WESTBROOK – Westbrook was one strike away from falling to 0-2 on the season when Scott Heath lined a two-run single up the middle to give the Blue Blazes a come-from-behind 4-3 Telegram League baseball win over Thornton Academy on Tuesday.

Although they hit the ball hard at times on a cold, drizzly day, the Blue Blazes (1-1) were hitless through five innings against freshman right-hander Jeff Gelinas.

“He had some good stuff,” said Heath. “He kept the ball down, didn’t walk many and let his fielders make the plays.”

Gelinas started to get his pitches up in the sixth and Westbrook finally found some holes.

“We have a lot of new faces swinging the bats,” said Heath. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that.

“We can’t take anyone for granted. We’ve played two one-run games.”

On Saturday in the season opener at Portland, the Blazes lost 4-3 in eight innings.

Heath broke up Gelinas’ no-hit bid with a single to right with no outs in the sixth. Two batters later, designated hitter Sean Murphy ripped a double to left-center field, and left fielder Alex Jacques slipped after turning the wrong way. Heath scored behind Zach Gardiner, who led off with a walk, to pull the Blazes within 3-2.

Jacques made two nice catches of line drives earlier in the game, but Murphy’s liner was a tough play.

Having thrown 90 pitches, Gelinas was taken out after the sixth, and left-hander James Kenney took over in the seventh.

Winning pitcher Matt Weimer flied out to center field to open the bottom of the seventh. Joe Quinlan, who came in to play center field in the sixth, reached on an infield error, and Tom Lemay sacrificed Quinlan to second with the middle of the Westbrook lineup waiting.

Zach Gardiner legged out an infield hit to keep Westbrook alive, with Quinlan moving to third. Gardiner then stole second.

Heath lined a two-strike pitch to center, scoring both runners.

“We hung in there and the ball finally fell our way,” said Heath. “I challenged their pitcher to throw the ball over the plate and I got my hands through.”

Thornton had five hits, but none that drove in runs. The Golden Trojans scored a run in the first on a wild pitch, another in the second on a passed ball and their final run in the fifth on a bases-loaded groundout.

Still, Thornton (1-1) was in position for its second straight win until the Blazes came alive.

“Westbrook is a good club,” said Thornton Coach Greg Paradis. “They hit the ball hard, but we probably should have gotten out of the game with a win. Westbrook is going to win a lot of games and be worth a lot of Heal points.

“Jeff Gelinas showed a lot of poise. We’ve been very high on him right from the start of preseason.” Paradis added.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]