Spring action underway

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(Ed. Note: For the complete South Portland-Thornton Academy baseball, Scarborough-South Portland softball and Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Scarborough-Falmouth boys’ lacrosse game stories, see theforecaster.net)

The spring season has gotten underway, on a limited basis, for each school in our coverage area.

While things really began in earnest Monday, some early results turned heads.


South Portland’s baseball team, a regional semifinalist in 2014, is off to a fast start. The Red Riots opened with a dominant 7-0 win over visiting Thornton Academy last Friday, behind a one-hit, 12-strikeout gem from senior ace Henry Curran. Nick Troiano paced the offense with four RBI.
“I had a rough few innings early,” Curran said. “I had trouble getting into a rhythm. I’ve got a lot more to show. I was just missing high, but I settled down. I can still improve a lot.”

“(Henry) was good today,” Nick Troiano said. “He was all around the plate. He hit his corners and located everything. It was a good outing all around. I don’t think anyone can hit him this year as long as he hits his corners and stays healthy. We can’t hit him in practice.”

“It was a good start,” added South Portland coach Mike Owens. “Obviously, we didn’t go out and light the bats on fire, but we expected that. Our goals were to be clean defensively and take advantage of any mistakes they made and I thought we did a good job. It’s always good to get an early lead, especially when Henry’s on the mound, and make teams come from behind.”

Tuesday, the Red Riots improved to 2-0 with an 8-3 victory at Sanford, rallying from an early 3-0 deficit. South Portland was at Westbrook Thursday, hosts Noble Saturday and goes to Deering Tuesday.

Scarborough also won its first two contests, downing host Westbrook (5-3) and Noble (10-5). Against the Blue Blazes, Nate Wessel earned the win, while Jack Hughes and Nick Lorello had multiple hits. At the Knights, Zach Carreiro singled, tripled and drove in three runs. Ian Corey and Brendan Kane also had a pair of hits. Hughes was the winner in relief. The Red Storm played their home opener Thursday versus Gorham, welcome Marshwood Friday and visit Portland Tuesday.

Cape Elizabeth dropped a hard-fought 6-5 decision at Kennebunk in its first game, then got in the win column with a 4-3 victory at Yarmouth. In the loss, Matt Denison and Nate Ingalls both had two hits. In the win, Mike Best had a clutch two-run hit and a game-saving catch. The Capers went to Falmouth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), host York Friday and welcome Freeport Wednesday of next week.


The Scarborough softball juggernaut might be even more unstoppable than the rest of the state feared. Last Friday, in the opener at traditional power South Portland, the Red Storm put up 26 runs and 19 hits and romped in a five-inning decision, 26-0. Maggie Murphy and Kaleigh Scoville both had three hits, freshman Laura Powell homered and drove in six runs, 12 different players scored and Lilly Volk was dominant on the mound.

“We practice hitting all the time,” said senior catcher Brittany Plowman, who scored three runs, drove in two and had two hits. “We go through situations. We’re ready. Our whole lineup, we have power. If someone struggles, the next hitter can pick them up. We come in confident every single game. We want this pretty bad.”

“We just practice like we play,” said senior second baseman Ashley Gleason, who had two hits, three runs and an RBI. “Our team gets along really well. We’ve really connected. We really get along well. Hopefully we keep getting better and better.”

“I challenged the girls from our first meeting and asked, ‘Who will be the big bat?'” longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin added. “We’ll have a great season, but we have to have kids who want to be in those situations and I think we have kids who want that.”

Monday, the Red Storm improved to 2-0 with a 9-2 victory at Gorham behind four hits and two RBI from Plowman. Sophia Burnham earned the win. Scarborough was at Bonny Eagle Wednesday and figures to get a test Monday when defending regional champion Thornton Academy pays a visit (see theforecaster.net for game story).

