WESTBROOK – Righthander Ben Greenberg retired the first 11 batters before settling for a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts Thursday as unbeaten Scarborough posted a 7-0 victory against Westbrook in an SMAA baseball game at Olmsted Field.
Sam Wessel hit two-run singles in the first and seventh innings for the Red Storm (3-0).
It was the first day of the season conducive to baseball, with temperatures in the low 60s.
“Who doesn’t love to play when the weather is like this,” said Scarborough Coach Ryan Jones.
Keenan Lowe of Westbrook (2-1) allowed three hits through six innings but was relieved in the seventh after giving up two more hits and four runs.
As the catcher, Wessel got a good look at Greenberg’s mastery.
“Ben was awesome,” said Wessel. “He didn’t give up any walks and any pitch I called, he threw it. His fastball, curve and change-up were all on. We knew we had to get up early because we felt it was going to be a pitcher’s duel between Ben and Keenan. Keenan is an excellent pitcher.”
The Red Storm lost three key players through graduation and have a new coach in Jones. But the defending Western Class A champion hasn’t skipped a beat in the early season.
“We knew we had to step up because of the players we lost. We have to play defense and hit the ball,” said Wessel, whose brother, Ben, was one of the graduation losses.
With Greenberg on the mound, the Red Storm can be tough to beat.
He throws hard with excellent control and his curve was striking out the Blue Blazes.
“It was another great game from Ben,” said Jones. “He made an adjustment on his curve midway through and was throwing it for strikes.”
Westbrook messed up two force plays at second base.
On the first, a throwing error resulted in Scarborough’s first run.
Wessel then followed with an opposite-field single to drive in two and make it 3-0.
“If we turn the double play in the first, we’re out of the inning without any damage,” said Westbrook Coach Greg Souza. “Scarborough is a really good team and really good teams capitalize on other teams’ mistakes. Then Greenberg did what he does best. He pitched a great game. We didn’t hit many hard balls. He was changing speeds and that’s why he’s good.
“We had 10 hits in our first game. We had 12 hits in our second game and only three today.”
After giving up two hits and three runs in the first inning, Lowe settled down and didn’t give up another hit until the sixth.
“Keenan pitched a very good game,” said Souza. “We have to realize we can play with the top teams.”
With two outs in the fourth, Kyle Heath broke up Greenberg’s no-hitter with a ground single up the middle.
Lowe followed with the exact same hit, but Greenberg got a forceout to end the inning.
The other hit by the Blue Blazes was an infield single by Ryan Gilligan.
The Red Storm sealed it with four runs in the top of the seventh.
Greg Viola walked, moved to second on a sacrifice by Kevin Dryzga and scored on a single by Brendan Hall.
A Westbrook error on a potential forceout at second scored another run. Wessel then greeted reliever Aaron Duncanson with a base hit to right, his second two-run single, making it 7-0.
“I was just doing my job,” said Wessel. “Coach told me to wait on the pitch and I did and slapped it to right field.
“We have a good chance to have an outstanding season. Everyone is pretty confident. Our defense is looking spectacular. We probably could use a little more hitting.”
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: