Scarborough senior Jack Hughes, left, is congratulated by classmate Nick Lorello after scoring in the second inning of the Red Storm’s 7-1 win at Deering Tuesday night.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
S- 160 000 0- 7 9 3
D- 000 010 0- 1 3 2
Reed singled to left-center, Lorello scored.
Lorello lined out to left, Welsh scored. Hughes scored on error. Carion singled to left-center, Timpson scored. Reed tripled to center, Caron and Carion scored. Pratt singled to left, Reed scored.
Westphal grounded out to second, Minervino scored.
S- Reed 3
S- Carion, Caron, Hughes, Lorello, Reed, Timpson, Walsh
S- Reed 3, Lorello, Pratt
S- Carion, Lorello, Reed
Left on base:
Reed, Cookson (7) and Welsh; Sinclair and Minervino
Reed (W, 2-0) 6 IP 2 H 1 R 0 ER 5 BB 4 K 3 HBP
Cookson 1 IP 1 H 0 R 0 BB 0 K
Sinclair (L, 2-1) 7 IP 9 H 7 R 1 ER 3 BB 5 K 2 HBP
PORTLAND—For over a decade, Mike D’Andrea coached Deering’s baseball team to victory after victory and championship after championship.
Eight years removed from his last title run with the Rams, D’Andrea made a triumphant return to Hadlock Field Tuesday evening and proved he can steer a team to victory whether it’s full of all-stars or virtual upstarts or whether it’s clad in red or purple.
Scarborough continued to ride D’Andrea Magic in a key midseason showdown against Deering, which is coached by D’Andrea disciple Josh Stowell.
The Red Storm, who have passed every test but one this season, scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning when senior pitcher Josh Reed helped himself with an RBI single to score senior shortstop Nick Lorello.
Scarborough then got a big dose of breathing room in the second, erupting for six runs. An error kept the inning going and Reed had the big hit, a two-run triple, as the Red Storm took a 7-0 lead.
Reed worked in and out of trouble the rest of the game, but only surrendered one run and Scarborough went on to a 7-1 victory.
The Red Storm got three hits and three RBI from Reed, who allowed just two hits and one unearned run in his six innings as Scarborough improved to 6-1, handed Deering its third consecutive setback and dropped the Rams to 4-4 in the process.
“Anytime you play the school you work at, with all that tradition and history, it made it a little special, but this team I have at Scarborough, we have a long way to go, so I’m focused on improving skills and hoping I can help them become the best players they can become,” said D’Andrea, who still teaches at Deering. “We’ve won some tight games and found ways to win.”
Once upon a time, in the not too distance past, Deering had no peer as a baseball powerhouse and while the program boasted an abundance of talent, including a future major leaguer in Ryan Flaherty, the biggest reason for the Rams’ success was the coaching brilliance of D’Andrea, a one-time Portland High star pitcher and later an Atlanta Braves farmhand.
D’Andrea led Deering to Class A championships in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008 and the Deering-populated Nova Seafoods American Legion squad to the 2004 national championship.
D’Andrea made his return to high school coaching this spring with a Scarborough squad that was largely inexperienced, but despite his public assertion prior to the season that he’d be happy to finish .500 this year, he’s worked his magic in the early going.
The Red Storm opened with wins over host Sanford (8-3), visiting Noble (15-1, in five innings), host Marshwood (4-2), visiting Windham (2-1, in eight innings) and host Biddeford (4-3, in 11 innings). Scarborough finally suffered a loss Saturday, falling at home to Bonny Eagle, 3-1.
Deering, coached by Stowell, who starred for D’Andrea back in the glory days, dropped its opener, 9-2, to visiting Thornton Academy, then rattled off four straight victories: 4-1 at home over Windham, 2-1, thanks to a seventh inning rally, over visiting Biddeford, 4-2 at Bonny Eagle and 3-2 at Westbrook. Thursday, the Rams were blanked at Marshwood, 4-0, and Saturday, after its scoreless streak reached 14 innings, Deering tried to rally only to lose at home to Massabesic, 5-2.
Prior to the game, D’Andrea appreciated what has become of Deering’s program the past two seasons.
“I watched (Deering) take infield (practice) and their infield was very similar to the infield we took when (Josh) played for me,” D’Andrea said. “It was a proud moment. He’s got them playing with energy. He’s been very successful. He’s doing a fantastic job.”
The Rams entered play Tuesday having won 13 of 16 all-time meetings against Scarborough, including each of the past two years (see sidebar, below), but this time around, on a very pleasant early May evening, the Red Storm got the job done as teacher beat pupil.
Facing Rams junior starting pitcher James Sinclair, Scarborough got a gift to start the game when Lorello hit a high pop-up to short, but Deering senior shortstop Pat Viola dropped it for an error. After senior rightfielder Matt Caron lined softly to senior Max Chabot at second, Lorello stole second and junior centerfielder Tim Carion drew a walk on a full count. That brought up Reed, who, with the runners going, lined a single to left-center and Lorello scored easily for a 1-0 lead. Sophomore second baseman Morgan Pratt then got a hold of one, but senior leftfielder Ian Westphal ran it down on the edge of the warning track. After Carion and Reed pulled off a double steal, with senior catcher Bayley Welsh at the plate, Carion broke for home and was picked off, Sinclair to senior catcher Luciano Minervino to junior third baseman Spencer Todd to senior first baseman Jake Latini to end the frame with just one run scoring.
In the bottom half, Reed got Westphal to ground out to third on the first pitch and after senior centerfielder Dom Bernard beat out an infield hit, Bernard was caught stealing, Welsh to Lorello, and Sinclair looked at strike three.
Scarborough then broke the game open, with a little help from the Rams, in the top of the second.
The trouble started when Welsh lined a single to right leading off. Senior designated hitter Jack Hughes hit a pop fly to center which fell between Bernard and Viola for a bloop single. Senior Lucas Albert sacrificed the runners up and senior leftfielder John Timpson was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Lorello lined out deep to left, with Westphal making a nice running catch, for the second out, but Welsh scored easily on the sacrifice fly. Caron’s ground ball to third should have ended the frame, but Todd threw wide of first and Latini couldn’t handle the throw, allowing Hughes to score for a 3-0 lead. Carion followed with a single to left-center, bringing home Timpson.
The uprising continued, as Reed delivered the big blow, a triple over Bernard’s head in center, which brought home Caron and Carion.
“That set up the game well, getting runs on the board,” Reed said. “We just had to shut them down on defense. We just put the bat on the ball, put it in play and made them defend. I love hitting here.”
“For all these kids, since we’ve been struggling offensively, pounding the baseball early and capitalizing on mistakes, took the heat off and we played more relaxed,” D’Andrea said.
Pratt followed with an RBI single to chase home Reed and while Pratt was caught stealing, the Red Storm were up, 7-0, and firmly in command.
Reed worked out of self-inflicted trouble in the bottom half.
After Latini grounded out to short, Todd drew a walk and Viola was hit by a pitch. Reed then struck out senior designated hitter Colby Dame and Minervino grounded out to Albert, who tagged third base to end the inning.
Sinclair settled down in the third, getting Welsh to fly out to left, Hughes to ground out to third, where Todd made a nice stab before throwing across the diamond, and Albert to ground harmlessly to second.
In the bottom half, the Rams squandered another chance to rally, as after junior rightfielder Riley Bartell grounded out to first unassisted, Westphal was hit by a pitch and Bernard drew a walk, but Sinclair looked at strike three and Latini grounded into a force out.
Sinclair hit Timpson with a pitch leading off the fourth, but he immediately picked him off. After Lorello lined out to right, Caron beat out an infield single to the hole, but Carion looked at strike three.
In the bottom of the fourth, Todd popped out to first, Viola looked like he had a single to right, but Caron pounced on the ball and threw to first for the rarely seen 9-3 putout and Dame grounded out to second.
Reed led off the top of the fifth with his third hit, a single to left, but Pratt looked at strike three, Welsh struck out swinging and Hughes flew out deep to right.
Deering broke through in the bottom half and had a chance to score more, but left two runners on.
Minervino led off with a grounder to third and reached second when Albert threw the ball away. After Bartell lined out to first, Minervino moved up on a wild pitch and scored when Westphal grounded out to second. Bernard stayed alive when Albert dropped his foul pop and he then served a double down the leftfield line. After Sinclair walked on a 3-2 pitch, Latini was replaced by junior pinch-hitter Orey Dutton, who flew out to center to keep the score 7-1.
In the sixth, Albert struck out, but Timpson singled to center. Lorello then walked, but Caron grounded into a Viola-to-Chabot-to-Latini double play to end it.
The Rams had a chance to get back in the game in their half, but again couldn’t get a key hit.
Todd drew a walk leading off and Viola was hit by a pitch. After Dame’s ground out to first moved the runners up, Minervino looked at strike three, but Bartell walked to load the bases. That brought up Westphal, who struck out swinging to end the threat.
“I just forget about the runners and focus on the batter,” Reed said. “I have a good defense behind me, so I wasn’t worried.”
Scarborough went quickly in the seventh, as Carion grounded out to first on the first pitch, Reed struck out and after Pratt walked, he was gunned down stealing by Minervino.
Senior Taylor Cookson came on to close it out in the bottom half and was greeted by Bernard, who ripped a line drive right at Reed, who had moved to first, for the first out. Sinclair grounded out to short, but Dutton kept hope alive with a single to center on an 0-2 pitch. Todd then reached on catcher’s interference, but Viola hit a grounder to Lorello at short and Lorello threw to Pratt for the force out to end the game, as Scarborough prevailed, 7-1, in 1 hour, 55 minutes.
