ELIOT – Luke Fernandes settled down after a rough first inning Thursday, and Jack Verrill had a three-run homer, a double and four RBI to lead Marshwood to a 6-3 Telegram League baseball victory against Cheverus, the defending Class A champion.

The win gave the Hawks (2-1) a big boost after losing their opener to Windham last week.

“We showed we can compete and beat a good team,” said Marshwood Coach Eric Fernandes. “I don’t know how loose Luke was before the game. He was definitely psyched to pitch against the defending state champions and Louie DiStasio. I think losing our first game may have been the best thing to happen to us.”

Losing enabled the Hawks to refocus and concentrate on what they do well. They needed a lot of that after the Stags (2-1) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

“The first inning wasn’t the one I wanted,” said Fernandes, a hard-thowing right-hander. “We were able to finish it out. I told the team the first inning was my fault and we needed to leave it behind. We came together after that.”

Fernandes allowed three hits in the first, including a leadoff double to DiStasio, to go with a walk and a hit batter. Chris Tinsman had a two-run single and Drew Ferrick added an RBI single for Cheverus.

Fernandes found the groove after that, overpowering the Stags with his fastball. He held the Stags hitless for the next four innings.

Fernandes said he might have been a little too enthused at the start.

“You can’t win the game with one pitch,” he said. “I had to throw strikes and let my defense make the plays. I regained my confidence after the first inning.”

DiStasio had the edge on his mound rival for the first two innings. He opened with a strikeout, then retired the Hawks in order in the second. But his defense let him down in the third, leading to five unearned runs..

Given a reprieve, the Hawks hit the ball hard. Fernandes drove home the first two runs with a sharp ground single. After a walk, Verrill lined a DiStasio fastball over the fence in left for a three-run blast and a 5-3 lead.

“I was a little concerned when we got behind at the start because in our first game, we got behind early and collapsed,” said Verrill. “This time we stayed with it and bounced back. I don’t think we’ve ever beaten Cheverus. They’re very good. They’ll be worth a lot of Heal points.”

Cheverus threatened in the sixth, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Ryan Casale singled for his team’s first hit since the first and Tinsman hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line. But Fernandes struck out the next batter to end the inning

The Stags loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh. Fernandes pitched to four batters before Verrill relieved. Harry Ridge singled sharply off Fernandes, who then left after 101 pitches.

Verrill walked his first batter, but got the final out on a grounder to third baseman Zach Quintal, who stepped on the bag for the force.

The five unearned runs in the third hastened Cheverus’ demise.

“You can’t give a team and a pitcher like that five runs,” said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew.

“We came out hitting and swung the bats well against a good pitcher. Marshwood is a good team. We’ll let this one roll off our backs and get ready for the next one.”

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

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