Hawks eye Windham in Western Class A final
Marswood careful not to overlook Eagles
By JOHN DOYLE
Foster’s Daily Democrat
June 17, 2014 2:00 AM
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — The Marshwood High School baseball team was a 10-0 winner over Windham during the regular season — but don’t think for a minute it means the Hawks are looking past the Eagles in tonight’s Western Maine Class A championship game.
“They didn’t play bad baseball, our bats were just on fire,” Marshwood coach Eric Fernandes said. “They’re not the same team by any means. They’ve always battled.”
No. 4 Marshwood (15-3) is in the regional final for the second straight year, where it will take on the 11th-seeded Eagles (10-9) tonight at St. Joseph’s College in Standish (6:30 p.m.).
“They’re pretty good defensively and they’re pretty experienced,” Marshwood’s Noah McDaniel said about Windham. “They play good baseball. We did 10-run-rule them, but it wasn’t a bad game. We just hit the ball.”
Marshwood’s bats came alive when the two teams met on May 8 in South Berwick for a game that was called after five innings via the mercy rule. Zack Quintal had a pair of doubles, Zach Hodges had three hits including a double and McDaniel had a double and three RBIs.
Marshwood earned its place in tonight’s game with a 3-1 win at top seed South Portland (15-3) last Saturday. Quintal earned the win on the mound for the Hawks and also stole home for a run.
“It was an absolute pitchers’ duel,” Quintal said. “The guys played great behind me.”
But just as Marshwood was able to avenge a regular-season loss to South Portland (albeit one much closer), the Hawks know Windham is capable of doing the same.
“We’re excited to get back there,” Hodges said. “At the beginning of the year we kind of took it game by game, but now, at this point, we definitely want to get to the state championship.”
Marshwood was the No. 2 seed last season when it lost 5-0 to No. 4 Westbrook in the regional final. It was the furthest the Hawks had ever advanced at the time.
“We were there last year and it stung,” said Marshwood’s Jake Lebel, tonight’s likely starting pitcher. “We don’t want that to happen to us again. We’re going to go after it.”
Windham was a 4-2 winner over No. 2 Falmouth (15-3) in their semifinal. Zach Alpern hit a sacrifice fly to break a 1-1 tie and spark a three-run fifth inning for the Eagles.
Tonight’s winner will play for the state championship against the winner of the Eastern Maine Class A championship game between No. 2 Messalonskee (16-2) and No. 1 Bangor (16-2) in Augusta. The Class A state final will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at St. Joseph’s.