Mitchell Powers turned in a complete-game pitching gem to lead Cheverus to a 6-3 win over Westbrook on Thursday afternoon at MacDonald Memorial Field.
The Blue Blazes, the defending Class A champions, had plenty of opportunities early but failed to take full advantage of them and Powers retired 11 of the last 12 batters to record his third win of the season.
“He’s one of the best guys in the state,” Westbrook Coach Greg Souza said. “If you don’t put him away early when you get your chances and they get the lead, then he can pitch, and that’s what happened today.”
Powers, a senior right-hander who is headed to Division II Southern New Hampshire University next year, allowed six hits and walked one while striking out 12.
“Early in the game they were just jumping on my fastball so I had to change up things later in the game,” Powers said. “I just started working the batters a different way.”
The Blazes (7-4) took an early 3-1 lead before Powers shut them down over the final four innings.
“They hit him because his pitches were up,” Cheverus Coach Mac McKew said. “His fastball was up, and he hadn’t found his curveball and change-up yet. Like any good pitcher, he made adjustments.”
“This whole year I’ve been letting up runs in the early innings,” Powers said. “I went with the change-up and a little more junk to throw the batters off a little bit. The curve and change-up were working for me today.”
Westbrook took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With two outs, Kyle Heath walked and moved to third on Andrew St. Clair’s single. After St. Clair stole second, Austin Blake drove in both of of them with the first of his two singles.
The Stags (7-4) scored a run in the bottom of the first on consecutive singles by Jensen LaPoint, Chris Tinsman and Felix del Vecchio.
The Blazes added a run when Jack McCullough led off the third with a single, moved to second on an error and scored on Blake’s second hit.
“(Blake) got some pitches he could hit and he hit them with guys on base,” Souza said. “Unfortunately he doesn’t get to hit every time.”
In the bottom of the third, Cheverus sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring five runs to provide Powers with all the offense he needed.
“When we put that five-spot up, we got the momentum back,” McKew said. “That’s the big thing about baseball. It’s all about momentum.”
LaPoint and Tinsman singled to start the rally. After del Vecchio drove in a run with a double to left, Powers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Logan McCarthy, who is from Westbrook, singled to drive in two runs and give the Stags a 4-3 lead. A single by Jon Ruterbories and an error produced the final two runs of the game.
“It was a big win for us beating Westbrook,” McKew said. “There’s a good rivalry there over the past four or five years.”