FALMOUTH—Falmouth’s baseball team can beat you in a lot of different ways.

Thursday afternoon at Croker Memorial Field, the Navigators used their legs to defeat visiting Cheverus.

For yet another victory.

After the Stags scored an unearned run off Falmouth senior starter Eli Cowperthwaite in the top of the first, Falmouth answered with four in the bottom half to go ahead for good.

Cheverus cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the third, but again, the Navigators countered with a four-spot, batting around while taking extra base after extra base.

With Cowperthwaite holding the Stags at bay, Falmouth scored twice more in the fourth, then added a run in the sixth and went on to an 11-3 victory.


Not only did the Navigators steal 13 bases, they won their 13th consecutive contest and improved to 13-1 on the season, dropping Cheverus to 8-6 in the process.

“What I was impressed with was that we answered,” said Falmouth coach Mike D’Andrea. “They scored, then we scored. It wasn’t our best baseball today, but we strive to be solid defensively and a sign of a good team is when you’re not playing well, you still find a way to win and we did that, so I’m happy.”

Lucky number 13

Falmouth struggled in its opener, falling at Scarborough, 6-4, but the Navigators hadn’t stumbled since, winning at reigning Class A champion Thornton Academy (7-3), at Bonny Eagle (12-3), at Noble (5-1), at home over South Portland (2-1), Kennebunk (7-2) and Portland (10-0, in six-innings), at Windham (6-2), at home over Westbrook (10-3), at Biddeford (6-0) and Sanford (1-0) and at home over Massabesic (5-3) and Marshwood (2-1).

Cheverus, meanwhile, opened with a 9-2 win at Massabesic and after getting blanked at Windham (3-0), shut out visiting Kennebunk (9-0), downed host Bonny Eagle (4-1) and won at home over Portland (6-1) and Westbrook (6-3) before making it five straight victories at Sanford, 4-3. The Stags then lost at home to South Portland in six-innings (12-0), at Noble (6-3) and at Scarborough in eight-innings (5-4), in a game which saw them lead 4-0 with two outs and no one on in the seventh inning. Cheverus righted the ship with wins over visiting Gorham (11-7) and host Deering (8-1), but Tuesday, the Stags let a 3-0 seventh inning lead slip away in a 6-3 home loss to Thornton Academy.

Last year, Falmouth beat Cheverus in Portland, 6-1.


Thursday, the Navigators got contributions from everyone and rolled to a decisive triumph.

Falmouth senior Eli Cowperthwaite delivers to Cheverus junior Brian Connolly to start Thursday’s contest, won by the Navigators, 11-3. Hoffer photos.

Junior designated hitter Brian Connolly led off against Cowperthwaite and hit a line drive to right. Senior Peyton Mitchell got to the ball, but couldn’t handle it and the error put Connolly at second. Senior shortstop Matt Connor then lined the ball to right as well and it fell along the line for a single, easily scoring Connolly for a quick lead. Senior centerfielder Noah Kennedy-Jensen then grounded back to the mound and Cowperthwaite threw to junior second baseman Brennan Rumpf for one out, but Rumpf’s throw to first was wild and Kennedy-Jensen moved to second. Cowperthwaite was able to avoid further damage by fanning sophomore leftfielder Dan Kelly on a 3-2 off-speed pitch before getting junior first baseman Lucas Soutuyo to ground to second to keep the score 1-0.

Falmouth then rose off the deck with four runs in the bottom half against Cheverus senior starter Rilan Smith.

Cheverus senior starter Rilan Smith delivers to Falmouth senior Peyton Mitchell.

Mitchell struck out on a 3-2 pitch leading off, but strike three got away and he safely took first. Smith then fanned sophomore shortstop Josh Polchies on an off-speed pitch, but after Mitchell stole second, junior catcher Ethan Hendry reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners. Hendry immediately stole second, then, with freshman first baseman Jacoby Porter at the plate, a passed ball scored Mitchell to tie the game and Hendry took third on the play. Porter then blooped a single down the leftfield line to easily score Hendry and just like that, the Navigators were on top for good.

Sophomore designated hitter Tyler Simmons followed with a single to left, but Rumpf grounded out to third where senior Daxon Austerman stepped on the bag for the second out, but his throw across to complete the double play was wild, putting runners at the corners. After Rumpf stole second, senior third baseman Mitch Ham beat out an infield single and both Simmons and Rumpf came home to make it 4-1. Ham then stole second and third, but junior leftfielder Tony Severino struck out for the third out.

Cowperthwaite settled in and retired the Stags in order in the top of the second, getting sophomore rightfielder Liam Backman to chase strike three, junior second baseman Chris Murphy to line out to left on the first pitch, then fanning Austerman.


Kelly came on to pitch in the bottom half and set the Navigators down 1-2-3, as Cowperthwaite fouled out behind the plate to junior catcher Max Cassidy, Mitchell bounced out to second, then Polchies did the same.

Cheverus made things interesting in the top of the third, as after Smith grounded out back to the mound on the first pitch, Connolly again went the other way and belted a triple to right. Connor drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, then Kennedy-Jensen singled off the glove of Porter at first to score Connolly and put runners at the corners. With Kelly at the plate, the runners took off and Kennedy-Jensen stayed alive long enough for Connor to dash home before he was thrown out. Kelly then watched strike three, but the Stags had cut the deficit to 4-3.

Falmouth then broke the game open in the bottom half, stealing seven bases along the way.

Hendry got things started by drawing a four-pitch walk. Hendry then stole second and after Porter walked, the tandem pulled off a double steal. Simmons grounded out to short, but on the play, Hendry scored and Porter took third. Rumpf then lined out to center and Porter came home to make it 6-3. The Navigators weren’t done, however, as Ham was hit by a pitch, then stole second and third before coming home when Severino singled past third. Severino stole second as well and after Cowperthwaite walked on four pitches, the runners moved up on a passed ball and Severino came home when Mitchell beat out an infield single to short, putting runners at the corners. Mitchell stole second, but Polchies lined to center for the third out, keeping the score 8-3.

“We knew we could go on any pitch,” Hendry said. “We didn’t really get held on. It felt good to run like that.”

Cheverus went quietly in the top of the fourth, as Soutuyo grounded out to second, Backman struck out swinging and Murphy watched strike three.


Falmouth got back to its run scoring ways in the bottom half, tacking on two more.

Falmouth sophomore Tyler Simmons lines a base hit.

Again, Hendry led off with a four-pitch walk and he stole second before moving to third on a wild pitch. Porter then lined out to center and the sacrifice fly scored Hendry. Simmons lined a single over the shortstop, then sophomore Ethan Jason came on to run. He moved to second on a wild pitch, then came home when Rumpf lined a double to right-center. Rumpf was picked off second, but Ham walked and took second on a wild pitch before Severino popped out foul to first, keeping the score 10-3.

Cowperthwaite was unhittable in the top of the fifth, getting ahead of sophomore pinch-hitter Matt Baker 0-2, throwing three straight balls, then striking him out, fanning Smith, then striking out Connolly as well on a 3-2 off-speed pitch.

Backman came on to pitch for the Stags in the bottom half and he got Cowperthwaite to ground out to short, sophomore Isaac Laliberte, who had come on to play rightfield, to ground back to the mound, then induced Polchies to pop out foul to Cassidy behind the plate to retire the side.

Cowperthwaite began the sixth by getting Connor to ground out to second and Kennedy-Jensen to watch strike three, but on a 3-2 pitch, he walked sophomore Reis Stamaris to snap a string of nine straight batters set down. Cowperthwaite then ended the frame, and his outing on the mound, by getting Soutuyo to ground out to second.

Falmouth added one more run in the bottom half, as Hendry drew another walk, took second on a Porter single, then scored when Simmons lined a single to left-center.


