By Tom Chard
PORTLAND - Westbrook and Cheverus are baseball teams going in opposite directions.
The Blue Blazes won their fourth straight Tuesday with a 9-2 SMAA win over Cheverus, which lost its third straight.
Westbrook broke open a 3-2 game with a six-run seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate. No. 9 batter Kyle Schumacher had a two-run double to make it 7-2. Schumacher finished with three doubles.
Winning pitcher Keenan Lowe gave up seven hits with five strikeouts. The Blazes touched up Mitchell Powers of Cheverus for 10 hits. He struck out six.
"I like batting ninth because you just get first-pitch fastballs," said Schumacher. "When I see one I'm going to swing because I don't know how many more I'm going to get. I'm seeing the ball well. This is a big win because we'll probably be seeing these guys again. It's good to know we have the edge on them."
This was their only meeting of the regular season.
"This was a good team win," said Westbrook Coach Greg Souza. "We had lots of hits, we got good pitching and we played enough defense. We were going against one of the top pitchers in the league. We've been beating teams without their No. 1 pitcher so to do it today should give us a lot of confidence the rest of the way.
"Keenan pitched inside a little to keep the ball on the batters' hands. He was a workhorse. Keenan throws hard and was changing speeds a little bit."
Westbrook scored its runs with one out in the seventh. The Blazes got a little luck when Lowe, the third batter in the inning, hit a hard grounder that hopped over the shortstop's head. That scored Kyle Heath, who singled and stole second.
Brett Goodenow knocked home a run with a fielder's choice. Schumacher and Collin Joyce followed with back-to-back doubles for two runs apiece.
The Stags (4-3) had their first two batters reach in the bottom of the seventh, but Lowe retired the next three batters.
"If we could have made it out of the inning, it was a 3-2 game. The groundball hopped over our shortstop's head," said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew. "Lowe pitched well. We hit a few hard balls off him but we didn't capitalize.
"We didn't make a lot of errors but we made several no plays where we didn't get an out. We're not a good defensive team right now. We have to get better. We have to learn to be in the right place at the right time. This was our seventh game and we should be better. We're disappointed we're not, but we'll continue to work hard to improve."
Powers retired Westbrook in order in the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third when the Blazes took a 2-0 lead. Kaleb Kent lead off with an infield hit. He went to second on a errant pickoff throw and third on a steal. He scored on Joyce's sacrifice fly to left. Schumacher, who walked, scored on a single by Ryan Gilligan.
Cheverus scored in the third on a double by Liam Fitzpatrick, who went to third on an error and scored on Drew Ferrick's sacrifice fly to right.
The Blazes made it 3-1 in the fourth when Lowe led off with a walk and scored on Austin Blake's double to left-center.
The Stags cut it to 3-2 in the sixth. Ryan Casale led off with wind-blown pop that fell in short left. He scored on Powers' groundout.
Joyce had three RBI and a double. Felix delVecchio had two hits for Cheverus, but was cut down at the plate in the second after a double by Ethan Jordan.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at firstname.lastname@example.org