SCARBOROUGH — Zach Hodges was the catalyst in four key plays Tuesday that enabled Marshwood to rally, then hold off Scarborough for a 4-2 SMAA baseball victory.
Hodges knocked in the tying run in the top of the sixth inning, scored the go-ahead run moments later, threw out a runner at the plate from center field to end the sixth, then relieved to start the bottom of the seventh and induced a game-ending double play.
Marshwood (2-0) got to Scarborough pitcher Ben Greenberg with three runs on four hits in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead. Greenberg, making his season debut on the mound, allowed one hit through five innings and struck out five straight in the second and third. He finished with 10.
The Hawks, a junior-laden team, look like they could take charge in a wide-open league.
“We had guys who weren’t front-line players a year ago come up with big hits,” said Coach Eric Fernandes. “We got timely hits. Ben Greenberg was overpowering us through most of the game but we made some adjustments at the plate.”
Marshwood starter Jake Lebel pitched effectively for six innings before Fernandes determined Lebel had thrown enough pitches.
Lebel gave up seven hits and struck out four.
“I was also looking to change things up,” said Fernandes.
That meant bringing in Hodges to pitch the seventh. Hodges is one of the players the Hawks will use on the mound this season, most likely in relief.
The thing is, this was his first time pitching since his freshman season.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Hodges. “The batting order really came through. We have balanced hitting. If one part of the order isn’t hitting, the other part will pick them up. We’re off to a great start and we like our chances the rest of the way.”
Scarborough (0-2) had its ace on the mound in Greenberg, but the offense couldn’t deliver key hits.
The Red Storm also missed several bunt attempts in an effort to move the runners along.
“The lack of timely hits and our inability to bunt successfully really hurt us,” said Coach Ryan Jones. “Marshwood is a scrappy team, which puts the ball in play. The missed bunts were our Achilles’ heel. I think we’ll be OK once we start to hit.”
The conditions, cold and blustery, certainly weren’t conducive to hitting. Scarborough is hoping once the weather warms, so will its offense.
In the sixth inning, Zack Quintal of Marshwood lined the ball inside the right-field line and hustled for a double. Hodges then singled up the middle to score Quintal, stole second and moved to third on Lebel’s infield single.
Hodges scored on Luke Stanovich’s double and Jackson Foley, pinch running for Lebel, scored on a passed ball.
“Marshwood puts the ball in play,” said Greenberg, who will play baseball next season at Fordham.
“They have some tough hitters. I felt like I had good command of my curveball but they started to catch up with my fastball in the sixth.”
Greenberg is the Red Storm’s only returning veteran. The rest of the team is inexperienced.
Jones said the players have learned a lot since the start of preseason.
“We have a young team that is coming along,” said Greenberg. “We just need to start putting some hits together.”
The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Quintal reached on a ground-ball error, stole second and scored on Noah McDaniel’s sharply hit ground single between third and short.
The Red Storm tied it in the bottom half when Greenberg walked, went to second on Nick Suchecki’s sacrifice and scored on Cam Brochu’s single to right.
Scarborough took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Greenberg singled to right-center, stole second and scored on an infield throwing error.
Scarborough got its leadoff man on in the bottom of the seventh when Nate Wessel reached base on a infield single. The next batter, Sam Warren, then popped up to the pitcher.
Up came Greenberg, who could have tied it with one swing and tried to, missing with a hefty cut against Hodges before grounding into a short-to-first double play to end it.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: