May 3, 2013

No letup for Storm's pitching

Scarborough beats South Portland, and has gone 31 innings without a starter giving up a run.

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SOUTH PORTLAND - The 12-7 victory might be deceiving, so let it be said: Scarborough High's baseball team continues to get great starting pitching.

20130502_Baseball_SSP
click image to enlarge

South Portland first baseman Dillon Burns pulls down a high throw in time to tag Brendan Hall of Scarborough during unbeaten Scarborough’s 12-7 victory in an SMAA game Thursday.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Ben Greenberg worked five scoreless innings, allowing three singles, and left with a 12-0 lead Thursday against South Portland at the Wainwright Recreation Complex.

Greenberg, now 3-0, hasn't allowed a run this season. In fact, no runs have been scored against Red Storm starters, a streak standing at 31 innings.

"Coming into the season our pitching and defense I knew would be pretty exceptional," youthful first-year coach Ryan Jones said. "Jayme (Lappin) and Ben have done a great job of just throwing strikes and letting our defense do its job."

Scarborough improved to 5-0. South Portland is 4-2.

The Red Storm offense came into the game with the intent of expecting strikes from South Portland left-hander Zac Marles, trying to avoid the curveball and looking to be aggressive with fastballs in the strike zone.

The strategy worked to the tune of 17 hits -- all singles -- from 12 hitters that tested a Red Riot defense charged with five errors.

"We have two great guys on the hill and we have so much confidence in them," said Scarborough shortstop Nick Bagley, who went 3 for 5. "We just try to get the bat on the ball. We figured, just put it in play."

Scarborough did suffer a significant loss in the first inning when center fielder Greg Viola suffered a severe ankle injury while futilely trying to avoid a tag by South Portland catcher Adam Helmke that ended a three-run inning.

Viola, who had driven in a run with a single, was trying to score on a single to right by Sam Terry. Matt Beecher's throw beat Viola by several steps. Viola attempted to jump around Helmke's tag and injured his right ankle when landing. Viola was treated by paramedics and left the field in an ambulance.

"It's tough seeing a fellow teammate and friend get hurt," Jones said. "We're not probably going to have Greg for the rest of the season. His ankle looked pretty funny."

Despite the lengthy delay, Greenberg was able to work around a hit and an error in the first inning, and isolated singles in the second and third before setting down the final seven batters he faced.

Scarborough padded its lead with five runs in a third inning that featured back-to-back choppers to third for infield singles, two South Portland errors and a two-run single by Kevin Drzyga.

The Red Storm picked up one more in the fifth for a 9-0 lead.

Run-scoring singles from Aaron Ravin (2 for 4), Brendan Hall (2 for 5) and Bagley made it 12-0 in the top of the sixth.

South Portland rallied for six runs against relief pitcher Damian Ramsdell, including RBI singles from Chris Foley (2 for 3) and Joe DiBiase, another run scoring on a balk and a three-run double by pinch-hitter Brad Sowerby.

Bagley came on to pitch the seventh and allowed a leadoff triple by Nick Whitten (2 for 3), and saw the bases loaded on an error and walk before ending the game with a sacrifice fly by DiBiase and a fly ball.

"We've talked all year about baseball being a seven-inning grind," said South Portland Coach Mike Owens. "If I am going to take any solace out of this game it's that we did battle and we took it to a seven-inning game."

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@mainetoday.com

 

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