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Forecaster Sports
Posted
Updated May 4
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Spring sports action returns in abundance- Northern edition

Everyone underway as excitement returns.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Yarmouth-Greely baseball, Falmouth-Thornton Academy, Yarmouth-Greely boys’ lacrosse and Falmouth-Windham, Falmouth-Portland, Falmouth-Greely, Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth-Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse game stories, see our website at pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/)

It’s been a long time in coming, nearly two years, but spring sports have made their triumphant return across Forecaster Country and early results have been largely positive.

Whether your passion is baseball, lacrosse, tennis or track, there’s been no shortage of impressive performances and that figures to continue in the weeks to come.

Here’s a look:

Baseball

Greely’s Brooks Williams takes one for the team, getting hit by a pitch from Yarmouth’s Will Dickinson with the bases loaded to score a run, during Saturday’s contest won the by Clippers, 12-8. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster.

Every local baseball team has enjoyed early success.

Falmouth, under new coach Mike D’Andrea, the most accomplished baseball coach in state history, won its first five outings: 4-1 over visiting Westbrook, 4-0 at Bonny Eagle, 4-3 at Biddeford and a doubleheader at Deering (13-0, in five-innings, and 10-2).

Against the Blue Blazes, Bennett Smith threw a three-hitter and Patrick Gill drove in two runs. In the win over the Scots, Dom Tracy threw a four-hit shutout and struck out six while Sam Kidder singled and doubled. Against the Tigers, Smith again earned the victory and Kidder had a double. In the first game against the Rams, Tracy threw a two-hit shutout, while Gus Ford drove in three runs and Kidder and Brady Coyne each scored three times. In the nightcap, Eli Cowperthwaite earned the victory and Kidder had a pair of hits and four RBI.

Falmouth hosted defending Class A champion (D’Andrea’s old team) in a key early season showdown Tuesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), welcomes Portland for a doubleheader Saturday and plays host to Thornton Academy next Tuesday.

In Class B South, reigning regional champion Freeport was also perfect at press time, defeating visiting Gray-New Gloucester (11-1 in six-innings), host Gray-New Gloucester (12-1 in six innings), host Mt. Ararat (2-1), host Cape Elizabeth (6-5) and visiting Cape Elizabeth in a twin-bill (2-1 and 2-1).

In the opener, Anthony Panciocco had a pair of hits, including the walk-off home run in the sixth inning that gave Freeport the mercy-rule victory. Julian Gideon added two hits and two RBI. Blaine Cockburn pitched four innings of no-hit ball with 11 strikeouts and two walks. In the second win over the Patriots, Panciocco had three more hits and drove in two runs, while Caden Benedict added two hits and scored four runs. In the first victory over the Capers, the Falcons rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to stay unbeaten. Panciocco had three hits, Cockburn had a pair of doubles, David Lamb finished with two hits and Elias Thomas sparked the comeback with a key RBI double. In the first game of the doubleheader, Panciocco had an RBI double while Cockburn struck out 10 during four hitless innings and Nathan Abbott got the victory with three innings of one-hit relief. In the nightcap, Cockburn had two hits and Colin Cronin had the walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.

Freeport was at Brunswick Tuesday and hosts Morse Friday.

Greely was 3-2 at press time. The Rangers opened with a 9-4 loss at Class A contender Oxford Hills, then defeated visiting Fryeburg Academy (1-0) and Yarmouth (2-0) before splitting a doubleheader at Yarmouth Saturday (losing, 12-8, and winning, 13-3). In the opener, Brooks Williams had three hits. Brady Nolin threw a no-hitter against the Raiders and the winning run scored in the bottom of the seventh. In the first game against the Clippers, Nolin took a no-hitter into the sixth and settled for a two-hitter while Max Cloutier finished with a pair of hits. In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Nolin and Ryan Kolben each doubled twice and Greely took a 6-0 lead after two innings, but the Rangers surrendered 10 runs in the bottom of the third and couldn’t rally.

“(Yarmouth) had some walks that gave us the lead and with a six-run lead, we had to make them swing the bat,” said longtime Greely coach Derek Soule. “I would have made pitching changes earlier, but we needed to save our pitching. We do not have our full pitching staff and I was trying to save pitching for our second game.”

In the nightcap, the Rangers bounced back thanks to a seven-run first inning, as Nolin earned his third victory (fanning seven) while Williams had three doubles and a pair of RBI and Cloutier doubled, singled twice, scored three times and drove in a run.

