PORTLAND — With both pitchers getting stronger as the game went along, it was apparent that something special was needed to snap a tie between Scarborough and Portland in a Telegram League baseball game Tuesday at Hadlock Field.

Ben Wessel of Scarborough then delivered something special.

Wessel tripled off the center-field fence to drive home Joe Cronin with one out in the top of the seventh inning, and Ben Greenberg set down the Bulldogs in order in the bottom half to preserve a 5-3 victory.

Scarborough (2-0) added a run on an error in the top of the seventh.

Wessel’s drive was a welcome sight for the Red Storm.

“We all jumped up in the dugout. We thought it might go out,” said Greenberg.

It definitely had the potential but it was unclear if the ball, which was in the shadows, cleared the fence or hit it.

“I asked the umpire and he said it didn’t go out,” said Scarborough Coach Mike Coutts.

Greenberg and Nate Smart of Portland found their form as the game progressed. Both settled down after allowing three-run third innings.

“I thought (Greenberg) lost his focus a little early in the game but he maintained his concentration in the late innings, and I thought the last inning was his best of the game,” said Coutts. “I have confidence in him and so does the team.”

Greenberg, a sophomore, struck out seven and allowed six hits. He held Portland (0-2) hitless in the last three innings.

“I didn’t have my best stuff but I was happy with the way I threw,” said Greenberg. “My curveball started working at the end. My fastball was working throughout the game.”

The Red Storm took a 3-0 lead in the third. Cronin led off by singling through the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch. Following a groundout, Wessel walked and stole second. Conor McCann then hit a line drive over the left fielder’s head for a double, scoring both runners. McCann scored on a single by Greenberg to right.

The Bulldogs tied it in the bottom half. Chip Weber opened with a walk and one batter later, went to third on a double by Tim Rovnak. Evan Gallant then singled through the middle to drive in both. Gallant scored to tie it on Caleb Fraser’s single to right.

And there it stayed until Wessel’s triple.

Smart, rebounding from a so-so opener Friday against Sanford, set the Red Storm down in order in the fifth and sixth, and benefited from an 8-4-3 double play in the fourth. He struck out eight and allowed nine hits.

“Nate pitched well against a very good team,” said Coach Tony DiBiase. “He rallied after he gave up three runs in the third inning.

“We had good at-bats the whole game. Greenberg is as good a pitcher as we’ll face all year. We have a mixture of sophomores and juniors. They’re all good players. We’ll be fine.”

Greenberg said the Red Storm have all the ingredients to contend.

“If we stay together we’ll be in a good position,” he said. “We know we can pitch and play defense. We have to hit better than last year. So far I think we have.”


Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH