Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
FALMOUTH - Lefthander Thomas Fortier of Falmouth said he wouldn't have predicted he would throw a single no-hitter before the season. Just past the midway point of the regular season, he has thrown three of them.
The latest came Monday against Yarmouth in a 4-1 Western Maine Conference Class B win.
Fortier, a 6-foot-3 senior, has four wins this season with three of them no-hitters.
"I can't do it without the team," said Fortier.
"I rely on them a lot. I have a great team behind me. I just go out there and pitch. The defense does the rest," he said.
Fortier mixed a fastball and curve. He was hitting the outside corner with his fastball and his curve was dropping in for strikes.
Shortstop Will D'Agostino made a couple of plays to preserve the no-hitter. Rightfielder Addison Foltmer made a diving catch on a line drive for the third out in the fourth. The only ball in question -- and both teams said afterwards it was a error -- came in the second inning when Connor Lainey of Yarmouth lined a shot to right. The ball was hit right at Foltmer, who had the ball deflect of his glove for an error.
That resulted in Yarmouth's only run. Nick Lainey opened with a walk, went to second on a Fortier balk and scored when Foltmer missed the ball, which allowed the Yarmouth (6-4) pinch runner to score.
Fortier had nine strikeouts. He walked three batters. He retired 11 straight batters before walking one in the top of the seventh.
"He's probably the best pitcher in the league," said Yarmouth Coach Marc Halsted of Fortier
"He knows how to pound the zone and also how to keep hitters off balance," he said.
Fortier opened the season with no-hitters in his first two games. He pitched a two-hitter in his third victory.
"Thomas and pitching coach Craig Pendleton are on the same page," said Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship.
"Craig is calling a great game and Thomas is executing it," he said.
Trailing 1-0, Falmouth (8-1) scored three runs in the second, highlighted by Connor Aube's triple which scored Fortier.
Fortier tripled over the rightfielder's head to score Foltmer to make it 4-1 in the fourth. Fortier tried to stretch it for an inside-the-park home run, but was thrown out at home. Fortier ignored Winship's stop sign in the third base coaching box.
"I was being selfish on my part" said Fortier of the play. "I should have been thinking of the team."
That's the only mistake he made and it wasn't with any of his pitches.
Working on his pitching indoors last winter, Fortier has lengthened his pitching stride. The extra leg power has helped add velocity.
"I have better command of my pitches when I get behind in the count," said Fortier, who was the winning pitcher in last year's Class B state championship against Foxcroft Academy.
Fortier will play baseball for St. Joseph's College.
Fortier likes where his team is at, but wished the bats would come alive.
"We would like to score more runs," he said.
Because the Yachtsmen can't always count on Fortier pitching a no-hitter. But nobody can predict such things.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: