Scarborough senior Joe Townsend throws a strike to Falmouth junior Brady Coyne early in the Red Storm’s 9-3 victory Tuesday. Hoffer photos.

BOX SCORE 

Scarborough 9 Falmouth 3

S- 202 004 1- 9 9 3
F- 000 201 0- 3 9 4

Top 1st
Frink homered to left, Donahue and Frink scored.

Top 3rd
Gower scored on error. Frink flew out to left, Townsend scored.

Bottom 4th
Smith grounded out to shortstop, Ford scored. Keller grounded out to second, Gill scored.

Top 6th
Liponis scored on error. O’Brien scored on error. Blanchette tripled to left, Seguin and Townsend scored.

Bottom 6th
McCluskey flew out to right, Smith scored.

Top 7th
Frink doubled to right, Liponis scored.

Multiple hits:
S- Donahue, Frink
F- Coyne, Gill, Kidder

Runs:
S- Donahue, Liponis 2, Frink, Gower, O’Brien, Seguin, Townsend
F- Ford, Gill, Smith

RBI:
S- Frink 4, Blanchette 2
F- Keller, McCluskey, Smith

Doubles:
S- Donahue, Frink
F- Gill

Triple:
S- Blanchette

Home run:
S- Frink (1)

Stolen bases:
S- Donahue, Liponis, O’Brien
F- Kidder

Left on base:
S- 2
F- 8

Townsend and Frink; Smith, Wilson (7) and Hendry.

S:
Townsend (W, 2-0) 7 IP 9 H 3 R 2 ER 1 BB 5 K

F:
Smith (L, 2-1) 6 IP 8 H 8 R 4 ER 1 BB 2 K
Wilson 1 IP 1 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Time: 1:47

FALMOUTH—Scarborough’s reigning Class A champion baseball team didn’t just want to win a key early-season game Tuesday afternoon against Falmouth at Croker Memorial Field.

The Red Storm also looked to remain undefeated.

But most of all, they wanted to remind Mike D’Andrea what he’s missing.

D’Andrea, who coached Scarborough to the 2019 state title is now coaching Falmouth and has his team off to a fast start, but for one day at least, his new squad wasn’t quite as good as his old.

Junior catcher Nic Frink set the tone for the Red Storm with a booming home run to leftfield in the top of the first inning and the visitors would never trail.

In the third, Scarborough tacked on two more runs on an error and a Frink sacrifice fly.

Red Storm senior starter Joe Townsend never gave the lead back, although Falmouth did rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to make things interesting.

Scarborough then got some breathing room in the top of the sixth, scoring four times, capped by a clutch, two-out, two-run triple from sophomore pinch-hitter Ashton Blanchette.

After Falmouth scored a run in the bottom half, Frink produced his fourth RBI, with a double in the top of the seventh, and Thompson slammed the door on a 9-3 victory.

Frink had a pair of hits and drove in four runs and Townsend went the distance as the Red Storm improved to 3-0 and in the process, handed Falmouth its first setback in six outings.

“Falmouth’s extremely well-coached,” said Wes Ridlon, Scarborough’s first-year coach. “Some of the kids here have relationships with Coach D’Andrea, but it was just another game for us to focus on and try and play our best baseball.”

Intrigue

D’Andrea led Scarborough to a surprising Class A championship in 2019 with Ridlon as his right-hand man.

Following that season, D’Andrea replaced Kevin Winship as Falmouth’s coach and Ridlon was hired as his replacement with the Red Storm, but neither man got to coach a single practice or game in 2020.

So far this spring, however, they’ve enjoyed the Midas touch with their new teams.

Scarborough started with a 14-1, six-inning win at Deering, then downed visiting Portland (10-1) in its last outing.

Falmouth, meanwhile, won its first five outings: 4-1 over visiting Westbrook, 4-0 at Bonny Eagle, 4-3 at Biddeford and a doubleheader sweep at Deering (13-0, in five-innings, and 10-2).

The teams last met in the 2019 Class A South semifinals, a 3-1 victory for the Red Storm, who also took the regular season meeting two years ago (8-3, in eight-innings).

Tuesday, on a 57-degree, overcast afternoon, Falmouth sought its first win over Scarborough since the 2018 season, but the Red Storm again had the answers.

Scarborough junior Thomas Donahue leads off the game and prepares to hit a double off Falmouth junior starting pitcher Bennett Smith.

The Red Storm brought the thunder to start the game, as junior leftfielder Thomas Donahue led off against Falmouth junior starting pitcher Bennett Smith and crushed a long drive over the head of senior leftfielder Gus Ford for a double to the base of the wall.

After senior shortstop T.J. Liponis flew out to right, moving Donahue to third base, Frink came up and quickly put his team on top to stay, driving a Smith curveball deep to left and well over the fence for a 2-0 lead.

“I was looking for a curveball,” Frink said. “I knew a curveball was coming. I put the bat on it and I knew it was gone. I think for our team, coming out hot was our main priority. We’re build on momentum. We like to get ahead.”

Scarborough junior Nic Frink prepares to touch home plate after hitting a first inning home run.

Senior centerfielder Peter O’Brien then hit the ball hard, but it was right at senior rightfielder Ben Keller for the second out and Smith ended the frame by striking out junior rightfielder Ben Seguin.

Townsend retired Falmouth in the bottom half, getting junior shortstop Brady Coyne to ground out to third, where junior Cade Sullivan made a nice play on a tough hop, and after allowing a single through the hole to senior centerfielder Sam Kidder, fanning Ford on a 3-2 pitch. After Kidder stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, Townsend got junior first baseman Patrick Gill to ground slowly to short and Liponis’ throw was just in time to retire Gill on a bang-bang play to preserve the 2-0 lead.

“It’s great to have an early lead,” said Townsend. “I went in there confident, even more with the lead.”

Smith settled down in the top of the second and set down the Red Storm in order, getting Townsend to ground out to second, Sullivan to bounce back to the mound and freshman first baseman Mason Porter to fly out to center.

In the bottom half, Townsend got Smith to line out to left, Keller to watch strike three and freshman catcher Evan Hendry to pop out foul to Frink.

Scarborough doubled its lead in the top of the third, with a little help.

Junior second baseman Conner Gower led off with a ground ball to third and reached on an error by senior Peter McCluskey. Townsend then crushed the ball to deep right-center, but he only managed a single as he stumbled going around first base. Gower took third on the play. Townsend then stole second and when Hendry’s throw got away, Gower came home and Townsend stayed at second. He’d promptly move up to third on a passed ball, then Liponis walked. That brought up Frink, who again made solid contact, but not with the barrel of the bat, and his fly ball stayed in the park, but his sacrifice fly scored Townsend for a 4-0 lead. Liponis then stole second, but when he tried to steal third as well, Hendry threw him out and O’Brien popped out to Smith to end the frame.

In the bottom half, Townsend got McCluskey to line out to center and freshman second baseman Brennan Rumpf to pop out to short on the first pitch, but Coyne beat out an infield hit to deep short, then Kidder threatened to get Falmouth back in the game by driving the ball deep to center, but O’Brien ranged back to the fence, leaped and made a spectacular catch to retire the side.

“I love that kid,” Townsend said, of O’Brien. “He’s always out there playing 100 percent, especially with catches like those.”

“Peter’s one of the best centerfielders, along with Sam Kidder, and that play proved it,” Ridlon said. “He tracked it well and came up big.”

“Peter made a great play in center,” D’Andrea said. “Not a lot of kids catch that ball.”

Seguin led off the top of the fourth with a bloop single to center, but Townsend grounded into a second-to-shortstop force out, Sullivan popped out to short and with Porter at the plate, Seguin tried to steal second, but was thrown out.

In the bottom of the inning, Falmouth finally broke through against Townsend.

Ford got things started with a single to left. Gill then cracked a double down the leftfield line, putting runners at second and third. Smith then grounded to short and after Liponis threw to first for the out, Ford broke for the plate and beat the throw for the host’s first run. Gill took third on the play and he would score when Keller grounded out to second. Junior Dom Tracy then pinch-hit and grounded out to third and the Red Storm took a 4-2 lead to the top of the fifth.

There, Smith got Porter to line out to center on the first pitch, Gower to watch strike three and Donahue grounded out to third, where McCluskey made a nice play on a short hop before throwing out the runner to retire the side.

Falmouth would put the tying runs in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn’t get them home.

After McCluskey watched strike three, Rumpf reached on a bloop single to center. Senior Sean Dilworth came on to run and after Coyne lined out deep to right, Kidder lined a sharp single back up the mound, putting runners at first and second. Ford would make good contact and drive the ball to leftfield, but Donahue was there to make the catch and end the threat.

Scarborough then pulled away in the top of the sixth.