Greely hosted Morse Tuesday, welcomes Brunswick Saturday and plays at Mt. Ararat Tuesday of next week.

“We have to continue to develop pitching depth,” said Soule. “Some of the younger guys haven’t seen varsity pitching and have to get comfortable. As terms of our progress, I’m fine with it.”

Yarmouth opened with victories at Brunswick (4-3) and at home over Mt. Ararat (9-3). After falling at Greely (2-0), the Clippers split a doubleheader with the visiting Rangers, rallying for a 12-8 win and losing, 13-3.

In the opener, Jake Gautreau threw six shutout innings and allowed just three hits and Will Cox paced the offense with a pair of hits.

“The plan was to execute first pitch strikes to get ahead and stay ahead, it all came together out there today,” said Gautreau. “I adjusted during the game and started pitching to contact, then the boys in the field took care of the rest.”

Against the Eagles, Will Dickinson allowed just two hits and struck out seven.

“When you know in the back of your mind you have a defense behind you like we do, it allows you to go out there and try to let (the other team) get a bat on it,” Dickenson said. “I was just playing catch with my catcher (Max Brewer) and it all came together.”

Gautreau was the hard-luck loser in the first game against Greely. Saturday, in the first game of a doubleheader, Yarmouth dug a 6-0 hole to the Rangers, but in the bottom of the third, the Clippers produced a monumental 10-run rally, thanks to a pair of bases loaded walks, two-run singles from Gautreau and Matt Waeldner, a crushing bases loaded, three-run triple from Jack McGrath and an RBI single from Brewer. McGrath later added another RBI single and he earned the save, retiring Nolin representing the tying run. Blake Venden got the win in relief.

“Down six, it was tough, but I remember in the dugout, we talked about hanging as many (runs) as we wanted and we did that,” said McGrath. “Scoring 10 runs got the guys pretty fired up and the momentum carried us on from there. I’m proud of the guys.”

“We’ve been trying to build this thing and maintain a certain way of playing baseball at Yarmouth High School and that (first game) was the definition of what we are,” said veteran Yarmouth coach Marc Halsted.

In the nightcap, the Clippers got three more hits, including two doubles, from McGrath, who finished the doubleheader with six hits in six at-bats (he also drew a walk). Gautreau added a double, but the Clippers were doomed by seven errors.

Monday, Yarmouth blanked host Morse, 5-0, to improve to 4-2, as Gautreau threw a five-hitter and struck out 13 and Jack McCosh and Matt Robichaud each had a pair o hits.

The Clippers go to Wells Thursday and host Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

“I think we can play with any team in the state,” McGrath said. “We have a lot of talent. I think we’re going to keep improving. We still haven’t hit our stride yet.”

The Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op squad won three of its four contests, sweeping visiting Old Orchard Beach in a doubleheader (10-0 in six-innings and 10-0 in five-innings) and after losing at OOB (10-3), downing host Gray-New Gloucester (12-0 in five-innings).

In the doubleheader sweep, Payton Smith threw a three-hitter in the first game and Luke Josephson hurled a two-hitter in the nightcap and also paced the offense with four hits. Derek Wolverton and Liam Slocumb added three hits apiece in the second game. Against the Patriots, Josephson threw a three-hit shutout, fanning 13. Cal Davies had three hits and scored twice.

Waynflete/NYA returns to action Wednesday at Sacopee Valley. After hosting the Hawks in a doubleheader Saturday, Waynflete/NYA welcomes Berwick Academy Tuesday of next week.

Softball

Freeport’s Ava Gervais slides home during a season-opening loss at Mt. Ararat. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The softball story has been highlighted by return to varsity play of NYA and the Panthers’ early success.

NYA, which last fielded a stand-alone varsity team in 2011, started with a pair of victories over Old Orchard Beach, 12-0, in five-innings, at home and 15-10 in Old Orchard Beach. In the opener, the Panthers scored nine times in the first inning and never looked back. Haley Hagerty pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks and hit a two-run single, Carly Sanzo drove in two runs with a triple and a double and Acadia Gee added three singles and two RBI. In the second victory, Eliza Chace and Jazzy Huntsman each produced four hits and scored three runs each. Huntsman had a pair of doubles, three RBI and stole four bases. Lauren Powers hit a home run.

The Panthers aren’t scheduled to return to action until May 14 at home versus Richmond.

