PORTLAND — Cheverus High scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Deering 5-4 in a Telegram League baseball opener Saturday at Cheverus’ MacDonald Field.

Cheverus Coach Mac McKew called the win ugly, but it was one the Stags won’t soon forget. It ended Deering’s winning streak at 50 games over three seasons and may have shown that the Stags could be league contenders.

Deering won the last three Class A state titles, but is practically a new team.

“A lot of people talked about the winning streak,” said Deering Coach Mike Coutts. “I told the players at the end that I don’t ever want to say I’m glad I lost, but at least we can start over. That stuff is over. That was their team. This team is you guys. We need to go forward with you guys.”

Deering couldn’t hold 2-0 and 4-2 leads. Cheverus scored single runs in their last three at-bats.

“We hung around and caught a break at the end,” said McKew.

With the score 4-4, Peter Potthoff of Cheverus reached on an infield error in the bottom of the seventh. Nic Lops’ sacrifice moved Potthoff to second. Relief pitcher Sam Balzano fielded the bunt and went to first when no Deering player covered second.

Potthoff then tagged up and went to third on Jack Bushey’s deep fly to center. The Stags had scored three other runs on wild pitches and a passed ball, so when another passed ball happened, Potthoff charged home with the winning run.

“It definitely feels good,” said Potthoff, a junior. “I didn’t know how many games Deering had won, but I knew it was a long winning streak.”

Potthoff hit deep fly balls to center in his first two times at the plate that Balzano tracked down.

He doubled in the fifth when the Stags cut it to 4-3. In the seventh, the ball he hit with the least authority led to his winning run.

“You do what you have to do to get on base,” said Potthoff. “The way Balzano was picking them off in center field, I didn’t know if I was going to reach base. I think we’re underrated. I feel we have a good chance to get to the states.”

Deering took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Balzano led off with an infield hit. He was sacrificed to second, stole third and then scored on a double to right by starting pitcher Jamie Ross.

The Stags made it 2-2 in the second. Starting pitcher Joey Royer singled. Designated hitter Tom Webber was hit by a pitch. A walk loaded the bases. Royer scored on a wild pitch and Webber scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Randall.

The Rams had two runners thrown out at third while other lapses also hurt.

“Overall we didn’t play well,” said Coutts, in his second season as Deering’s head coach.

“We didn’t deserve to win. Some of the mistakes we shouldn’t be making, but the good thing is that we can correct them in practice.”

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]