SOUTH PORTLAND – Andrew Richards pitched a three-hitter as South Portland snapped Scarborough’s seven-game win streak with a 5-0 victory Saturday in a Telegram League baseball game at the Wainwright Complex.

It was the fourth win in five starts for Richards and kept the Red Riots (8-2) among Western Class A’s upper echelon.

“He was definitely on his game, but he’s our workhorse and we expect big games out of him,” South Portland Coach Mike Owens said. “He doesn’t overpower anybody. He mixes his pitches and throws strikes, and lets our defense do the work.”

“He pitched awesome,” Scarborough Coach Mike Coutts said. “He kept the ball down in the zone. He mixed his pitches up well. He kept us off balance the whole game.”

Richards, who struck out six and walked one, allowed only five batters to reach base.

“I just tried to go out there battling and let the fielders do the work,” he said.

While taking advantage of a misplayed fly ball and two errors, the Riots collected timely hits off starter Ryan Mancini, who went 41/3 innings, and reliever Joe Cronin, who pitched 11/3 innings, to gradually pull away from Scarborough (7-2).

“We didn’t have that big inning,” Owens said. “Most games come down to that big inning, but we kept plugging away and got a couple of big two-out hits.”

South Portland opened the scoring when Zach Horton led off the second with a walk, then scored on back-to-back singles by Evan Indorf and Dominic Desjardins.

The Riots made it 2-0 in the third when Paul Reny’s wind-blown fly to deep left fell in for a two-out double and Horton followed with a solid single to center.

South Portland added another run in the third. Indorf reached on an error, moved to third when Desjardin pulled a double into left, then scored when Shawn Shannon lined a sacrifice fly into right.

The Riots completed the scoring with two in the fifth. Reny walked with two outs, stole second and scored on Horton’s second hit of the game. Indorf followed with another single to put runners at the corners, and Horton scored on an errant pickoff throw.

“We’re a team that has to play defense,” Coutts said. “We misplayed a ball in left that would have ended an inning. We misplayed a ball at short that cost us a run. We threw another one away. You could go back and say it should have been a 1-0 game. But (South Portland) made the most of their opportunities.”

It was the fourth consecutive win for the Riots.

“This is a big game but every game is big, really,” said Owens, who grew up in Maine and returned last summer after 10 years in Colorado. “This league is tough, top to bottom, so you’ve got to come ready to go. We can pat ourselves on the back, but now we’ve got Marshwood and Westbrook coming next week, so it doesn’t get any easier. In this conference it just keeps coming.”

“A lot of the teams that are in the top of the conference are now going into the tough part of their season,” said Coutts, in his first year at Scarborough after spending the last two at Deering. “To me, it’s going to be who has got the most will and who really believes in themselves. Those are the teams who will end up on top in the end.”

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

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