“(Deering will) win a lot of games, so it was big (Heal Points) for us,” Reed said. “We worked hard in the offseason and just grind every day. (Coach) brings a lot of energy and he knows his stuff. We learn something new every practice.”
“We feel fortunate because those games could have gone either way,” D’Andrea said. “I have to give credit to the kids. We played solid defense with the exception of one inning.”
Reed did it all, pacing the offense with three hits, a run scored and three RBI, and he improved to 2-0 after allowing one unearned run on two hits in six innings. Reed struck out four batters, but did walk five and hit three.
“(Josh) established his curveball, kept them off balance and made them hit off-speed pitches,” D’Andrea said. “The fact of the matter is most teams can hit fastballs. You have to throw curveballs and make them put it in play.”
Carion, Caron, Hughes, Lorello, Timpson and Walsh scored the other runs.
Lorello and Pratt also had RBI.
Carion, Lorello and Pratt all stole a base.
The Red Storm stranded four runners.
Cookson pitched one shutout inning of relief, allowing one hit.
Deering got two hits and a stolen base from Bernard. Minervino scored the lone run and Westphal had the RBI.
The Rams were done in by leaving 11 runners on base.
Sinclair settled down after the tough start and went the distance, falling to 2-1 after allowing seven runs (just one earned) on nine hits and three walks. Sinclair fanned five and hit two batters.
“James is a tough kid,” Stowell said. “An error happened and the floodgates opened, but it shows a lot how he was able to focus mentally and go through the rest of the game.”
Deering’s early hole was too steep.
“We had one really bad inning that came back to haunt us,” Stowell said. “In a league like this right now where there are a couple teams who are better with certain guys on the mound and the rest of us are relatively equal, the teams that can stay away from mistakes will win, but that wasn’t us tonight. We’ve been a pretty solid defensive team. We haven’t gotten the run support we need. We haven’t strung hits together.”
Despite the result, Stowell enjoyed matching wits with his mentor.
“It was fun,” Stowell said. “He was prepared and his team was ready to go. They took extra bases, stole bases. They did the things you’d expect a team coached by him to do. He took advantage of every little thing he can.
“He taught me to pay attention to the smaller things, every little detail. Whether it’s getting a jump on a base, or looking to pick up an extra bag when people aren’t paying attention, the little things inside the game that most people don’t even address. He teaches it, coaches it and his guys are on the same page and they’re prepared. It takes a meticulous guy like him to see everything and teach it. He sees the game differently.”
While there are several strong teams in Class A South, no one figures to run away with anything this year, meaning every game is critical.
Deering hopes to bounce back Thursday at South Portland. Saturday brings a trip to Gorham. After hosting Cheverus, visiting Portland, welcoming Noble and Bonny Eagle, Deering closes at Biddeford and Sanford.
“We’re at the midway point,” Stowell said. “We have to look in the mirror and decide what we want out of the rest of the season. I have confidence in these guys. I can’t put my finger on why we haven’t been able to click. We have to make adjustments and I think we can make a run and get in the playoffs and anything can happen.”
Scarborough will host Massabesic Thursday, then plays at South Portland Saturday. After welcoming Cheverus Monday, the Red Storm are at Westbrook and Gorham later next week. A home tilt with Marshwood, a trip to Windham and home games versus Thornton Academy and Portland close the schedule.
This group is a work in progress, but so far, so good.
“We have to keep hitting, our pitching has to be more accurate than today and we have to play defense,” Reed said.
“It’s mandatory we become better by the end of the year,” D’Andrea said. “We try to coach every pitch, every inning. They’re starting to figure it out. It’s a good group of kids. They want the instruction and intensity. Winning helps. We have a lot of seniors and this is what they want.”
Scarborough senior starting pitcher Josh Reed delivers a strike. Reed earned his second win after allowing just one unearned run on two hits in six innings.
Deering junior James Sinclair delivers a pitch. Sinclair allowed just one earned run and suffered the loss.
Deering senior second baseman Max Chabot catches a line drive.
Scarborough senior Nick Lorello steals second as Deering senior shortstop Pat Viola takes the throw.
Deering senior first baseman Jake Latiini tags out Scarborough sophomore Morgan Pratt.
Deering junior designated hitter Colby Dame takes a swing.
Scarborough senior shortstop Nick Lorello lines a single.
@ Deering 4 Scarborough 3
@ Scarborough 6 Deering 0
Scarborough 11 @ Deering 0
Deering 4 @ Scarborough 3
@ Deering 13 Scarborough 3 (5)
Deering 22 @ Scarborough 4 (5)
Western A Final
Deering 16 Scarborough 10
@ Deering 10 Scarborough 0 (6)
@ Deering 6 Scarborough 0
Scarborough 6 Deering 5 (8)
Western A quarterfinals
@ Deering 10 Scarborough (9)
@ Deering 8 Scarborough 3
Deering 17 @ Scarborough 3
Deering 9 @ Scarborough 2
@ Deering 10 Scarborough 0 (6)