SOUTH PORTLAND — Get the ball, throw strikes and send your team back to the dugout.

That’s the philosophy of South Portland junior pitching ace Andrew Heffernan and it has served him and the defending Class A state champion Red Riots very well this season.

Heffernan’s arm and one big inning led South Portland to a critical 7-0 win over red-hot Falmouth in a contest between two of the top three teams in the Class A South Heal point standings Tuesday afternoon at Wainwright Sports Complex.

“I want to throw a shutout every game I pitch,” said Heffernan, who has yet to surrender an earned run in five starts this season and has thrown four straight shutouts. “Putting up zeroes never gets old.”

The Red Riots (10-2) scored the only run they’d need off Falmouth ace Eli Cowperthwaite in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Johnny Poole walked, stole second and, after taking third when Heffernan beat out an infield single, scored on a sacrifice fly to deep center field by catcher Richie Gilboy.

After Cowperthwaite and Heffernan went strikeout for strikeout for a couple innings, South Portland broke the game open in the fourth.


Gilboy and Nolan Hobbs got things started with singles. One out later, after Cowperthwaite threw a wild pitch to move the runners up, center fielder Alex Domingos lined a single to center to score two.

“Having runners on base, you can’t leave them and you have to take advantage,” said Domingos. “I knew I had to step up and make it happen.”

Kenny Carlisle drove in another run with an infield single. Then, after the Navigators’ defense failed them, South Portland tacked on three more against Cowperthwaite and reliever Dom Tracy to stretch the lead to 7-0.

“Give (South Portland) credit,” said Falmouth Coach Mike D”Andrea. “They strung together some hits that inning, too. They’re defending state champions and they played like it.”

Heffernan did the rest, allowing single hits in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Red Riots turned a pair of double plays, including one to end it, when Brennan Rumpf hit a little pop up back to the mound and Heffernan threw to first for the final out.

“I think we took advantage of a few mistakes and I don’t think they played their cleanest game by any means, but good teams take advantage and I’m really happy with how our kids played against a good team,” said South Portland Coach Mike Owens.


Heffernan allowed four hits and one walk and struck out six.

“I love working with tempo,” said Heffernan. “It’s really just all it is. I was mainly throwing my slider and fastball and mixing in the cutter. I didn’t have to go to my fourth and fifth pitches a whole lot.”

“Andrew just commands both sides of the plate and throws strikes,” Owens added.

The Navigators fell to 12-2 and had their seven-game win streak snapped.

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