“I was just sitting back, looking for a pitch I could hit and tried to drive it,” said Simmons.

The Navigators couldn’t end the game via the 10-run mercy rule, however, as sophomore Thomas Healey popped out foul to the catcher on the first pitch he saw, Ham lined out to left and Severino lined out to second.

Freshman Milo Matson came on to close it out in the top of the seventh and after catching senior pinch-hitter Colin Hines looking at strike three, he got junior Evan Roy to fly out to right and freshman Alex Royle popped out foul to first to bring the curtain down on the Navigators’ 11-3 victory.

“We’ve had higher intensity practices and we’re playing to our full potential,” Simmons said. “Winning these games gives us confidence. We have to keep the intensity high and keep hitting. Our whole order is hitting right now and we have to keep that going. That’s been helpful.”

“(Cheverus has had) some injuries they’re dealing with and we know that,” D’Andrea said. “They tried to do things to keep us from running, but that’s what we had to do today. That team’s better than the score today.”

Simmons paced the offense with three hits, while Porter added a pair.


Hendry scored four times, while Ham, Jason, Mitchell, Porter, Rumpf and Simmons all touched home once.

Ham, Porter, Rumpf and Simmons all drove in two runs, while Mitchell and Severino had one RBI apiece.

Ham and Hendry both stole four bases, while Mitchell had two steals and Porter, Rumpf and Severino each finished with one.

Falmouth left six runners on base.

Cowperthwaite earned the victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out 10.

“Early on, (Eli) left a few balls out over the plate, but we talked about his approach and how we’d approach the hitters, then he settled in and struck some guys out,” Hendry said.


Matson worked a perfect bottom of the seventh.


Cheverus got two runs from Connolly and another from Connor.

Connor and Kennedy-Jensen each drove in a run.

The Stags left two runners on base.

Smith took the loss, giving up four runs (just one earned) on four hits in his inning of work. He struck out three.


Kelly gave up six runs (five earned) on four hits in three innings of relief.

Backman mopped up by giving up one run on two hits in two innings.

“I thought we competed well, so I’m happy with that, against a good team,” said Cheverus coach Tony DiBiase. “I think we were still feeling the effects of Tuesday’s (loss to TA) and Falmouth’s very good. We have two pitchers hurt. Brian can’t pitch right now and (senior) Jacob Lucier is out too. He’s our catcher as well and he’s been out for awhile. We’re down to our fourth and fifth pitchers at this point. We’re down to young kids.”

It’s almost June

Cheverus (now ranked eighth in the Class A South Heal Points standings) closes with two home games, Saturday versus Biddeford and Tuesday of next week against Marshwood.

“We just have to move on to Saturday,” DiBiase said. “We have to figure out what we can do with our pitching depth. There’s not a dominant team in the league this year, so  we know we can compete.”


Falmouth (first in Class A South) goes to Gorham Tuesday, then closes at Deering the following day.

“There’s pressure being expected to win, but we go into every game with confidence, knowing we can win,” said Hendry. “We believe in ourselves and know we can come back. Hopefully, everyone stays healthy. If we do that, we can go really far.”

“I’m pleased with how we’re moving along at 13 in a row, but I’m very aware we could run into the wrong team on the wrong day, the wrong inning, the wrong call,” D’Andrea said. “I’ve been coaching awhile and I’ve seen more parity this year than ever. We’re trying to stay mentally tough. If we do, we’ll be a tough team to beat. Our pitching has been really, really efficient and that’s the difference in my mind. We have a strong defensive team and our catcher is special, nothing gets by him. We have a very solid lineup.

“We’re getting there. We’ve talked about swagger, confidence. How you run on the field, how you run off the field, how you walk to your car, how you wrap a game up. We have some seniors, but we have some young players too. It’s been fun and we’re really looking forward to the playoffs. I like what we can do and the potential we have as a team.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.