Spring sports season off to rainy, dramatic start-Southern edition

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Cape Elizabeth pitcher Sean Agrodnia delivers a pitch during the Capers’ recent 4-1 13-inning victory at Greely.

South Portland’s Charlie Cronin is mobbed by his teammates after scoring in overtime Saturday to beat defending Class A champion Brunswick, 10-9.

South Portland’s Jena Leckie leaps to catch a pass during the Red Riots’ 20-6 loss at St. Dom’s Saturday.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Greely baseball, Scarborough-Falmouth and South Portland-Brunswick boys’ lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-York girls’ lacrosse game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

While Mother Nature has given local athletic directors nightmares in the opening couple weeks of the spring sports season, games have been played and many of them have them memorable.

Now that everyone is underway, here’s a look at what you might have missed in the early action and a glimpse ahead:

Baseball

Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team won its first three contests with varying degrees of difficulty. The Capers opened with a 13-3, six-inning home win over Leavitt, as Finn Bowe had three hits and Carson Sullivan and freshman Jake Tinsman both had a pair of hits and three RBI. Cape Elizabeth then went to rival Greely and outlasted the Rangers, 4-1, in a 13-inning marathon in a playoff rematch. Sean Agrodnia had a couple hits and pitched 5.1 strong innings, Sullivan earned the victory with 7.2 shutout innings of relief and Val Murphy scored two runs, including the winner.

“I’ve never been in a game like this,” Sullivan said. “It was a mix of exhaustion and exhilaration.”

“It was a long one for sure,” Murphy said. “We got a little fatigued, but I have to tip my cap to our pitchers and our defense.”

“It was an unreal game to be a part of,” added Cape Elizabeth coach Andy Wood. “We’re extremely fortunate to come out with a win.” 

Tuesday, the Capers improved to 3-0 with a 16-0, five-inning victory at Lake Region. Brendan Tinsman hit a home run and Cooper Hoffman and Alec Riggle had two RBI apiece. Cape Elizabeth was home with York Wednesday, visits Freeport Friday, hosts Freeport Monday and goes to Yarmouth for a playoff rematch Wednesday of next week.

South Portland won its first three outings: 10-0 (in five-innings) at Massabesic, 8-1 at home over Kennebunk and 11-1 (in five-innings) at home over Biddeford. Hunter Owen threw a no-hitter against the Mustangs and also had two hits and drove in a run and Caden Horton had three hits and three RBI. Zach Johnson earned the victory against the Rams, striking out seven, while Dillan Bolduc, Riley Hasson and Anthony Poole had two hits apiece. Against the Tigers, Owen threw a two-hitter and fanned nine, while Hasson had three hits and three RBI. Tuesday, South Portland fell to 3-1 with a 4-0 loss at Bonny Eagle despite a pair of hits from Hasson. The Red Riots hosted Scarborough Thursday, go to Marshwood Saturday and host Gorham Tuesday of next week.

Scarborough dropped its first two games, 9-4 to visiting Bonny Eagle and 5-4 to visiting Noble, before bouncing back to win at Westbrook (6-2) and Deering (5-0). Nolan Lamongtagne had a two-run triple and Noah Frink, Morgan Pratt and Nick Thompson all had two hits in the loss to the Knights. Against the Blue Blazes, Thompson had an RBI triple and earned the win in relief. Pratt and Zach Alofs had multiple hits. In the win over the Rams, in a game played at Gorham High School, Thompson again starred, fanning 12 in earning the victory and also driving in a pair of runs. Jason Clark had two RBI and Frink and Lamontagne each had three hits. Tuesday, the Red Storm fell to 2-3 after a 6-4, nine-inning loss to visiting Gorham. Scarborough rallied late to tie it, but couldn’t win it in extra innings. The Red Storm were at South Portland Thursday and host Portland Tuesday of next week.

Softball

Scarborough’s juggernaut softball team, the defending Class A state champion, started 5-0, winning four games by the mercy rule, as it has tallied 99 runs to date, surrendering only four. The Red Storm opened with an 18-0 five-inning home win over Deering, then downed host Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy in five-innings (22-0) before pulling away to beat visiting Gorham (12-3) and dominating host Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth (32-0, in five-innings) and host Kennebunk (15-1, in five-innings). In the opener, Chloe Griffin and Mia Kelley combined to no-hit the Rams. Griffin also hit a home run, while Emily Jefferds, Lindsey Kelley and Laura Powell had multiple hits. Against Cheverus/NYA, Bella Dickinson earned the win and Sam Carreiro, Felicia O’Reilly and Powell had multiple hits. Scarborough trailed Gorham, 2-0, early, then roared to life and prevailed behind home runs from Dickinson and Powell. Courtney Brochu had three hits and a pair of RBI and Griffin earned the victory. Against MGA/Falmouth, Dickinson earned the win and homered and Griffin had three hits, including a home run. In the win over Kennebunk, the Red Storm posted 11 first inning runs and cruised from there. Dickinson had four hits and Griffin earned the victory. Scarborough figured to get a test from visiting Noble Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) as it put its 78-game regular season win streak on the line. The Red Storm go to Massabesic for another potential test Friday, host Sanford Tuesday and play at Portland in a regional final rematch Wednesday of next week.

South Portland is also off to a strong start, as it gave coach Ralph Aceto his 100th career win (see story). The Red Riots opened with victories over visiting Cheverus/NYA (16-15), host Bonny Eagle (16-3, in five-innings), visiting MGA/Falmouth (16-10) and host Deering (27-3, in five-innings). In the first victory, Ashlee Aceto had two triples and four RBI, Chloe Grant produced three hits and three RBI and Meghan Livingston added two hits, two RBI and four runs. Against the Scots, freshman Julia Connors earned the victory and had a pair of hits, while Grace Rende had five RBI and Aceto and Livingston had three hits apiece. In the win over the Sea Lions, Hattie Tetzlaff earned the victory, Maria Buck and Maeve Kelley each had three hits and Chloe Grant added two hits. Against the Rams, which was Aceto’s 100th win, Buck tripled twice, doubled and had four RBI, Livingston had five RBI and Tetzlaff earned the win. South Portland fell to 4-1 after a 10-2 loss at Gorham Monday. The Red Riots were home against Massabesic Wednesday and Kennebunk Thursday, visit Marshwood Friday, host Portland Monday and go to Noble Wednesday of next week.

Cape Elizabeth opened with a 12-0 five-inning home win over Leavitt, as it earned a dose of revenge for last year’s playoff loss. Jess Robicheaw threw a two-hitter to earn the victory and also produced a pair of hits. Katie Bozek hit a home run and Corina Page had three hits. After falling, 5-0, at Greely, the Capers fell to 1-2 Tuesday with a 1-0, 12-inning loss at Lake Region. Cape Elizabeth was home with York Wednesday, visits Freeport Friday, hosts Freeport Monday and goes to Yarmouth Wednesday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

South Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team has stolen the headlines early. The Red Riots started with wins at Deering (14-10) and Cheverus (14-12), then rallied to shock defending Class A champion Brunswick in an overtime thriller, 10-9. Against the Rams, Cooper Mehlhorn led the way with six goals. In the win over the Stags, Aidan Schifano erupted for seven goals. South Portland trailed the Dragons, 8-4, in the third period, but roared back and won it when Charlie Cronin, the soccer standout who is playing high school lacrosse for the first time, scored just 13 seconds into “sudden victory” OT. Cronin, Schifano, David Fiorini and Jack Tierney all had two goals in the win.

“We started to come back and we felt the momentum,” Cronin said. “This is a great win. It’s big for all of us.”

“My team grew up today,” said Red Riots coach Tom Fiorini. “It was a nice comeback victory. The kids showed a lot of heart.” 

South Portland hosted defending Class A South champion Scarborough Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visits defending Class B North champion Yarmouth in a crossover game Friday and has a showdown at powerhouse Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

Scarborough opened with a 13-5 home win over Cheverus, then lost at Brunswick in a state game rematch (16-8) and at home to Falmouth (14-4). Marco Manfra had four goals and Josh DaRosa and Andrew Granzier added three apiece in the victory. Against the Dragons, Granzier scored four times. Manfra had a couple early goals against the Yachtsmen, but the Red Storm went down to defeat in the rain.

“It’s been tough playing two of the best teams back-to-back and getting beaten like this, but it will pay off for us down the road,” Scarborough’s first-year coach Zach Barrett said.

The Red Storm were at South Portland Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and host Thornton Academy Wednesday of next week.

Defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth won its opener, 18-9, at Waynflete, then fell to 1-2 for the first time in program history after being upset at home by Yarmouth (7-6) and at Thornton Academy (11-10, in overtime). In the win, Jacob Brydson scored five times and Archie McEvoy had four. The Capers then let a 5-2 halftime lead slip away against the Clippers, as Yarmouth beat them for the first time in 21 tries and for the first time in Cape Elizabeth in a decade. Brydson scored three goals against the Golden Trojans, but the Capers suffered successive setbacks for the first time since May 21-26, 2007. Cape Elizabeth got back on track Tuesday and evened its record at 2-2 with a 13-1 romp over Freeport. Brydson led the way with three goals, while McEvoy, Finn Raymond and Phil Tarling each finished with two. The Capers have a showdown at rival Falmouth Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and play host to Greely Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth started with a dramatic 9-8 overtime win over visiting York. Karli Chapin had four goals, including the winner with 0.5 seconds left in OT.

“We just stuck with it,” Karli Chapin said. “It was a big game of momentum and we had it at the end.”

“It was a beautiful ending, especially since it was our first game,” said Capers coach Alex Spark. 

Cape Elizabeth then lost, 9-3, to visiting Kennebunk, the defending Class B state champion, in a playoff rematch (Susie Graham had two goals), before rolling, 17-2, at Fryeburg Academy Monday to improve to 2-1. The Capers visit Messalonskee Saturday and play at St. Dom’s Monday before returning home Wednesday of next week to face Yarmouth.

In Class A South, Scarborough opened with a hard-fought 6-5 home loss to Waynflete. Meagan Neelon scored twice and Ellie Smith scored three times.

“I thought it was a great game,” said first-year Scarborough coach Emily Hopkins. “Both teams played patiently and evenly throughout. Waynflete just came away with the win.”

The Red Storm fell to 0-2 Tuesday after a 10-4 loss at Thornton Academy. Scarborough was home with Marshwood Thursday, visits Cheverus Monday and plays host to Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

South Portland dropped games at St. Dom’s (20-6) and at home to Marshwood (10-4) to start the year. Paige Fleming and Jena Leckie each scored twice against the Saints.

“(St. Dom’s) definitely had phenomenal stick skills and they had speed,” South Portland coach Leslie Dyer said. “They played a phenomenal game.”

Fleming had two goals against the Hawks. Tuesday, South Portland improved to 1-2 with an 11-4 home win over Portland. Kaya Backman had three goals. The Red Riots were at Maine Girls’ Academy Thursday, host Mt. Ararat Saturday and welcome defending Class A champion Massabesic Wednesday of next week.

Outdoor track

Scarborough’s defending Class A champion boys’ outdoor track team opened with a second-place finish behind Falmouth at a four-team home meet to start the year. The Red Storm girls were fourth.

Tuesday, Scarborough’s boys were first at a four-team meet at Gorham. The Red Storm girls placed third.

South Portland’s girls were third at a five-team home meet to start the year.

Tuesday, the Red Riots girls were second at a five-team meet at Falmouth and the boys placed fourth.

Cape Elizabeth opened with a five-team home meet and both the boys and girls came in second. 

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis team began the season with wins over North Yarmouth Academy (5-0), Greely (4-1) and York (4-1) and a loss to Yarmouth (3-2) in a regional final rematch. The Capers girls sandwiched 5-0 wins over NYA and Yarmouth around a 3-2 loss to defending Class B champion Greely.

Scarborough’s boys beat Sanford, 5-0, in their opener. The girls lost to defending Class A champion Falmouth, 5-0, then defeated Thornton Academy (4-1) and Sanford (3-0).

South Portland’s girls started with losses to Falmouth (5-0) and Kennebunk (4-1). The Red Riots boys dropped 5-0 decisions to Falmouth and Kennebunk.

Sun Journal assistant editor Lee Horton contributed to this story.

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

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