Falmouth’s softball team snapped a 21-game skid and earned its first victory since May 25, 2016 Monday when it defeated host Deering, 17-6. The Yachtsmen had opened with losses at Windham (9-0), Bonny Eagle (11-5) and Biddeford (18-3, in five-innings) and at home to Westbrook (6-1). In the win, Cam Birks earned the victory, striking out seven, while Miranda Birks drove in four runs and Maddie McDowell hit a home run.

Falmouth hosts three-time reigning Class A champion Scarborough Wednesday and welcomes Portland for a doubleheader Saturday.

Greely started with losses at Oxford Hills (17-0, in five-innings) and at home to Fryeburg Academy (7-0), then the Rangers out-slugged Yarmouth in a pair of games, 16-15 at home and 23-14 at the Clippers. In the first victory, Greely scored four times in the bottom of the seventh to pull it out. Lily Rawnsley had three hits and Lindsay Eisenhart added two hits. In the second game, Devin Gifford had four RBI.

The Rangers host Morse Wednesday and visit Mt. Ararat Tuesday of next week.

Yarmouth opened with a 16-15 loss at Greely, a 23-14 home loss to the Rangers and Monday, fell to 0-3 after a 22-0 (five-inning) loss at Morse. In the first game against Greely, Emma Butsch had two hits and three RBI. In the second game, Cat Jordin had three RBI. The Clippers were no-hit at the Shipbuilders.

Yarmouth seeks to get in the win column when it goes to Wells Thursday and hosts Mt. Ararat Monday and Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

Freeport lost its first six games: 9-3 at Mt. Ararat, 15-1 (in five-innings) at home to Gray-New Gloucester, 16-2 (in five-innings) at Gray-New Gloucester, 15-0 at Cape Elizabeth and 26-0 (in five-innings) and 13-2 at home to the Capers in a doubleheader. Rosie Panenka had two hits, including a home run, in the second loss to the Patriots.

The Falcons were at Brunswick Tuesday and host Morse Friday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Falmouth boys’ lacrosse team celebrates after beating Thornton Academy, 9-8, last week. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team finally got a chance last week to earn a measure of revenge against Thornton Academy, the team which edged it in an overtime classic in the 2019 Class A state final (and beat Falmouth in 2018 as well). First, Falmouth downed visiting Kennebunk (10-6) and Windham (10-7). In the win over the Rams, Kaz Berry had four goals and Jonah Eng added three. Against the Eagles, Satchel Kaplan had three goals and an assist, Eng added two goals and two assists and Wyatt Kerr had two goals. In the win over the Golden Trojans, Falmouth erased an early three-goal deficit and prevailed behind four goals from Kerr and five assists from Kaplan. Falmouth’s defense forced a turnover just before the horn, scooped up by Jake Rand, and the celebration began.

“I heard the horn and I felt so happy and proud,” Rand said. “Not just winning it for us, but for last year’s team that didn’t even get to play and the team from two years ago. I wasn’t with the team two years ago, but seeing the looks on their faces and seeing how we prepared this week, it’s really fun to go out and get this win.”

“It feels great because I’ve had that (runner-up) medal in my bedroom for two years,” Kerr said. “This year’s team is completely different. It feels great to win with this group. We’ve really come together.”

“We talked all week about no big games, just the next game,” added Falmouth coach Dave Barton. “We have a handful of guys left over from the 2019 team. As a competitor, you chomp at the bit to play a good team like this, but we talked about this being the only game we could win today.”

Falmouth hosted Scarborough Tuesday, welcomes South Portland Saturday and has a rematch at Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

“We’ve got a long way to go and the guys know that,” Barton said. “It’s stick-work. That will come with time. Execution, clearing the ball more consistently and patience.”

Reigning Class B champion Yarmouth began by holding off host Greely, 8-5. After an 18-3 loss at Cape Elizabeth, the Clippers improved to 2-1 Friday by holding off host NYA, 8-7. Peter Psyhogeos had four goals in the opener, which was a rematch of the 2019 Class B state final, won by Yarmouth.

“It’s great to be back out here,” Psyhogeos said. “I haven’t really played since my freshman year. It’s great to get back on a lacrosse field and play Greely. We knew Greely would come out strong because of (the 2019 state game).”

“This is everything for the boys to play a regular season opener against a big rival,” said Yarmouth first-year coach Jon Miller. “I didn’t have to do much to fire them up. It’s nice to knock the rust off. I’m proud of the boys. They came out and played and executed a lot of difficult things after just two weeks of practice.”

Killian Marsh had two goals in the loss to the Capers and in the victory over the Panthers, Marsh, Psyhogeos, Steven Fulton and Max Then scored two goals apiece.

