WESTBROOK – Zach Gardiner’s two-run double in the first inning signaled Westbrook’s bats had come alive, and the Blue Blazes rode their quick start to a 5-1 victory over Biddeford on Friday in a Western Class A baseball quarterfinal at Olmsted Field.

No. 2 Westbrook (15-2) will host No. 6 Marshwood at 3 p.m. today in the semifinals. Marshwood eliminated No. 3 Deering, 7-5.

The Blazes scored three runs in the first and two in the second, more than enough support for junior pitcher Joe Dvilinsky, who allowed only three hits through six innings.

The game was replayed from the start after Thursday’s game was stopped after three innings because of rain and lightning. The seventh-ranked Tigers (10-7) led at the time, 3-1.

Given a chance to get off to a better start, Westbrook took advantage.

As much as Biddeford hated to have its lead wiped out from Thursday, the Blazes loved the chance to make amends.

“I love thunderstorms,” said Gardiner, who finished with three hits. “We were pumped to play today. Scott Heath got us fired up this morning in marching practice.”

Westbrook’s graduation was held Friday night at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium.

“The team has been in a slump for the last three games,” Gardiner said. “We had three sharp hits in a row in the first inning. I don’t know if we’ve done that all season.

“Joe Dvilinsky pitched a great game. This game was our payback to Biddeford for losing to them in last year’s regional final.”

Joe Quinlan was hit by a pitch leading off the first inning for Westbrook. He moved to second on Kyle Heath’s groundout and went to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Scott Heath’s sacrifice fly to right.

Zach Collett and designated hitter Sean Murphy followed with sharp singles through the middle. Gardiner then sent a drive to the gap in left-center field, scoring both runners to make it 3-0.

The Blazes made it 5-0 after two outs in the second. Quinlan reached first on catcher’s interference during his swing and scored on Kyle Heath’s double down the right-field line. Heath scored when brother Scott doubled to left-center.

Westbrook didn’t score again as the Tigers’ got strong relief pitching from Bob Cote.

With Scott Heath, the Blazes’ top pitcher, unable to pitch because of a torn ligament in his arm, the team has had to dip into its staff to find capable arms. The Blazes found one in Dvilinsky, who gave up a hit in the third and two in the fourth when Biddeford scored.

“Dvilinsky pitched mostly with the (junior varsity) team this season, but we had confidence in him,” said Westbrook Coach Mike Rutherford. “For a lot of teams in the state, he would be the No. 2 or 3 pitcher.

“I also had confidence in bringing in Zach Bean in relief in the seventh inning. I thought (Dvilinsky) was laboring a little.”

The Tigers’ run came on a single by Tyler Audie, a stolen base and an RBI single by losing pitcher Pat Wilson.

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

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