Scarborough has been getting outstanding pitching from its two main starters, Ben Greenberg and Jayme Lappin. Because of high school pitching rules that require so many days rest between appearances, a team needs more than two starters. When games get backed up because of the weather, the third and fourth starters become a necessity.
The Red Storm have dipped into the J.V. ranks to fill out their rotation. Sophomore Nate Wessel got his first start of the season on Tuesday against Deering and backed up his coach’s confidence by tossing a one-hitter in a 6-1 win. Wessel struck out 11. It was a Wessel battery with Nate throwing to his brother, Sam, a senior catcher.
Prior, Wessel had pitched in relief against Biddeford and Noble. Coach Ryan Jones has also used junior Matt Hartl, also up from the J.V.s, in two relief appearances. Sam Wessel hasn’t pitched yet, but could if the Red Storm need him.
Jones prefers to keep the older Wessel behind the plate where he has done an outstanding job in his first season there. The backup catcher is Nick Bagley, the regular shortstop. Jones doesn’t want to disrupt a strong defense to have Wessel pitch. However when the playoffs arrive and Scarborough needs one or two innings of relief, Wessel could get the call.
They’re the younger brothers of Ben Wessel, the standout pitcher and hitter who graduated last year and is at the University of Rhode Island.
“The good thing is that Nate went seven innings and we didn’t have to use another pitcher,” said Jones.
Jones likes the fact Nate Wessel and Hartl can get their innings and plate appearances in J.V. games and then help out the varsity when called upon.
“We brought them up to fill out the rotation,” said Jones. “They both have the potential.”
After Thursday’s win over Portland, the Red Storm (10-0) have six games left. They host Windham Saturday and have a makeup game at Sanford on Monday. That will be followed with three more games that week: at home against Gorham and on the road at Cheverus on Thursday and at Marshwood on Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m. in a potential matchup of unbeatens with the No. 1 seeding for the Western Maine Class A tournament up for grabs.
Scarborough closes the regular season at home against South Portland on May 28.
“We have a tough stretch of games,” said Jones.
Jones, in his first season as head coach of the Red Storm, said the season has been a pleasant surprise.
“We’re playing well defensively,” he said. “With the exception of the first game (a 3-0 win over Thornton Academy), we’ve scored at least five runs in every game.”
JEFF GELINAS of Thornton Academy entered the season known for his pitching talents, but it’s been his hitting, particularly the long ball, which has caught league observers’ attention. Gelinas leads the SMAA with four homers. With five games left in the regular season, Gelinas, a big kid at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, could add to his total.
Gelinas has a baseball scholarship to the University of Maine. It’s believed he’ll be a pitcher for the Black Bears, but with the way he’s swinging the bat, he could end up as a hitter. Gelinas pitched well in last summer’s American Legion state tournament and the Northeast Regional championship at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach to draw Maine’s attention.
Gelinas had two homers against South Portland and one each against Biddeford and Kennebunk.
“He’s matured so much at the plate,” said Thornton Coach Ray Petit. “Jeff is disciplined at the plate, he walks a lot. He’s always looking for the right pitch and when he gets it, he usually does something good with it. Jeff has hit some pretty good shots.”
HITS WERE AT a premium and so were runs in Wednesday’s Greely-Yarmouth game. Bailey Train tossed a three-hitter for the Rangers, who won 1-0 to stay unbeaten at 11-0. Nick Lainey had a four-hitter for the Clippers, who dipped to 6-5.
FALMOUTH IMPROVED to 9-1 with an 11-7 win Wednesday at Poland. Like a lot of games Wednesday, the weather deteriorated as the game progressed.
“The weather was windy and cold. The rain started in the fifth inning and continued,” said Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship. “There were no delays, but it was very difficult playing conditions.”
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: