SOUTH BERWICK — When Garrett Tracy took the mound against Marshwood on a cold, raw and soon-to-be rainy Tuesday afternoon in his playoff debut, he struggled and quickly gave up two runs. But that start was officially wiped away when the rain came down in the top of the second inning, and the two teams were told to come back Wednesday to start over from scratch.

Apparently all Tracy and his Falmouth teammates needed was a brief tournament dress rehearsal. On Wednesday, under sunny and almost warm conditions, the Yachtsmen grabbed a five-run lead after one inning and held off a Marshwood comeback for a 7-5 Class A South preliminary-round victory.

Tracy, a junior left-hander, improved to 5-3 in his first season of varsity pitching. He keyed Falmouth’s first-inning outburst with a line-drive two-run double.

Then he worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the first and went on to strand six runners in scoring position over five innings. He allowed nine hits and two runs, one earned.

Tuesday’s brief outing helped, Tracy said.

“It felt like it helped me to know the strike zone a little better because I knew I was going to have the same umpire,” he said. “I knew I had to be pretty tight on the plate. That helped me to find it early. And then we scored five runs right away.”

No. 9 Falmouth (9-8), the defending regional champion, will visit No. 1 South Portland (14-2) for a regional quarterfinal at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

No. 8 Marshwood, which outhit the visitors 10-5, finishes at 9-8.

Marshwood also went back to its Tuesday starter, Max Horton. Like Tracy, he was just under the 20-pitch limit when the game was called, allowing him to pitch on consecutive days.

Horton struggled with his control in a 28-pitch first inning. He hit Ike Kiely with the bases loaded to force in the first run. Tracy followed with his double, and Will Bopp (suicide squeeze bunt) and Marcus Cady (single) also drove in runs.

Marshwood was able to scratch out single runs against Tracy in the second and fifth innings on run-scoring hits by Jay Lyman and Horton (double). Falmouth matched those runs in the fourth (sacrifice fly by Garret Aube) and sixth (bases-loaded walk by Connor Coffin).

Marshwood put pressure on in a three-run sixth, capped by a two-run, two-out double to right-center by Quinn McDaniel. Even in that inning, Marshwood didn’t fully capitalize. With no outs and runners at second and third, Falmouth third baseman Josh Lefevre coolly threw out pinch-runner Cam Hussey at the plate.

“In that one inning we kept stringing guys, but we still didn’t help ourselves when we needed to,” said Marshwood Coach Eric Fernandes.

Aube worked a scoreless seventh inning for the save, allowing a leadoff hit to Nate Curtis but throwing only eight pitches, seven for strikes. Bopp ended the game with a diving catch in right on a shallow fly.

“We wanted to make sure our outfielders were playing deep, and of course on that play, (Bopp) was playing deep and he made a spectacular catch,” Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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