Thornton Academy is glad to have right-hander Keegan Sullivan back on the mound.

He pitched a three-hitter on Tuesday to beat a young, surging Portland team, 10-2.

Sullivan shut out Massabesic 2-0 in the opener, but didn’t pitch again until this week. He injured his knee playing basketball in gym class. After resting it, Sullivan is ready to contribute.

“Keegan has command of three pitches and he can throw them at any time,” said Thornton Coach Greg Paradis.

Sullivan, a senior, uses a fastball, slider and change-up. Paradis said Sullivan mixes his pitches well, which helps keep the hitters off balance.

“After they see all his junk, I’m sure his fastball looks a little livelier,” said Paradis.

At 6-foot-1 and about 150 pounds, Sullivan has a whippy arm motion that can throw off hitters’ timing.

“Keegan also hides the ball well,” said Paradis.

The other qualities that serve Sullivan well are his demeanor on the mound and his competitiveness.

“Keegan is a very competitive kid and nothing bothers him,” said Paradis.

He works closely with pitching coach Ray Petit. It also doesn’t hurt that Sullivan is throwing to the same catcher, Zach Sheehan, since Little League.

Their familiarity no doubt will bolster Thornton’s chances the rest of the season in the wide-open Telegram League.

Paradis plans to be cautious in his use of Sullivan the rest of the way. He’ll give him his starts, but he and Petit will be keeping a close eye on his progress and his knee.

Sullivan’s next start could be Saturday at Deering or Tuesday at Bonny Eagle.

Sullivan’s pitching bodes well for Thornton. Along with Sullivan, left-hander Jack Kenney and freshman Jeff Gelinas have pitched well. Junior shortstop Sam Canales has had an outstanding first half of the season. Canales has started since his freshman year. Veteran Steve Trask is one of the top players in the league.

 

CHEVERUS FRESHMAN Ryan Casale won’t soon forget his first varsity game. In his first two plate appearances, Casale singled sharply to left and then to right. He scored in the second inning.

A first baseman and pitcher, Casale was the designated hitter in Tuesday’s game against Bonny Eagle, a 6-3 loss. With starter Peter Potthoff sidelined with a broken thumb, Cheverus needed reserve help.

“We knew Ryan could hit,” said Coach Mac McKew. “We’re looking for players like A.J. Bennett and Casale to help out when we’re missing a big bat like Potthoff’s,” McKew said.

 

THE GAME today between Portland and Marshwood will not be played at Hadlock Field as originally scheduled. Instead, it will be played at Deering Oaks at 4 p.m.

“I was told there have been a lot of games played on the field this month and they need to give the field some maintenance,” said Portland Athletic Director Rich Drummond.

“It’s unfortunate because both teams will lose out on a chance to play on Hadlock Field.”

It’s especially disheartening to Marshwood, which misses out on its one chance this season to play on the Double-A field.

 

FALMOUTH BOUNCED back from its loss to Poland on Monday with a 9-2 win over York on Wednesday.

E.J. Rogers hit a three-run homer to highlight a six-run sixth inning that put the game away for the Yachtsmen (6-2).

Gray-New Gloucester, which lost to Greely in its first game of the season on April 22, beat the Rangers on Wednesday, 8-4. Taylor Valente started things off for the Patriots with a three-run homer in the first inning.

 

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

[email protected]