SOUTH BERWICK — Gus Alexander said he and his Marshwood High baseball teammates have played in so many big games that “we don’t consider any game a big game anymore.”

So let’s call Alexander’s 4-2 complete-game win Friday against Falmouth memorable.

In his first varsity start, the 5-foot-5 right-hander shut down Class A South’s most potent offense, limiting the Navigators to eight hits (seven singles) while striking out seven as he more than matched Falmouth’s hard-throwing ace, Brennan Rumpf.

Marshwood, ranked No. 3 in the Varsity Maine poll, improved to 9-2 a day after being shut out by Thornton Academy. Falmouth, the top team in the VM poll with seven of eight first-place votes, is now 9-1.

Here are five takeaways from the Hawks’ win.



Alexander, a junior, has been a key bullpen contributor for Marshwood. Charlie Hudson had pitched deep in Thursday’s loss, meaning Alexander was fresh.

“Gus had the ball today. He’s a strike thrower. Mixes speeds all the time. He’s not the biggest guy out there, but he has a massive heart and we knew he was going to give us a chance to win,” said Marshwood Coach Eric Wells.

Alexander’s first six pitches were strikes, resulting in two strikeouts.

“Definitely getting those first two strikeouts really helped my confidence and let me settle in because I definitely was a little nervous, I will admit, prior to the game,” Alexander said.

Alexander’s sharp-breaking curve and command of the strike zone had Falmouth hitters out in front all game.

“Lack of approach on our end,” said Falmouth Coach Mike D’Andrea. “These guys have been driving the ball all season and hitting for power, and all of a sudden they’re taking those big swings and the ball’s not at the plate yet. I’m not taking anything away from that pitcher. He kept us off balance and he threw strikes and he competed really well on the mound.”



Marshwood senior Noah Fitzgerald, a Varsity Maine All-State pitcher, suffered a broken thumb in practice after the third game of the season. The left-hander threw 54 2/3 innings last season and was also an all-SMAA pick as an outfielder.

“Everybody’s had to step up,” Wells said. “Obviously, he hurts being out and everybody hurts for him, but as far as what I’ve seen as a team, we’re trying to find ourselves, and today was a giant step forward.”


While Falmouth made two critical errors that contributed to three Marshwood runs, the Hawks did not make an error. Third baseman Sam Gennaro started a 5-4-3 double play in the seventh inning with a tough shoestring stop on a hard-hit ball by Ethan Hendry.

“The defense was amazing. I was totally pumped up after that,” Alexander said.



Ronan Casey’s sacrifice bunt set up a two-run rally in the fifth that gave Marshwood a 3-2 lead. In the sixth, after Gennaro led off the inning by reaching on a Falmouth infield error, Michael Sbrizza sacrificed Gennaro to second, then Casey laid down a perfect bunt that died in the grass between Hendry, the catcher, and Rumpf. Liam Tiernan followed with his third single of the day to score Gennaro, ending Rumpf’s pitching outing after 5 1/3 innings.

“We wanted to tire him out. The more pitches we can see, the more we can time him up,” Tiernan said.


D’Andrea said he thinks of the 16 regular-season games as the preseason. It’s the playoffs that matter, when one loss ends the season. He also said his Rumpf will bounce back, “and I want to give all the credit to Marshwood. That team competed really well today. They had energy. They made plays. They were better than us today.”



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