SACO — After missing the last two weeks because of a knee injury, Thornton Academy’s pitching ace Keegan Sullivan returned to the mound Tuesday.

The right-hander threw a three-hitter to lead the Trojans to a 10-2 victory against Portland in a Telegram League game.

“It was a huge lift for us,” Thornton Coach Greg Paradis said. “Keegan is our ace, the leader of the (pitching) staff. When he’s on the mound, guys behind him relax. Nothing bothers him. He’s real loosey-goosey.”

A torn meniscus in his right knee kept Sullivan out of the lineup since April 24, when he threw a one-hitter in the opener, a 2-0 victory against Massabesic.

“He got cleared to pitch last Friday, but Saturday’s game (against Deering) got rained out,” Paradis said. “He pitched one inning of live (batting practice Monday) night. He looked good, felt good.”

Sullivan looked real good against the Bulldogs.

“He threw a great game,” Portland Coach Mike McCullum said. “He had command of two pitches. We weren’t as aggressive as we would like to be and he got ahead of us.”

“I tried to work on my first-pitch strikes and get the hitters a little bit off balance with my curveball,” Sullivan said. “I pitched to contact. I let my teammates make the plays and we came out on top.”

Sullivan, who struck out six and walked three, allowed only four balls out of the infield.

Meanwhile, Thornton (5-2) pounded 13 hits off three Portland pitchers.

“I really like the way we swung the bats,” Paradis said.

“We were aggressive but we were smart. We got the fastball counts and we made (their pitchers) work. We got them deep into counts and tried to get to fastball counts so we could sit back and get some pitches to hit.”

Sam Canales led the Trojans, the top-ranked team in Western Class A, with two doubles, a triple and three runs batted in. Leadoff batter Alex Jacques had three singles.

Thornton scored two runs in the first inning. With one out, Canales doubled and scored on Steve Trask’s single. After Trask moved up on a grounder, Jake Dupee doubled in the run.

The Trojans scored six runs in the fourth to move into an 8-0 lead.

During the inning, Canales lined a two-run triple to deep center and Alex Newton grounded a two-run single into right.

Jacques and Zach Sheehan also hit run-producing singles as the Trojans sent 11 batters to the plate.

The Bulldogs (4-3) scored their first run in the fifth on a walk, an errant pickoff throw and a single by Jack Strauss.

In the sixth, Canales drove in a run with his second double and Fred Randall followed with a run-producing single.

Scott Briggs, who singled twice for Portland, led off the seventh with a single, moved to second on a grounder and scored on an error.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com