Left-hander Dan Marzilli of Portland enjoys pitching against Marshwood, the consensus SMAA preseason favorite.

Marzilli beat the Hawks on opening day and did it again Thursday, pitching a five-hit shutout as the Bulldogs rebounded from a lopsided loss Wednesday to beat Marshwood 5-0 at Hadlock Field.

Marzilli said this effort topped the one on opening day. Asked how he would rate it, he said: “I would rate it a 10. We beat one of the best teams in the league.”

Marzilli mixed his pitches to keep the usually hard-hitting Hawks in check. He had five strikeouts and walked only two.

“My change-up was working early and then my curve started working midway through the game. Our defense was really good. We turned two double plays,” he said.

Marzilli also painted the outside corner with fastballs to right-handed batters.

Portland (7-2) ended the game with a double play.

Marshwood (6-2) was coming off a 11-1 rout of previously unbeaten South Portland in a game stopped after five innings because of the 10-run rule. Portland was coming off its worst game of the season, 12-3 on Wednesday to a suddenly resurgent Westbrook team.

Put the two together and the prospects for the Bulldogs didn’t look all that enticing.

“Marshwood was coming here with so much momentum and we had played so poorly the day before. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong,” said Portland Coach Mike Rutherford.

“I was a little concerned. I wondered what kind of team we were going to be the rest of the season. We’re a young team but they showed some old-fashioned Portland grit today. (Marzilli) shut them down and kept us in the game. He was really the only starter we had available.”

Marshwood got a runner to third with two outs in the second inning, but Marzilli got the third out on a high foul pop. The Hawks put a runner on third with two outs in the fifth, but Marzilli got a groundout to end it.

The hardest-hit ball off Marzilli was by Jake Lebel, who drove a pitch deep over Nick Archambault’s head in center in the fourth. The ball appeared to bounce over the fence, then carom back onto the field for a ground-rule double.

But it wasn’t signaled and Lebel ran to third when the throw got past the relay man. Catcher Ryan Ruhlin picked up the errant throw and threw to third, where Jack Nichols tagged out Lebel, who overslid the bag.

In the sixth, Marzilli retired the heart of the Hawks’ lineup – Zach Hodges, Noah McDaniel and Lebel – in order. In the seventh, he struck out the first batter. Zach Doyon then singled and Luke Stankovich grounded into a game-ending double play.

The Bulldogs scored four runs in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead: Archambault had a two-run single and Jack Nichols followed with a two-run double. Moments earlier the Bulldogs had a runner forced at home

“That was a big time hit by (Archambault),” said Rutherford.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the fourth after Marshwood turned a double play. Joe Fusco singled and went to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a single to right by Ruhlin.

“He’s beaten us twice,” said Marshwood Coach Bryant Lausberg of Marzilli. “He’s a very good pitcher. We’ve been getting up on teams early. You have to make the plays and we didn’t. We have a 6-2 record and we’re only halfway through the season. There’s still a lot that can happen.”

 


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