each of the past two Western B Finals. Bornick and Cary both scored four times.

"It definitely feels awesome," said Thoreck. "It's something I'll remember for awhile. I caught it, did the best I could to get it on goal and made it count."

"We wanted to be the first team to beat Falmouth on their home turf," said defensive standout Adam Haversat. "It's one of the most incredible comebacks I've ever seen. We didn't want to lose the last game we played (here)."

"We hadn't won on this field, so it's big for our guys," Raymond added. "It meant an awful lot to our seniors. We were pretty upset after the NYA game."

The Capers hosted Waynflete Wednesday, welcome undefeated Yarmouth Saturday and go to improved Greely Tuesday.

Three-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough opened its 2013 campaign with easy home wins over Westbrook (17-3) and Bonny Eagle (16-0), before romping at Biddeford (15-1). Against the Blue Blazes, Nate Howard, Matt Murphy, Christian Neelon, Mike Thurston and John Wheeler all had two goals. Wheeler, Austin Doody and Jurien Garrison each had three goals against the Scots. In the win over the Tigers, Tanner Sutkowski had four goals and Doody three.

The road then got tougher as the Red Storm fended off a late surge from visiting South Portland, winning, 9-8, on Murphy's goal with 32.7 seconds left. Wheeler scored three times.

"We were all spread out," Murphy said. "I was supposed to be on the crease. I saw no one was on me, so I waited for the whistle to blow and made that cut and Wheeler gave me a good pass. I watched the ball all the way into my stick and I finished."

"It played out the way it should have," added Scarbrough coach Joe Hezlep, for whom the win had extra meaning, seeing he's a former South Portland athletic standout, who serves as an assistant football coach with the Red Riots. "They're a very good team. We knew it would be a game coming in."

The Red Storm fell to 4-1 Saturday, losing at home to NYA, 8-5, despite three goals from Wheeler. Scarborough was at Deering Wednesday, plays host to Portland Saturday and is at Gorham Tuesday.

Prior to losing to Scarborough, South Portland had gotten off to a sizzling start with wins over visiting Marshwood (8-7) and Gorham (12-7) and host Cheverus (13-10). Alec Neal scored the winner against the Hawks with 20 seconds left. Duncan Preston had four goals and Jack Fiorini three versus the Rams. Against the Stags, the Red Riots surged in the fourth period and prevailed behind four goals from Preston.

"I've said it from the beginning, I think I have something special with this group of kids," said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. "You can see it in their eyes. They said, 'It's not going to happen tonight, Coach.' I believe in them, they believe in me. It's a fun ride. We're having a good time."

Preston had three goals and sophomore goalie T-Moe Hellier made 16 saves against the Red Storm, when the Red Riots nearly completed an epic comeback from six goals down.

"We got ourselves in a 6-0 hole and that's a heck of a hole to dig out of," said Fiorini. "These kids are all heart and all work. They chipped away at it, never gave up and almost pulled it out."

Saturday, South Portland fell to 3-2 after a 15-4 home loss to Yarmouth. Preston led the team with two goals.

The Red Riots were at Bonny Eagle Wednesday and host Windham Saturday and Thornton Academy Wednesday of next week.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth looked unstoppable heading into its highly anticipated home showdown with reigning Class B champion Waynflete Wednesday night (see theforecaster.net for full game story, photos, box score).

The Capers opened with a stunningly easy 18-5 triumph at Falmouth last week, as they opened up a 7-0 lead and never looked back. Talley Perkins had six goals and Abby McInerney five in a tremendous team effort.

"In the past, it's always been back-and-forth, so I don't think anyone expected this," McInerney said. "It's a pleasant surprise."

"I didn't expect it to be like this at all," said Cape Elizabeth coach Jeff Perkins. "I think we played one of the best games I've seen in my six or seven years I've been a part of the program. Everything seemed to be working."

The Capers then broke open a close game at halftime and pulled away to beat reigning Eastern B champion Freeport, 13-4, as Talley Perkins had four goals and three assists and Liz Robinson and Lauren Steidl both added three goals. Saturday, Cape Elizabeth improved to 3-0 with a 13-7 win at Gorham, behind four goals apiece from the dynamic Perkins-Steidl tandem.

After hosting Waynflete Wednesday, the Capers are at Wells Friday.

