PORTLAND – Having scored only two runs in its last 21 innings, Cheverus High was looking for a turnaround Thursday in its Telegram League baseball game against South Portland.

The Stags found it.

Cheverus scored seven runs in the second inning and went on to beat the Red Riots, 9-4.

The Stags (6-4) had lost their previous three games, two by shutouts.

“We had a lot of energy before the game,” said Cheverus standout Louie DiStasio. “We wanted to put the bat on the ball. This definitely helps us get going in the right direction. We have two more games this week (Portland and Westbrook). We’ll see what happens. There are a lot of good teams in this league. We have to play tough every game.”

Cheverus sent 11 men to the plate in the second and collected six hits against the Red Riots (3-8). Cam Mullen brought in the first two runs with a bases-loaded single, and Chris Tinsman drove home the sixth and seventh runs with a double to center.

DiStasio added an RBI double and Harry Ridge singled home a run in the inning.

Coach Mac McKew tweaked the batting order to shake up the offense. It worked.

“The last four games we’ve scored four runs,” said McKew. “Today we had a little more energy. We made some adjustments in the batting order. For our first nine games, we’ve had the same order.”

McKew swapped a few players in the order, like moving Tinsman from sixth to cleanup. He put Liam Fitzpatrick at designated hitter, and he responded with a single in his first at-bat as part of the second inning.

“We knew Cheverus had been struggling offensively but we also knew they have some capable bats in the lineup,” said South Portland Coach Mike Owens.

“Their seven runs happened so quickly. I had a guy up to come in relief but before he could get ready, they had scored their runs.”

Robert Graff relieved for South Portland and pitched well.

“Robert held them down and allowed us a chance to get back into it,” said Owens. “I thought my kids settled down and kept plugging away. That’s a positive. We spotted Cheverus too many runs too early.”

The Riots scored twice in the third to cut it to 7-2 on RBI singles by Dominic Desjardins and Brendan Horton.

The Stags added a run in the fourth: DiStasio was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, then scored on a passed ball.

South Portland added runs in the fifth and sixth. Horton’s ground-rule double scored Nick Whitten in the fifth.

Cheverus scored its final run on Nick Melville’s single in the sixth, when two runners were thrown out at the plate.

Ryan Casale scattered six hits for Cheverus to improve his record to 2-1.

“Casale did his job, which was key because you have to have a third pitcher to keep you in contention,” said McKew. “He’s important for us. (DiStasio) had a couple of hits and stole two bases. He’s our leader.”

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

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