South Portland fell to 0-2 Monday after an 11-4 setback at Thornton Academy. The Red Riots sought their first win Wednesday when Noble paid a visit. After going to Sanford Friday, South Portland hosts Massabesic Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth sandwiched losses to Yarmouth (11-4 at home and 11-6 on the road) around a 10-9 10 inning victory at Kennebunk. Ashley Tinsman drove in the winning runs against the Rams as the Capers completed a comeback from down 4-0. Cape Elizabeth was at Falmouth Wednesday, hosts York Friday, goes to Traip Academy Saturday and welcomes Freeport Wednesday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Both the defending Class A champion South Portland and Class B champion Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse teams have started the new season in impressive fashion.

The Capers handled host Waynflete in the opener April 17, 18-6. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth welcomed rival Yarmouth in a state game rematch and the contest was eerily similar to that game last June 21. The Clippers held the Capers’ offense somewhat in check, but Cape Elizabeth’s defense was excellent and behind three goals from Griffin Thoreck, the Capers prevailed, 6-3. 

“It’s good for us to know how to play in a close game and how to close it out,” said Thoreck. “We’ll see them again, probably two more times. This was good for us.”

“We worked hard in this game,” said Capers defensive standout Jack Drinan. “We knew it would be a good one. The ground balls really mattered. We knew we had to get them. The offense did a good job moving the ball around and the defense did a good job on their middies and attack.”

“Today was a good test to find out where we are and the things we need to improve on,” added longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “Our defense did a really nice job holding them to three goals. (Goalie) Alex (Narvaez) played great. Offense was very good at times and other times, it wasn’t very good. That had a lot to do with their defense.”

The Capers go to dangerous Kennebunk Friday and host Wells Tuesday.

South Portland opened with a 21-3 home romp over Biddeford, then pulled away to beat host Cheverus Tuesday, 15-6. Against the Tigers, Kam Andrews, Jack Fiorini and Andrew Whipple all had four goals. In the win over the Stags, the game was tied, 3-3, after one quarter, but two Fiorini goals put the Red Riots ahead to stay and South Portalnd’s defense held Cheverus scoreless for 31 minutes, 25 seconds. Fiorini and Whipple both had four goals.

“We knew Cheverus would be a tough team,” Fiorini said. “Everyone played well and executed.”

“We work really hard on defense,” said senior defender Trent Lloyd-Rees. ” It’s a side of the field that doesn’t always have the limelight. It’s cool to have that. The defense is the side of the field that didn’t take a graduation hit, so there’s a big weight on our shoulders, but we’re ready. We’re having a lot of fun.”

“We came out of the first quarter 3-3 and I have to admit, I thought we were in for a dogfight, then our defense started playing and shutting their offense down which led to our offense getting control of the ball, which we weren’t getting in the first quarter,” Red Riots coach Tom Fiorini added. “From that point on, we got control and once we got control of the ball, we wore their defense down.”

South Portland goes to Marshwood Friday and welcomes dangerous Westbrook Wednesday.

Scarborough dropped its first two contests, both at home, 6-5 to Westbrook and 11-10 to Falmouth. Against the Yachtsmen, the Red Storm held an 8-7 lead, but fell just short, despite three goals from Sam Neugebauer.

“I think we’re in a position right now where a moral victory is plenty for us,” Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep said. “We had to play too much defense in the second half. Given the amount of firepower they have, they’re tough to stop if we can’t take the ball from them.”

The Red Storm looked for win number one Wednesday, but had to get it at a Thornton Academy squad which eliminated them last spring in the semifinals. Scarborough hosts Portland Friday and goes to Deering Wednesday of next week.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, South Portland started its season Tuesday with an 8-6 win at Bonny Eagle, giving new coach Leslie Dyer a win in her first outing. Mary Cronin led the way with five goals. The Red Riots were at Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), host Marshwood Monday and visit Gorham Thursday of next week.

Scarborough played its opener Thursday at home against South Portland. The Red Storm are at Windham Tuesday and visit Portland Thursday of next week.

Defending Western B champion Cape Elizabeth opened at home against Greely April 16. The game ended up deadlocked, 5-5, through two overtimes and will be completed Monday in a “sudden victory” overtime situation. The Capers were home against Freeport Thursday. They go to York Saturday and visit Falmouth Wednesd

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

Sidebar Elements

Cape Elizabeth’s Connor Thoreck sends Yarmouth’s Joe Oliva flying during the Capers’ 6-3 win Tuesday night.

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