WESTBROOK – In what would turn out to be his last complete-game pitching per-formance, Scott Heath of Westbrook threw a gem.
Heath, a left-hander, beat Deering 6-0 on a two-hitter while facing the minimum 21 batters in a seven-inning game on May 21 for his fifth win. He retired 14 consecutive Rams as the Blazes improved to 11-0.
Deering Coach Mark Sutton joked afterward that he wished Heath had thrown some pitches somewhere other than at knee level so his team could have had a better chance of putting the ball in play.
Ten days later, in a game against Cheverus at Westbrook for the No. 1 seed in Western Maine Class A, Heath felt arm pain throwing a pitch in the second inning. He took himself out of the game and didn’t throw a pitch the rest of the season.
Heath tore a ligament, which resulted in Tommy John surgery on June 30 in Foxborough, Mass., performed by Dr. Luke S. Oh, team physician for the Red Sox and the New England Revolution. Heath has begun light therapy and will continue with it at school. His pitching career will be on hold for at least a year. Heath, headed to the University of Maine on a baseball scholarship, hopes to pitch for the Black Bears, beginning in 2013.
“Dr. Oh said the surgery went really well,” said Heath. “I’m happy I had the surgery now rather than later. I’m geared up for the long rehab and excited about getting my arm healthy.”
In the past month, Heath and his senior teammates have surely thought of what might have been. With a healthy Heath on the mound would the Blue Blazes have beaten Cheverus in that season finale? If they had, would it have been Westbrook and not Cheverus hoisting the state championship trophy last month? We’ll never know.
One thing we do know is that the Stags won three games against Westbrook, including the regional final. Cheverus kept improving as the season progressed. Westbrook seemed to peak in that Deering game.
Until his injury, Heath dominated on the mound in the state’s most competitive league. In his five wins, Heath pitched two one-hitters and two, two-hitters. He didn’t allow an earned run in 32 innings and opponents batted only .106 against him. He allowed only 11 hits. In four seasons, Heath went 19-2. He also was unbeaten his sophomore year and didn’t allow an earned run.
Offensively, he batted third in the lineup and proved a catalyst this season, as he had the three previous seasons. In his win over Deering, Heath doubled his first two times up for two RBI. He finished the season with a .377 average.
Heath headlines the Maine Sunday Telegram All-State team as our state MVP for baseball. He is a three-time All-State selection.
“In my 16 years as a head coach, Scott would be in my top five of players I’ve coached,” said Westbrook Coach Mike Rutherford, who also coached at Portland.
Heath will continue his rehab with UMaine trainers, and he’s hoping to return to the mound with a stronger arm than before.
“A lot of pitchers who have had the surgery have more velocity when they return,” said Heath.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: