Spring thrills ramping up as midway point nears-Portland edition

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Portland’s Max Cheever plays defense during the Bulldogs’ 12-8 win at Biddeford last week.

Deering’s Matthew Keast leaps to catch a throw on a Kennebunk stolen base during a 20-2 loss last week.

It hasn’t even begun to feel like spring, yet the 2019 spring sports season is nearly halfway complete.

Local athletes have become adept at dodging raindrops and making the most of their opportunities on the diamond, field, track and courts. 

Here’s a glimpse at the week that was:

Baseball

Cheverus’ baseball team was 5-1 at press time, winning home games last week over Noble (14-4, in six-innings), Massabesic (6-5) and Sanford (6-0) and suffering its first loss, 3-0, at Kennebunk. In the mercy rule victory over the Knights, Justin Ray had three hits and two RBI, Chris Cimino added two hits and drove in a pair of runs and Luke Knowles also had two hits, as Sam Clark earned his first win. Against the Mustangs, Ray earned the win in relief and had a pair of hits, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh. Knowles again added two hits. In the loss, Nate Rogers and John Welch had two hits apiece and Jack Mullen allowed just three runs on seven hits in a complete game effort. Against the Spartans, Nick Giancotti and Nick Galeucia combined on the shutout and Clark and Ray each had two hits. The Stags were at Thornton Academy Tuesday, host Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Biddeford Friday and welcome Windham Tuesday of next week.

Portland entered the week 2-2 after a 2-0 home win over Falmouth, a 4-2 home loss to Thornton Academy and a 3-1 loss at Gorham Saturday in a playoff rematch. Against the Yachtsmen, Donnie Tocci threw a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and Ben Sawyer’s two-run single was the difference.

“We didn’t give Donnie the game ball because that’s what we expect,” Portland coach Mike Rutherford said. “He gives us that once a week. He’s our leader and he can throw strikes.”

In the loss, the Bulldogs fell behind early, 4-0, and couldn’t catch up despite two hits, a run scored and an RBI from Ben Stasium.

“Right now, without swinging the bat well, we have to play perfectly,” said Rutherford. “The defense was fine and (pitcher) Brian (Riley) gave us six good innings out of seven. He had just one bad inning.”

Against the Rams, Tocci had two hits and scored a run and Cole Walter hit an RBI double, but it wasn’t enough. Portland went to Westbrook Tuesday, hosts Noble Thursday, plays at South Portland Saturday and goes to Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Deering got in the win column last Monday, 3-2, over visiting Gorham, as Tre Fletcher allowed one hit and struck out 14 in six innings of work. He also stole three bases and scored twice. Tuesday, Deering took an early 2-0 lead over visiting Kennebunk before the Rams from York County scored nine runs in the fourth and 11 in the fifth for a 20-2, mercy rule five-inning victory. Deering issued 20 walks. The Rams (1-5) were at Thornton Academy Monday, went to Scarborough Tuesday, visit Falmouth Thursday and play at Windham Saturday.

The Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op team lost, 3-2, at home to Gray-New Gloucester last Monday, then improved to 2-2 last Thursday after an 8-7 win at Buckfield. The Flyers went to Sacopee Valley Monday, visit St. Dom’s Wednesday, host St. Dom’s Monday and welcome Old Orchard Beach Tuesday of next week.

Softball

The Cheverus/NYA co-op softball team fell to 3-3 after losses last week to visiting Biddeford (18-9), at Windham (18-1, in five-innings) and at Thornton Academy (13-3) and a 10-5 victory at Westbrook. The Stags let a 9-1 lead get away against the Tigers and lost, despite two home runs from Alexandra Hammond and another from Madisyn Durgin. In the victory, Hammond and Carly Downey each had three hits. In the loss to the Golden Trojans, Durgin and Elizabeth Kennedy both drove in runs. Cheverus/NYA was at Bonny Eagle Monday and played a makeup game at Scarborough Tuesday, goes to Falmouth Wednesday, hosts Deering Friday and visits Kennebunk Monday of next week.

Portland’s skid hit four games after losses last week at Noble (12-3), at home to Kennebunk (12-2) and at home to Massabesic (9-3). Against the Rams, Grace Stacey had two hits and two RBI and Jill Joyce added two hits. Joyce singled and doubled and drove in two runs in the loss to the Mustangs. The Bulldogs host South Portland Wednesday, go to Scarborough Thursday and host Westbrook Monday.

Deering fell to 0-5 after losses last week to visiting Windham (11-0) and at Westbrook (8-7). Donna Bernard, Rebekah Dunn and Liv Serappa each had two hits against the Eagles. In the loss to the Blue Blazes, where the Rams let a 7-2 lead slip away, Maddy Broda had three hits. Deering was at Biddeford Monday and visited South Portland Tuesday, welcomes Bonny Eagle Thursday, goes to Cheverus Friday and plays at Gorham Monday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team has picked up where last year’s team left off, enjoying another strong regular season. The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 after wins last week over visiting Edward Little (13-2), at Biddeford (12-8) and at home over Mt. Ararat (13-4). In the win over the Red Eddies, Evan Bay, Sam Gerber and Cyrus MacCachran all scored twice and Nico Leavitt had four assists. Against the Tigers,, Bay and Grant Jacobson each scored three goals.

“We started settling down in the second quarter, started getting some good possessions, started putting the ball in the back of the net, got some confidence and kept it going,” said Portland coach Mike DiFusco.

In the win over the Eagles, Jacobson scored five times and Miki Silva had two goals and three assists. The Bulldogs are at Bonny Eagle Wednesday and visit York Friday.

Deering was 1-4 at press time after a 12-1 loss at Kennebunk and a 12-2 home win over Messalonskee. In the victory, Andrew James scored five times and Silas Boxer-Macomber had three goals. The Rams are at Gorham Wednesday and host defending Class C champion Waynflete Friday before going to Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus fell to 0-4 after a 16-2 home loss to York and a 15-0 setback at Falmouth. The Stags are home with Kennebunk Wednesday, travel to Messalonskee Friday and host Lewiston Saturday.

Waynflete got in the win column for the first time last Monday, 17-2, at Wells. After hosting Gardiner Monday, the Flyers (1-2) welcome NYA Wednesday, go to Deering Friday and host Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Cheverus takes a 3-0 record into Thursday’s home game versus powerhouse Kennebunk. After going to Windham Saturday, the Stags host defending Class A champion Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Portland evened its record at 2-2 after downing visiting South Portland (15-9) and host Sanford (12-6) last week. Against the Red Riots, Isabella More had five goals and four assists and Hazel Praught added three goals. In the win over the Spartans, Praught led the way with three goals. The Bulldogs welcomed Deering Tuesday, go to Brunswick for a makeup game Thursday and travel to Edward Little Saturday.

Deering fell to 0-4 Saturday with a 9-7 loss at Fryeburg Academy. he Rams went to Portland Tuesday, host Windham Thursday and Winslow Friday, then welcome Biddeford Tuesday of next week.

In Class B, Waynflete fell suffered a 10-5 “home” loss to Greely Wednesday, in a game played at Fitzpatrick Stadium. Abby Aleshire, Jess Connors, Else Gervais, Eliza Goodwin and Marady Parr all scored. Saturday, the Flyers evened their record at 2-2 with a 6-4 home win over Scarborough. Boedeker had three goals, including the go-ahead tally, and Parr added a pair. Waynflete hosted Falmouth Monday, goes to Marshwood Saturday, then welcomes York in a makeup game Monday of next week.

Outdoor track

Cheverus’ defending Class A champion girls’ outdoor track team, along with Waynflete, took part in a six-team meet at Thornton Academy last week. The Stags were second to the hosts. In the boys’ meet, also won by the Golden Trojans, Cheverus placed fifth and the Flyers came in sixth.

Deering’s girls’ squad won a four-team meet at Biddeford. The boys placed third.

Portland’s girls finished third behind Gorham and Noble at a four-team meet in Westbrook. The Bulldogs boys placed fourth.

Tennis

Waynflete’s 11-time Class C state champion boys’ tennis team has only stumbled once in five outings this spring, sandwiching wins at York (4-1) and St. Dom’s ( 5-0) around a 3-2 home loss to Greely last week. The Flyers hosted Cape Elizabeth Monday and go to defending Class B South champion Freeport Wednesday.

The Waynflete girls fell to 1-3 after 4-1 losses last week to York and Greely. The Flyers played at reigning Class B South champion Cape Elizabeth Monday.

The Cheverus girls were 4-0 at press time after downing host Marshwood (5-0) and visiting Thornton Academy (4-1) and Gorham (4-1) last week. The Stags were at Portland Monday.

Cheverus’ boys beat visiting Marshwood, 5-0, last Monday to improve to 2-0 then  had three successive matches rained out.

Portland’s girls improved to 3-0 last Monday after a 5-0 home win over Biddeford. The Bulldogs were at 11-time champion Falmouth Tuesday in a pivotal matchup.

Portland’s boys improved to 3-1 after 4-1 wins last week at Biddeford and at home over Gorham. The Bulldogs hosted defending Class A champion Falmouth Tuesday.

Deering’s boys improved to 4-1 after winning at Westbrook (5-0), beating visiting South Portland (4-1) and downing host Scarborough (5-0) last week. The Rams were at Portland Wednesday.

Deering’s girls got their first win of the year, 5-0, over visiting Westbrook, to improve to 1-2. The Rams host Portland Wednesday.

Journal Tribune staff writer Sienna Barstow 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.