SCARBOROUGH — Scarborough senior Zak Sanders arrived at the ball field Saturday knowing he was going to pitch in the Class A South semifinal against Marshwood. He just didn’t know when or how much.

“We knew me and (Ryan) Shugars were pitching,” Sanders said. “We just didn’t know who was going first. I was ready to go.”

Shugars got the start for the Red Storm, but when he ran into trouble in the second inning, Sanders came in and was strong, pitching the final six innings to help Scarborough take a 5-2 win.

Top-seeded Scarborough (17-1) will face No. 2 Falmouth (15-3) on Tuesday in the regional final at the University of Southern Maine. No. 4 Marshwood ends the season at 12-6.

After Shugars gave up a double and a walk to start the top of the second, Scarborough Coach Wes Ridlon didn’t hesitate, calling Sanders in from right field.

“It’s playoffs. We knew we’d have to use two guys today. Zak throws a lot of strikes. He finished strong for us,” Ridlon said. “Ryan pitched great the first inning, and pitched well the second inning. It’s just a matter of, in the playoffs, you have a short leash.”


Sanders got out of that jam, and after giving up a two-run double to Riley Parnham in the third inning, he settled in and dominated. He made a strong defensive play to end the third, snagging Silas Reimels’ line drive up the middle and throwing out Parnham at second base for a double play.

“That’s like the scariest thing. Luckily it hit my glove right in my follow through,” said Sanders, who also drove in a pair of runs. “I just went back to the dugout and relaxed, and I started to relax and hit my spots, and there’s where it turned over for me. I hit the spots I wanted to, and (executed) the off-speed pitch.”

Ridlon said it was obvious Sanders got better as the game went along.

“He gets stronger. At the end of the day, he’s a competitor, and you can’t measure that on the radar gun. It’s all heart with him,” he said.

Sanders struck out eight and retired 13 of the last 14 Marshwood hitters. The only player to reach base after the third inning was Brady Isabelle, who had a high popup land just in front of the plate between three converging Scarborough defenders for a single to lead off the seventh inning.

“Sanders is just an unbelievable pitcher. He hit his spots in the zone. He throws the breaking ball where and when he wants to,” said Marshwood Coach Eric Wells. “We knew when he was going to come in, it was going to be a tough challenge for us to score. We got a couple off of him, but he worked out of damage.”


Four Marshwood errors contributed to three unearned runs for the Red Storm. Tyler Archambault led off the bottom of the first by reaching on an error, took second base on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on a Sanders double. Sanders scored on Matt Fallona’s groundout to short for a 2-0 lead.

Sanders singled in the second to drive home Finn Coburn. After Marshwood cut the margin to 3-2, Scarborough added another unearned run in the fifth inning when Patrick McCue reached on an error and scored on a throwing error.

Mason Porter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to plate Coburn with Scarborough’s final run.

“We beat ourselves. We made errors. They’re a really good baseball team that puts a lot of balls in play. That’s the reason they have so many wins. They put pressure on you. We didn’t make the plays,” Walls said.

Charlie Hudson started and went the distance for Marshwood.

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