The Clippers hosted Brunswick Tuesday, welcome Greely Thursday, play host to Waynflete Saturday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and go to Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Greely started with losses to visiting Yarmouth (8-5) and host Cape Elizabeth (17-2). D.J. Kenney scored twice against the Clippers.

“The guys were super-excited,” said Greely coach Michael Storey. “It’s been a long two years. A lot of these guys haven’t played since middle school and it’s what you’d expect. Mental lapses on our end were the difference.”

The Rangers look to get in the win column Wednesday when they host Freeport. After playing at Yarmouth Thursday, Greely hosts NYA Saturday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports for game story) and goes to Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

“We’ll work on building this day by day,” Storey said. “I have good athletes who work hard. We want to improve every time we step on the field and we’ll worry about where we are June 1st. Hopefully, by the end of the season, we’ll be where we want to be.”

Reigning Class C champion NYA started by shutting out visiting Fryeburg Academy (14-0) and host Traip Academy (16-0), then dropped an 8-7 home decision to Yarmouth before improving to 3-1 Monday with a 14-2 victory at St. Dom’s. Against the Raiders, Brayden Warde scored five goals. Warde and Chas Rohde each scored twice in the loss. Against the Saints, Chris Hamblett scored five times, while Warde added four goals.

The Panthers host Mt. Ararat Wednesday and go to Greely Saturday.

Freeport started with a 17-4 home loss to York. The Falcons were at Waynflete Tuesday, go to Greely Wednesday, host Maranacook Friday, visit Cape Elizabeth Saturday and are home versus Yarmouth Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ lacrosse

Greely freshman Kylie Crocker tries to outrun Falmouth senior Abby Blakeman (8) and junior Molly Scribner during the Yachtsmen’s 14-4 victory Monday. Michael Hoffer / For The Forecaster

On the girls’ side, Falmouth, the two-time reigning Class A champion, is a powerhouse yet again. Falmouth started by beating visiting Gorham (14-3), then, after an 11-9 loss at Windham, it defeated host Portland (17-2) and Massabesic (12-6) and Monday, improved to 4-1 with a 14-4 home victory over Greely.

Eva Clement had six goals against the Rams. In the loss, Sloane Ginevan had five goals. Against the Bulldogs, Ginevan had four goals and Clement scored four times and also won 17 of 20 draws. Falmouth scored six goals in a two-minute stretch to break it open.

“Today brings our morale up for sure,” Clement said. “It’s amazing to be back playing. I’m so grateful every practice and game to be back out on the field.”

“Momentum is so powerful in this game,” said Falmouth coach Ashley Pullen. “Once a few goals fall, it’s amazing to see what it can do for a team’s confidence.”

In the win over the Mustangs, Ginevan and Lucy Taylor both scored three times. Against the Rangers, Ginevan scored five goals, all in the first half, as Falmouth opened up an 11-1 halftime lead, and Clement again dazzled with three goals, three assists, 10 ground balls and 15 draw victories.

“Eva is amazing on the draw circle,” Ginevan said. “She’s the best midfield partner I could ask for. I look up to her. Her talent is unmatched.”

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Pullen. “When a few goals fall, you can get energy and excitement and we were able to build on that today.”

Falmouth looks to keep its streak going Friday when Thornton Academy pays a visit. Next Wednesday, Falmouth hosts two-time reigning Class B champion Cape Elizabeth.

“We really can’t rest,” Ginevan said. “Every practice, every game we have to keep working hard and keep our heads up. Our goal is to win the state championship. Every single day we’ll chip in a little more and do something that will help that.”

Freeport started with a 13-8 home win over Lake Region back on April 15 and as of press time, hadn’t played again. In that game, Meredith Feller had four goals and Kate Tracy added three. The Falcons went to Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, visit Maranacook Saturday and play at Lake Region Monday.

NYA started with a 15-6 home loss to Greely, then defeated visiting St. Dom’s (15-9) and host Gardiner (14-6). Vy Tran scored three times in the setback. Against the Saints, Emma Sharpe scored four goals while Tran and Lily Weinrich added three apiece. In the win over the Tigers, Sharpe scored six times and Weinrich added five goals, while goalie Ally White stopped 13 shots.

The Panthers play at Mt. Ararat Wednesday, visit Lake Region Saturday and host Wells Monday.

Yarmouth started with three tough road tests and passed two of them, sandwiching victories at Cape Elizabeth (9-3) and Waynflete (8-5) around a 10-8 setback at Kennebunk.

