Portland Coach Robbie Ferrante decided to get his team to the field in plenty of time before Wednesday’s game against Deering.

“I got them here early, we took extra batting,” said Ferrante, the first-year coach of the Bulldogs. “I knew my freshman pitcher would have some jitters so it was big to jump out on top.”

And jump out on top they did.

The Bulldogs scored five runs in the first two innings and then held off a late-inning Deering charge for season-opening 9-6 win over the Rams.

Sophomore second baseman Taylor Crosby paced the offense, going 4 for 4 with a triple, two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base.

“These were two new pitchers that I didn’t see last year, but I kept my weight back and kept my eye on the ball,” Crosby said. “I’m more confident this year.”

Portland got on the board quickly when junior third baseman Maddie Kennie delivered a three-run, inside-the-park home run.

The Bulldogs pushed across two more runs in the second inning and two more in the fourth, keyed by some Deering defensive mistakes and an RBI single by junior Isabelle Dimillo.

Freshman right-hander Sydney Gilbert tossed four shutout innings before the Rams struck for four runs in the fifth.

Kaylee Helmick and Cierra Burnham each had RBI singles in Deering’s rally.

Portland then closed to within a run when junior Cassidy Coyne ripped a two-run double to make it 7-6.

The Bulldogs regained a bit of a cushion, scoring a pair of runs on Crosby’s fourth hit – a two-run single to left field – to make it 9-6.

“I thought the key to this game was that we stayed ahead at 7-6. We still had the lead,” Ferrante said.

“We had the good part of our batting order coming up and we got those two runs to give us some breathing room.”

Gilbert contributed to her cause by going 1 for 2 with a triple, a sacrifice bunt and two runs scored.

“I was very impressed with her work, especially in the middle innings,” Ferrante said.

Deering will take on Cheverus on Friday, while the Bulldogs play Friday against Thornton Academy.

“I’m looking forward to us improving as a team and building up chemistry on the field of play,” Crosby said with a smile.