The big news in Western A is that three-time defending state champion Scarborough showed signs of mortality last week.

The Red Storm opened with easy wins at McAuley (17-2, behind two goals each from Ainsley Jamieson, Avery Pietras, Kaitlyn Prince and Emma Smith) and Bonny Eagle (12-3, Jamieson, Pietras and Prince all had three goals) and appeared bound for another victory Saturday against visiting Yarmouth, when it led, 6-1, early in the second half, but the Clippers roared back to stun Scarborough, 8-7, on a goal in the final minute. Prince did have three goals and two assists in the setback.

"(Losses) are going to happen," Red Storm coach Marcia Wood said. "I was impressed with the first half. We played great. We just got a little frantic in that second half and they capitalized on our turnovers. This should be enough to fuel us."

Scarborough looked to get back on track Wednesday at home against South Portland (see theforecaster.net for game story). Tuesday brings a trip to dangerous Massabesic.

Speaking of South Portland, the Red Riots opened with an 11-4 home win over Sanford, then fell to visiting Thornton Academy, 8-5. In the victory, Lani Edwards had four goals and Ericka Lightner three. Edwards and Shae O'Brien both had two goals in the loss. After playing at Scarborough Wednesday, South Portland goes to Noble Friday and Westbrook Tuesday.

Oudoor track

The outdoor track season began last week.

Scarborough joined Gorham and Westbrook for a meet at Windham, where the boys were first and the girls third. The boys got wins from Ryan Jamison in the 100 (11.38 seconds), 200 (23.26) and long jump (19 feet, 2.5 inches), Colin Jones in the 400 (54.79), Jacob Bloom in the mile (4 minutes, 50.27 seconds), Will Fowler in the two-mile (10:28.38), Merrick Madden in the 300 hurdles (44.18), Anthony Verzoni in the shot put (46-1), Hugh McSorley in the discus (133-3), Kevin Manning in the pole vault (12 feet) and the 400 (45.03), 1,600 (3:41.06) and 3,200 (8:26.81) relays. Girls' winners included Karli-An Gilbert in the 400 (1:05.3), Laura Volan in the mile (6:07.09), Paige Greeley in the high jump (4-8) and the 1,600 relay (4:30.2).

South Portland took part in a city meet at Cheverus.

The boys were second to the Stags and got wins from Thomas Hodgkins in the mile (5:02.7), Max Knutsen in the two-mile (10:16.0), Michael Cuesta in the triple jump (39-10, Joey Zelasko in the shot put (46-7.5), Jacob Guay in the racewalk (9:07.3), and the 3,200 relay (9:01.5). The girls were a close third behind Cheverus and Deering. Nyajock Pan took the 800 (2:30.0) and the mile (5:36.3). The Red Riots also took the 3,200 relay (10:30.1).

Cape Elizabeth opened at home against Freeport, Old Orchard Beach, St. Dom's and Wells.

The boys came in second to Wells. Winners included Liam Simpson in the mile (4:48.3), Eddie Galvin in the long jump (19-10.75) and triple jump (39-4), and the 1,600 (4:04.9) and the 3,200 (9:32.1) relays. The girls placed third and got wins from Emily Faria in the mile (5:58.7), Arden Wing in the 100 (13.5), Allisa Mitchell in the shot put (25-2), Sophie Avantaggio in the high jump (4-8) and Hayley Petsinger in the 800 (2:35.8).

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth's boys' tennis team is off to a 3-0 start, highlighted by a 4-1 win at two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth last Friday, which snapped the Yachtsmen's 34-match win streak. The Capers were at five-time defending Class C champion Waynflete Wednesday. The girls' squad was 3-1 at press time, losing only to Falmouth (5-0). Cape Elizabeth played host to two-time defending Class C champion Waynflete Wednesday.

In Class A, the Scarborough girls are off to a fast 4-0 start, highlighted by a 4-1 win over Cheverus. The Red Storm have a showdown at Portland Monday, in what could be a regional final preview. The Scarborough boys were 3-1 at press time, losing only to defending Class A champion Gorham, 4-1.

South Portland's boys opened with 3-2 victories over Cheverus and Bonny Eagle, then lost to Deering, 5-0. The girls took a 1-3 record into Wednesday's match versus Sanford. The Red Riots' win came over Bonny Eagle (3-2).

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