Against the Capers, Annie Lowenstein paced a balanced offense with three goals and goalie Juliet Meas stopped 11 shots.

“I have an amazing defense in front of me to help me along,” Meas said. “We’ve practiced really hard and it showed in this game. We all saw the ball well and it was a good game overall.”

“Last year was so tough, but we stayed close-knit and it strengthened us,” said Lowenstein. “We always have a team word and this year, it’s ‘Ignite.’ We’ve been building this fire for two seasons. We’ve built it up and now we’re igniting that fire.”

“Getting this first win is huge,” added longtime Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “We just wanted to get past today. Cape’s always a good team and they rise to us every single time. To get this first game out of the way, we can move on and focus.”

The Clippers had the powerhouse Rams on the ropes, twice leading by three goals in the second half, but Yarmouth won just two of 20 draws and fell just short despite three goals from freshman Aine Powers.

“There’s nothing to hang our heads about,” said Holt. “I was super-impressed with how my team played. It was fun to play a game like that.

The Clippers trailed at the Flyers, 4-3, at halftime and were tied midway through the second half before finally pulling it out behind three goals from Katelyn D’Appolonia and a pair from Powers.

Yarmouth plays its home opener Wednesday versus Greely (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and goes to Massabesic Monday.

“We’re feeling so good about just being able to play and being together,” Holt said. “The girls are working hard and I can’t ask for anything more.”

Greely cruised past host NYA (15-6) and visiting Gray-New Gloucester (21-2) to start its season, then fell to 2-1 Monday with a 14-4 loss at Falmouth. Against the Panthers, Elsa Dean-Muncie scored six goals and Sam Goldburg added four. In the win over the Patriots, Dean-Muncie had six goals, Goldburg five and Charlotte Taylor four. In the loss, the Rangers fell behind, 11-1, at halftime and couldn’t recover.

“We’re very young with just five returning players,” said Greely coach Becca Koelker. “Falmouth’s so strong and our nerves got to us. I was proud of the girls and their fight in the second half, but we have to show that from the beginning.”

The Rangers are at Yarmouth Wednesday and go to Brunswick Saturday.

“We just talked about turning the page, coming out strong in practice and learning from our mistakes and trying to get better every day,” said Koelker.

Tennis

Falmouth’s boys’ tennis team, the three-time reigning Class A champion, started the season with a 3-2 loss at Cheverus, its first regular season setback since 2015, then defeated Scarborough (4-1) and Windham (3-2).

Falmouth’s girls, whose 187-match streak was snapped by Scarborough in the 2019 Class A South Final, are starting a new streak after opening with wins over Cheverus (5-0), Scarborough (3-2) and Windham (5-0).

Freeport’s boys enjoyed 4-1 wins over Mt. Ararat and Cape Elizabeth to start the year, then lost, 4-1, Monday to Waynflete, the 12-time Class C champion. The Falcons host Yarmouth Wednesday.

Freeport’s girls began with victories over NYA (5-0) and Mt. Ararat (3-1), then lost to Cape Elizabeth (5-0) and Waynflete (3-2).

The Greely boys started with a pair of 5-0 wins over Fryeburg Academy, then lost to reigning Class B champion Yarmouth (3-2) and Waynflete (4-1).

Greely’s girls were 3-0 at press time after wins over Fryeburg Academy (5-0), Yarmouth (3-2) and NYA (5-0).

NYA’s boys lost to Brunswick (4-1) and downed Fryeburg Academy (4-0) to start their season.

NYA’s girls began with 5-0 losses to Freeport and Greely.

Yarmouth’s boys started their title defense with 5-0 wins over Lewiston and Morse, then edged Greely, 3-2.

Yarmouth’s girls lost to Lewiston (3-2) and Greely (3-2) and beat Morse (4-1) and St. Dom’s (5-0) in the early going.

Outdoor track

The outdoor track season began last week as Falmouth’s boys and girls won a meet over Portland.

Greely hosted NYA and Cape Elizabeth. In the girls’ meet, the Rangers were first and the Panthers third. In the boys’ competition, Greely was runner-up to the Capers, while NYA came in third.

Yarmouth hosted Freeport, Gray-New Gloucester and St. Dom’s. The Falcons won the girls’ meet, with the Clippers coming in third. In the boys’ competition, won by the Panthers, Yarmouth finished runner-up and Freeport was third.

Times Record staff writer Eli Canfield contributed to this story.

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

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