May 10, 2013

Baseball Notebook: Getting runs? Getting hits is hard enough against Fortier

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Left-hander Thomas Fortier of Falmouth has had quite a start to the baseball season.

Nate Boyle

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Nate Boyle, Windham: Boyle pitched a five-hit shutout to beat Portland 2-0 last week. He used a live fastball and a sharp curve to check the Bulldogs. Boyle got stronger as the game progressed with four of his seven strikeouts coming in the last two innings.

HONORABLE MENTION

Kyle Schumacher, Westbrook: Schumacher rapped out three doubles, had two RBI and scored two runs as the Blue Blazes won their fourth straight game with a 9-2 victory over Cheverus.

Hunter Boutot, Old Orchard Beach: Bouthot went 3 for 3 with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored as the Seagulls beat Traip Academy, 13-3.

Joey Francoeur, Windham: Francoeur had two hits and three RBI as the Eagles downed Thornton Academy, 7-4. Francoeur pitched a scoreless seventh inning for a save.

AREA TOP 10

1. Greely

2. Scarborough

3. Marshwood

4. Windham

5. Westbrook

6. Falmouth

7. Gorham

8. Portland

9. Morse

10. Cheverus

Fortier, a senior, pitched consecutive no-hitters, then added a two-hitter Monday against Lake Region.

In 19 innings, Fortier, who is 6-foot-3, has struck out 33. He has an 0.00 earned-run average and opponents have a .035 batting average.

Fortier also is batting .476 with a .619 slugging percentage. He has 10 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Fortier is a three-year varsity player who has made great progress since his sophomore year.

"His velocity is up from last season," said Coach Kevin Winship. "Thomas is pitching with a lot more confidence. His breaking ball is much sharper."

In the team's lone loss, 5-1 to unbeaten Greely last week, Fortier had a double and two stolen bases.

Winship believes in sticking to his three-man pitching rotation. They are all experienced and it was Connor Murphy's turn to pitch against Greely.

Weather permitting, Fortier is scheduled to pitch Saturday against York.

Fortier plays center field when he isn't pitching.

"Thomas plays a great center field," said Winship. "He's one of the fastest guys on the team."

The Yachtsmen (6-1), the defending Class B state champions, have no doubt benefited from the annual Florida trip they take during April school vacation.

They get to play against good competition in actual baseball weather.

In the final game he pitched in Florida, Fortier tossed a one-hitter against Heritage Christian High of Kissimmee, Fla.

Winship said Fortier is planning to attend St. Joseph's College this fall.

MARSHWOOD AND Scarborough are atop the Heal point standings in Western Class A. Marshwood is ranked first and the Red Storm are second. Close behind are Windham, Gorham and Westbrook.

Portland and Cheverus, two teams who were expected to be at the top of the standings when the season began, have struggled lately.

Marshwood and Scarborough, both 7-0, are back in contention despite losing some key players through graduation.

The teams will meet each other for the only time in the regular season at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at Marshwood High.

Marshwood Coach Eric Fernandes said a key to his team's success through the first half of the regular season is the players' ability to adjust after seeing a pitcher the second time through the order.

"We might be fooled by a curveball or can't get around on a fastball the first time facing a pitcher, but the kids make adjustments the second or third time up," he said. "Our whole lineup is hitting well."

The Hawks also have remained patient at the plate. Fernandes said the bulk of the runs have come with two outs.

Marshwood players are at or near the top in the SMAA statistics.

The Hawks have four players in the top 10 in batting average, including sophomore Noah McDaniel, the league's leading hitter at .688. McDaniel also is second in on-base percentage at .706.

Max McCoomb ranks third in hitting with a .615 average and first in slugging percentage at 1,000.

The other Hawks in the top 10 in batting are sophomores Zach Quintal at .533 and Zach Hodges at .462.

"When the seniors started out the season slow at the plate, the sophomores came through," said Fernandes. "They were our mainstays."

The seniors have since found their stride and the entire lineup is hitting.

Marshwood is getting strong pitching from Alex McLean, Robert Jones and Kyle Markham. Opponents are hitting only .105 against Markham, which ranks second-best in the SMAA. He is one of the four pitchers in the league with a 0.00 ERA.

"This is the most balanced team offensively and defensively I've had since I've been at Marshwood," said Fernandes. "I have a lot of stars but no superstars."

YORK WON its first five games and was looking at No. 6 a week ago against Fryeburg Academy. The Wildcats were leading 10-3 entering the top of the fifth inning at home.

When the top half of the inning was over, Fryeburg led 14-10 after scoring 11 runs. The Raiders added another run in the seventh for a 15-10 victory.

Ian MacFawn capped the inning with a three-run homer. The Raiders had six other hits in the inning and also benefited from five walks.

Each team finished with 13 hits for the game.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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