PORTLAND — Showing a flair for the dramatic, the South Portland baseball team made a statement Thursday afternoon.

The Riots erupted for their first three runs in the fifth inning and held on for a 4-3 win against Cheverus in a Telegram League game at MacDonald Field.

“We have a very good team and, hopefully, that (win) gives us some confidence to play with the best,” South Portland coach Tony DiBiase said.

“Cheverus has beaten the best teams in the league so far. I think we can play with the best teams. Today, we showed we can beat the best teams, and that’s important.”

It was the second consecutive loss for the Stags, who opened the season with six straight wins. Both teams are now 6-2.

“That (game) was a great example of what this league is,” said Cheverus coach Mac McKew. “We’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got to mentally get past this and move on to tomorrow.”

Cheverus looked to be on its way to chalking up another win Thursday.

The Stags scored two unearned runs in the third on South Portland’s only error to take an early lead, and their pitcher, Louis DiStasio, carried a one-hitter into the fifth.

Paul Reny opened the fifth by sending a long fly ball to the opposite field and legged it into an inside-the-park home run when right fielder Spencer Cooke crashed through the breakaway fence and was unable to the field the ball.

Zack Horton, the next batter, pulled a long home run over the right field fence to tie the score.

With two outs, Matt Lee singled to right and came around to score when Matt Foley doubled to deep center.

South Portland added an important insurance in the seventh. With one out, Ryan Curit singled. He moved to second on Jon DiBiase’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Lee’s second hit of the game.

Cheverus rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Kyle Randall led off with a single, moved to third after one out on Nic Lops’ third single of the game and scored on Jack Bushey’s sacrifice fly.

Despite allowing 11 hits, Andrew Richards earned his third win of the season.

“Richards is just a competitor,” DiBiase said. “He doesn’t have the greatest stuff in the world, but he keeps the ball down and throws strikes. As long as we make plays, he’s going to be in every game.”

South Portland’s infielders made the plays for the most part Thursday. They turned inning-ending double plays to snuff out Cheverus threats in the first and second innings.

 

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

[email protected]