PORTLAND — Cheverus catcher Nic Lops called it “a test of character.”

Stags Coach Mac McKew added: “We did what we had to do.”

They were referring to having to come back and start a new game after weather stopped their playoff game with Thornton Academy on Thursday with Cheverus leading 3-0.

The top-ranked Stags (15-2) refocused and took advantage of some defensive and baserunning lapses by No. 8 Thornton (10-7). Behind the three-hit pitching of Louie DiStasio, Cheverus won a game 24 hours later that counted, a 5-2 victory over the Golden Trojans Friday at MacDonald Memorial Field.
Cheverus will host South Portland at 3 p.m. today in the Western Class A semifinals.

The winner gets a spot in the regional final next Wednesday evening at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

“Louie is a solid pitcher and a solid competitor,” said McKew. “He’s done it all year.”

One of the Golden Trojans’ three hits was a home run by Matt Turnage to right in the second inning that gave his team the early lead.

The Stags got their offense going in the middle innings against right-hander Dillon Dunbar, who for most of the game kept the hitters off balance.

Trailing 1-0, Cheverus benefited from a couple of gift runs. In the playoffs, they’re all good.

The Stags tied it in the third when Harry Ridge led off with a line double over the right fielder’s head, moved to third on a sacrifice and a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

Cheverus took a 2-1 lead when Lops singled to right, stole second and scored on a pop-fly single to short right by Peter Potthoff. Three Thornton fielders converged on the ball, but it dropped safely.

Cheverus loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and Lops drilled a single to right, scoring two to make it 5-1. Before that, Tyler Flaherty’s double to center scored Joey Royer, who led off with a walk.

“We hit the ball pretty good against Dunbar, who mixed his pitches,” said McKew.

DiStasio, who improved to 4-0, seemed to add velocity as the game progressed.

“Other than the home run, they didn’t really hit him hard,” said McKew.

“DiStasio pitched well and kept us off balance,” said Thornton Coach Ray Petit. “We had 11 hits off him in our regular-season game.”

That was the second game of the season, which Cheverus won 5-4. It was a lot colder then and a lot has happened since the teams last met.

The Stags have developed a deep pitching staff, which could prove crucial in the playoffs.

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

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Twitter: TomChardPPH