(Ed. Note: For the complete Deering-Massabesic and Portland-Marshwood baseball, McAuley-Gorham softball and Cheverus-Portland and Waynflete-Falmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, see theforecaster.net)
The spring sports stretch run has begun and the next couple weeks promise to bring plenty of drama as local teams jockey for playoff spots.
Last week saw no shortage of big games and there are some compelling matchups on tap in the days to come as well.
Here’s a glimpse:
Portland’s baseball team notched another key win last week, when it beat preseason Marshwood for the second time. The Bulldogs first suffered a 12-3 loss at Westbrook (despite a pair of doubles from Jake Knop). Thursday, Portland blanked the visiting Hawks, 5-0, behind a five-hit shutout from lefthanded ace Dan Marzilli, a pair of double plays turned by Knop, the shortstop, and second baseman Dom Tocci, and two-run hits from Nick Archambault and Jack Nichols.
“This means a lot,” said Marzilli. “We beat them earlier in the season, but it didn’t feel as good as this one. We didn’t really think we’d win by this much.”
“The reason we’ve won all these games is defense,” Knop said. “That gives pitchers confidence and gets the bats going too. It’s why we’ve been winning.”
“We really struggled yesterday and Coach wondered how we’d respond and I think I was too and we all were,” Archambault said. “This shows how much heart we have, that we can get the job done when it counts.”
“Today we played Portland baseball,” Bulldogs coach Mike Rutherford added. “We got timely hitting, good pitching and played great defense.”
Portland (7-2 and fourth in the Western Class A Heal Points standings at press time) hosted Windham in a playoff rematch Monday and went to Biddeford Tuesday. The Bulldogs play at South Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Cheverus Tuesday of next week.
Deering continues to steal headlines as well. After falling, 7-1, at Thornton Academy last Tuesday, the Rams earned their first mercy rule victory in 64 games, beating visiting Massabesic (11-1 in six innings). Friday, Deering improved to 6-4 and eighth in Western A after eking out a 2-1 eight inning victory over visiting Gorham. Against the Mustangs, Nick Bevilacqua had three hits, including a triple, and James Sinclair went the distance for his first victory.
“It was great having runs behind me tonight,” Sinclair said. “My curveball was really on tonight and my fastball too, in the strike zone. The bench kept me in it. They were loud. I was ready to pitch the seventh, but that was alright that I didn’t have to.”
“We definitely saw pitches tonight,” Bevilacqua said. “We jumped on everything we saw and we drove them everywhere. I saw a fastball and just drove it.”
“It’s nice to be able to breathe,” added first-year Rams coach Josh Stowell. “It makes a big difference. Playing tight games are intense and fun, but it’s nice to have these every once in awhile.”
Deering trailed Gorham, 1-0, going to the seventh Friday, but Spencer Todd singled home Orey Dutton to tie it and in the eighth, Dutton singled home Pat Viola to win it. Sam Luebbert surrendered one unearned run in eight innings. He struck out 11. The Rams went to Noble Tuesday, play at Cheverus Thursday, visit Scarborough Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and host Sanford Tuesday of next week.
Cheverus began the week 6-3 and ninth after winning at home over Noble (5-0) and Thornton Academy (3-1) and falling at Biddeford (3-2). Alex Libby threw a two-hitter and Alex Jacobs drove in two runs against the Knights. Jensen Lapoint got the win after striking out 12 against the Golden Trojans, Derek Hammond earned the save and Libby and Jared Brooks both had multiple hits. Brooks had three hits and Jacobs was the hard-luck loser against the Tigers. The Stags hosted Bonny Eagle Tuesday, welcome Deering Thursday and Massabesic Friday, then play at Portland Tuesday of next week.
In Western C, Waynflete was 3-8 and 15th at press time after an 11-2 victory at Old Orchard Beach and losses to visiting Fryeburg Academy (12-2) and Traip Academy (12-0) and at North Yarmouth Academy (17-1). Tommy Silk threw a one-hitter and struck out 10 in the win. Josh Lodish had four hits and three RBI and Tyler Cutrone had three hits and three RBI. The Flyers hosted Sacopee Valley Monday, go to Traip Academy Wednesday, welcome Old Orchard Beach Friday, then close the regular season at Sacopee Valley Tuesday of next week and at home against NYA the following day.
At the start of the week, the only city softball team in line for a playoff spot was McAuley. Last week, the Lions lost at home to Gorham (2-0), won at home over Bonny Eagle (6-3), then lost at home to powerhouse Scarborough (5-1). In the loss to the Rams, Anya Chase didn’t allow an earned run, but the Lions left six runners on.
“It was a frustrating day, absolutely,” said Lions first-year coach Dawn Armandi. “They didn’t earn that win. We gave it to them. That’s what’s gone on in our losses. We have one bad inning, make errors and teams capitalize.”
McAuley (5-6 and 11th in the Heals) was at defending Western A champion Thornton Academy Monday, hosts Noble Wednesday and goes to Sanford Friday.
Portland was 3-8 and 16th after a 5-4 home loss to Cheverus, a 6-1 setback at Windham and a 15-7 home win over Westbrook last week. Jessica Brown and Isabelle DiMillo both had two hits against the Stags. Morgan Boyle homered twice and Maddie Kennie hit a home run as well in the victory. The Bulldogs went to Biddeford Monday and host South Portland Friday night.
Deering began the week 2-9 and 17th after losses at home to Bonny Eagle (1-0), at Scarborough (15-1 in five innings) and at home to Thornton Academy (18-5). Cierra Burnham and Siobhan Densmore both had two hits and Kaytlin DiBiase was the hard-luck loser at the Scots. Densmore had three more hits against the Golden Trojans. The Rams went to Noble Monday, host Sanford Wednesday and play at Massabesic Friday
Cheverus was 1-9 and 18th after a 5-4 win at Portland and losses to visiting South Portland (11-6) and at Gorham (8-2). In the victory, Margaret Rigney had two hits and three RBI, Josie Bradshaw had two hits and Sydney Levesque got the win. The Stags hosted Bonny Eagle Monday, go to Scarborough Wednesday and welcome Thornton Academy Friday.
Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team improved to 3-4 Friday with a 6-4 home win over Oak Hill. D.J. Cooper had three goals and Brady Green added a pair. The Bulldogs (fifth in the Eastern A Heals) host Bonny Eagle Wednesday and welcome defending Class A champion South Portland Friday.
Cheverus was 2-5 and sixth after losses at Scarborough (10-9) and home to Kennebunk (13-9). Thomas Lawson had four goals against the Rams. The Stags hosted Noble Tuesday and welcome Westbrook Friday.
Deering was 2-5 and seventh after a 13-11 win at Bonny Eagle and a 14-7 home loss to Maranacook. Nate Richards and Sambath Sao both scored four times in the victory. After going to South Portland Tuesday, the Rams are at Massabesic Friday.
In Western B, Waynflete was 5-2 and fourth at press time after a 15-9 home win over Freeport and a 15-9 home loss to Thornton Academy. Ford Malter scored four times and Cooper Chap had three goals in the victory. Malter had four more in the loss, while Willy Burdick and Joe Connors both added two. The Flyers went to Lake Region Tuesday and go to two-time defending Eastern B champion Yarmouth Friday.
On the girls’ side, Cheverus extended its win streak to three with a 10-9 come-from-behind win at Portland Tuesday, then fell to 3-3 Thursday after an 11-3 home loss to Massabesic in a rematch of last year’s marathon Class A state final, won by the Mustangs in five overtimes. In the victory, the Stags trailed at halftime after a slow start, but after surviving a downpour at halftime, Cheverus came to life in the second half and won it when Nicole Pineau scored scored with 22 seconds left. Abby Biegel had four goals, Anne Veroneau added three and Pineau finished with two.
“We’ve had a hard time putting all the pieces together,” Biegel said. “At halftime, the rain brought a wave of intensity. We had something to prove and we needed to prove it to ourselves as well.”
“We know our potential,” said Pineau. “That’s where trusting yourself, your teammates and coaches come in. We kept our positivity up and pulled through.”
“The girls like to age me,” added first-year Stags coach Jennifer Wescott. “The first half was rough. We had way too many turnovers. We simply weren’t playing our game. It started to rain, but the girls didn’t move out of the huddle. They focused on the game. They got excited. We came out strong in the second half and played our game.”
Cheverus (fourth in the Eastern A Heals at press time) was at Thornton Academy Monday, hosts Marshwood Thursday and goes to Scarborough Tuesday of next week.
Portland fell to 2-4 and seventh after falling at home to Cheverus (10-9) and at South Portland (13-8) last week. Merritt Ryan had six goals, but the Bulldogs let a 5-2 halftime lead slip away against the Stags.
“It was tough, but I’m really proud of how the girls played today,” Portland coach Cam McManus said. “I’m pleased. Cheverus is definitely the best team we’ve seen so far this season. We’ll only get better from here. This is the way we can play every game.”
Ryan had four more goals against the Red Riots. The Bulldogs were home against McAuley Monday, host Windham Friday and play host to Thornton Academy Tuesday.
McAuley improved to 3-3 and eighth in Eastern A after sandwiching wins last week at Westbrook (13-12) and NYA (15-11) around a 16-10 home loss to Sanford. After playing at Portland Monday, the Lions host Gorham Thursday and visit Deering Tuesday.
Deering was 1-4 and ninth after losses last week at Massabesic (19-1) and Windham (17-6). The Rams welcomed South Portland Tuesday, play host to Westbrook Thursday, Camden Hills Saturday and McAuley Monday.
In Western B, Waynflete fell to 5-3 last Wednesday after a 13-6 home loss to Falmouth. The Flyers (fourth in the Heals) hoped to bounce back and avenge last year’s playoff loss when they went to Cape Elizabeth Monday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Waynflete hosts defending Class B champion Yarmouth Tuesday.
“We need to keep working,” Flyers coach Cathie Connors said. “I have 15 girls who really want it. It’s just a matter of putting it together. We need to regroup and trust each other.”
Cheverus hosted Portland, Noble, Thornton Academy and Windham in a boys’ track meet lats week. The Stags came in third and the Bulldogs finished fifth. Cheverus got wins from Jacob Schott in the 110 hurdles (16.6 seconds), Jake Dixon in the 300 hurdles (42.01) and the high jump (6 feet), Nick White in the discus (154-11) and the shot put (51-4), and its 1,600 (3 minutes, 46.29 seconds) and 3,200 (8:53.12) relay teams.
Deering’s boys joined Bonny Eagle and Gorham at Marshwood and came in first. The Rams got wins from Paulo DeMarco in the 110 hurdles (15.92) and the 300 hurdles (41.34), Yahya Hussein in the mile (4:51.47), Iid Sheikh-Yusuf in the two-mile (10:05.5), Hany Ramadan in the 200 (23.1) and 400 (54.43) and Raffaele Salamone in the discus (135-).
Deering’s girls were third at Marshwood. The Rams got wins from Lucy Turnavicus in the mile (5:44.15), Nicole Whipkey in the 800 (2:30.94) and Maggie Healy in the long jump (14-4.5).
Cheverus and Portland joined Noble and Windham at Thornton Academy. The Stags were fourth and the Bulldogs placed fifth. Cheverus got wins from Emily Turner in the 200 (28.79) and Katelyn Gendron in the javelin (91-7). Maggie Hosmer won the 800 (2:38.33) for the Bulldogs.
McAuley joined Massabesic and Westbrook at Scarborough and came in fourth.
In a Western Maine Conference meet, Waynflete joined Freeport, Kennebunk and Wells at Cape Elizabeth. The Flyers boys and girls both finished fifth. Hulan Bikales won the girls’ 800 in 1:08.47.
The state singles qualifying tournament was held over the weekend. Portland’s Margot Andreasen, Waynflete’s Lexi Epstein and Cheverus’ Natalia Mavor all advanced. Andreasen will be seeded eighth, Epstein 10th and Mavor 15th when the tournament resumes with the Round of 32 Friday, May 29.
On the boys’ side, Portland’s Peter Barry and Waynflete’s Isaac Salas and Brandon Amgelio advanced.
The team regular season is winding down. Portland’s girls extended their win streak to seven and improved to 7-1 with a 4-1 win at Cheverus last week. The Stags had their six-match win streak ended with losses to Portland and Scarborough and fell to 6-2. Deering 3-5 at the start of the week, while McAuley was 3-5 as well. Four-time defending Class C champion Waynflete was 4-5 at press time.
On the boys’ side, seven-time defending Class C champion Waynflete took a seven-match win streak and a 7-1 record into Tuesday’s match at defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth, which handed the Flyers their lone loss. In Western A, Deering had won eight straight and improved to 8-1. Cheverus was 7-1 with a four-match win streak. Portland was vying for a playoff spot at 4-4.
Portland senior Marcus Cross-Robertson slides home with a run during the Bulldogs’ 5-0 home win over preseason favorite Marshwood last week.
Portland’s Merritt Ryan finds herself surrounded by Cheverus’ defense during last week’s game. Ryan scored six times, but the Stags rallied late to prevail, 10-9.
Waynflete’s Ellie Chidsey competes in the 800 at last week’s meet in Cape Elizabeth. Chidsey came in fifth.