PORTLAND – Cheverus went into its Western Class A quarterfinal baseball game against Westbrook without one of its top players Thursday.

Nick Melville, a senior tri-captain, had an appendectomy Sunday night.

But pitcher Louie DiStasio made sure the Stags’ season continued, giving Melville the chance of playing again.

DiStasio pitched a two-hitter, and scored and drove in a run as the fourth-seeded Stags shut out the fifth-ranked Blue Blazes 2-0 in a Western Class A quarterfinal.

Cheverus (13-5) will be home for a semifinal Saturday against Bonny Eagle.

“We got the early lead, then Louie turned it into a typical Louie performance,” said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew.

“With (Melville) out, we used it as a motivating factor. Louie had good velocity. He doesn’t waste a lot of time. He gets the ball and throws it, which helps to keep the defense fresh. We knew it would be this type of game. This league doesn’t score a lot of runs.”

DiStasio, headed to the University of Rhode Island on a baseball scholarship, finished with 10 strikeouts, including six straight from the first to the third inning.

“I went into the game with the same strategy as my last game,” said DiStasio. “I wanted to throw strikes and mix up my pitches. I was jittery at first but once I settled down, I was fine. The defense did a nice job.”

DiStasio’s previous game was a one-hitter against Windham in the regular-season finale.

The Stags rallied around Melville, who was in the dugout. This was the first time he was with his teammates since the surgery. He missed his graduation Monday.

“Each day I’m getting stronger,” he said. “When I woke up today, I didn’t think twice about sitting up. I bounced up.”

Melville, a second baseman, said playing Saturday is unlikely. “I don’t think I’m ready to dive for a ball,” he said.

If the Stags reach the regional final, there’s a chance he could play.

“Nick deserves to play another game,” said DiStasio.

Counting their two wins in the Telegram League playoffs, the Stags have won 10 straight.

“Coach McKew has done a nice job switching things around,” said DiStasio. “We’ve added some new bats to the lineup. Mitchell Powers has been a big spark. He’s been a key to the offense and has played well in left field.”

The Blazes (11-6) got runners on second and third with one out in the first, but DiStasio struck out the next two hitters — the start of his six straight strikeouts.

DiStasio led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit. After a sacrifice by Tyler Flaherty, DiStasio showed good wheels, scoring from second on a base hit to left by Harry Ridge.

The Stags made it 2-0 in the second when DiStasio singled in Chris Tinsman, who had led off with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error.

Sam Stauble and Matt Moody had Westbrook’s hits.

“Louie was in command from the first pitch,” said Melville. “When he led off with a single, we knew we were in good shape. He gets things started.”

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

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Twitter: TomChardPPH