FALMOUTH — Falmouth continued to live up to its top billing in the Class A South baseball tournament Saturday.
For the second straight game, a Falmouth pitcher shut out a team from the SMAA and allowed just one hit.
This time, Reece Armitage, a junior left-hander, yielded only an infield hit, and helped himself with two RBI in a 5-0 win over Portland.
The top-ranked Yachtsmen advanced to a regional final for the first time since moving up to Class A in 2014 and will play No. 2 South Portland on Tuesday at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.
The outstanding performance from Armitage came two days after Cam Guarino, another left-hander, allowed one hit and struck out seven in a 4-0 win against No. 8 Deering.
“We build off each other,” said Armitage, who struck out 12, walked two and hit a batter. “Having someone like (Guarino), who as good as he is, helps. It really pushes you.”
“Guarino and Armitage are two of the best (pitchers) around,” Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship said.
“When you back up one with the other, good things can happen.”
Portland Coach Mike Rutherford was quite impressed with Armitage.
“His fastball was electric today,” Rutherford said. “He had real good curveball, a nice little change-up. He kept us off balance.”
Armitage allowed fourth-seeded Portland (13-5) to hit just one ball out of the infield.
“We’re a nice hitting team, and we didn’t hit one ball hard, not one,” Rutherford said.
The Yachtsmen (18-0) scored three runs in the first inning.
Connor Aube led off with an infield hit and went to third when Tyler Gee pulled a hit-and-run single through the right side. After Gee stole second, Aube scored on a wild pitch. Armitage slammed a single up the middle to make it 2-0 and scored from first when Colin Coyne doubled deep into the gap in left.
“Once we get Reece a few runs early, it kind of loosens him up and he can just attack, and that’s what he did,” Winship said.
Armitage ran into a jam when he walked Joe Fusco to start the second and John Williams reached on an infield hit. Armitage struck out the next three hitters to end the threat.
“He kept his composure,” Winship said.
“When he was getting up with the fastball, we went with the curve and he was throwing that for strikes. When he’s throwing his curve for strikes, he’s tough to beat.”
Armitage, who struck out eight of the nine batters in the Portland lineup at least once, also struck out the side in the third inning.
Falmouth added a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Reece Armitage. Garret Aube hit an RBI single in the sixth to round out the scoring.