Liponis got things started with a single to center and he smartly went to second when Frink fouled out to first. O’Brien singled to center to put runners at the corners and after O’Brien stole second, Seguin grounded softly to third, but McCluskey couldn’t handle the ball after charging it and Liponis scored with runners reaching first and second safely. Townsend then reached on an infield single and when the throw got away, O’Brien scored as well and runners were at the corners. Sullivan flew out to center, but Blanchette came up to hit for Porter and he reached out and drove the ball down the leftfield line, easily scoring both runners with a triple.

“That triple was a big hit by someone coming off the bench cold,” said Ridlon.

Gower bounced out to third, but the damage was done and the Red Storm had a commanding 8-2 advantage.

Falmouth got a run back in its half of the sixth, as after Gill struck out swinging, Smith reached on an error, Keller walked, Hendry singled to center to load the bases and McCluskey lined out to right to score Smith. Townsend prevented further damage with a strikeout and the lead was five.

In the top of the seventh, against senior reliever Ben Wilson, Townsend watched strike three, Liponis walked and Frink delivered one more blow, reaching out on an 0-2 pitch and crushing it to right for a double to score Liponis. Frink was thrown out trying to take third and O’Brien flew out to center to end the frame.

In the bottom half, Townsend then closed it out, although it didn’t come easily.

Coyne led off with a single to left and Kidder reached on an error by Sullivan at third. Ford then hit the ball hard, but it was right at Gower at second and Gower threw on to Porter to complete the double play. Gill kept hope alive with a single to left, but Townsend ended it by getting Smith to fly out to left and the Red Storm prevailed, 9-3.

“It was a big game and it was good to get the ‘W,'” said Frink. “I think we were looked at as one of the better teams at the start and at 3-0, we’ve done that.”

“We just played fundamental baseball today and got some timely hits,” Ridlon said. “We talk about throwing strikes, playing solid defense and getting timely hitting. It’s still early for us, but I think we’re starting to see the ball well.”

Scarborough’s offense featured two hits apiece from Donahue and Frink, two runs apiece from Donahue and Liponis, four RBI from Frink and two from Blanchette.

The Red Storm only stranded two runners.

Townsend improved to 2-0 on the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out five.

“I wanted to finish it more than ever,” said Townsend. “This is the one game that I wanted to go all the way. It’s great to have a good defense behind me. It felt to great to go out there and show what I can do since I didn’t get to pitch sophomore year. I just focused and adjusted what I needed to do. My four-seam and my curve ball worked most. I threw a few change-ups and two-seams.”

“Joe’s always gritty,” Frink said. “His pitches were working.”

“We’re all competitors and I could tell (Joe) wanted to finish it up,” Ridlon added. “He hit a rough patch in the middle of game and he refocused and overcame some adversity which was good to see.”

Falmouth got multiple hits from Coyne, Gill and Kidder. Ford, Gill and Smith scored the runs, while Keller, McCluskey and Smith had RBI.

Falmouth stranded eight runners.

Smith fell to 2-1 after allowing eight runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out two.

WIlson gave up a run on a hit in his inning of relief, walking one and striking out one.

“It was fun to have a nice, intense game,” D’Andrea said. “Scarborough’s a really good team. I have a lot of respect for those kids and the way they play baseball. They play with a little swagger. The majority of those kids are in my travel program and I know what they can do. It’s nice to see them playing with energy and playing hard and playing the right way. That will pay off for them down the road. They’ll be tough to beat.

“I’m very pleased with the way we competed today. We made some physical errors on the field and that will happen, but we put up nine hits and I’m happy with that. They didn’t make many mistakes and they capitalized on some of our mistakes. They drove the baseball today. That was the difference.”

Busy stretch

Falmouth is back in action Saturday when it welcomes Portland for two games. Falmouth remains home to take on Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

“These kids are still learning my system,” D’Andrea said. “It’s slowly starting to take shape. I’m very pleased with the effort. We’re figuring out our identity. I have no doubt that Wes wants to beat me the next time too, but I told him, ‘We’re going to get you next time.’ You never know.”

Scarborough welcomes Gorham Thursday, has a doubleheader at Westbrook Saturday and plays at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

“We have pitching and hitting, so I think we’ll be good,” said Frink.

“I’m so pleased with our season so far,” said Townsend. “It’s great to have a team like this. We expect big things.”

“Our best baseball is ahead of us,” Ridlon added. “We want to progress. We have some mistakes to clean up, but we’re getting there.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Comments are not available on this story.