Cheverus, like other teams, has shown pitching depth in the early part of the season.

The Stags had a different starting pitcher get a win in each of their first five victories: Joey Royer, Louie DiStasio, Jack Bushey, Mitchell Powers and Harry Ridge.

“Our pitching will take us as far as we go,” said Coach Mac McKew.

The hitting is starting to come around and the defense is improving.

Handling those pitchers is Nic Lops, a co-captain with Royer.

Lops is known as a strong defensive catcher (he’s thrown out three of the four runners trying to steal) who has been swinging a hot bat.

Lops is batting .440 with 10 RBI.

Entering Thursday, Cheverus (7-1) was ranked No. 1 in the Western Class A Heal point standings. While it’s nice to be there, McKew isn’t putting much stock in it, at least not at this point of the season.

“The No. 1 spot could change 10 times between now and the end of the season. We just want to get one of those eight qualifying spots,” he said.

With the topsy-turvy nature of Western Class A, the tournament has the potential to be wide open.

“The hardest part of our schedule is at the end,” said McKew.

Cheverus’ last four games will be against Deering, Windham, Scarborough and Westbrook. All of the SMAA Cumberland County schools will be going head to head in the final weeks.

The Stags’ only loss was to Biddeford, 12-1 on May 3. It was a case of one bad inning for the Stags.

“Four of our seven games have been (by the mercy rule). We’re been on the right side in three of those,” said McKew.

Cheverus will be home Saturday against Marshwood, travel Tuesday to Massabesic, then play Thursday at Portland. For the most part, opponents can’t be taken lightly this season in the Telegram League.

As proof of this, McKew offers: “We beat Kennebunk. They beat Portland. Portland beats Biddeford and we lose to Biddeford.”

THE MUCH-HYPED pitching matchup between Scott Heath of Westbrook and Luke Fernandes of Marshwood didn’t happen because Fernandes is sidelined from pitching because of a strained muscle around his rotator cuff.

The injury is causing inflammation.

Fernandes last pitched April 26, when he threw a no-hitter against Portland.

Fernandes noticed he could have a problem when he couldn’t get loose while warming up.

He went ahead and pitched against Portland and got rid of the tightness.

Both Fernandes and his father, Eric, the Marshwood coach, decided to shut things down to avoid a more serious potential injury.

Fernandes has began doing strengthening exercises and hopes to be pitching by the playoffs, but won’t rush his comeback and jeopardize his future. An MRI will be done after the season.

Fernandes has been invited to play in the Area Code Games in August in California. He has verbally committed to play for Boston College.

CAPE ELIZABETH started a nice tradition this season. At home games, a team from the Cape Elizabeth Little League runs to their positions with the varsity and is introduced with the varsity.

Coach Chris Hayward has helped the Little League program by giving clinics before the season.

The Cape players help with the clinics and lend their time by umpiring.

THE WESTERN MAINE Board of Approved Baseball Umpires will wear light blue sweatbands and their traditional light blue umpire shirts from next Monday through Saturday to raise awareness and funding for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. They will donate a game fee to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The Cheverus-Portland game next Thursday has been designated a spotlight game by the umpires for prostate cancer. The game time is 6 p.m. at Hadlock Field.

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

[email protected]