Marshwood baseball no-hit in regional championship
Hawks fall in West final for 2nd straight season
By JOHN DOYLE
Foster’s Daily Democrat
June 18, 2014 2:00 AM
STANDISH, Maine — The Marshwood High School baseball team knew it wasn’t going to be easy to beat Windham in the Western Maine Class A championship game, even though the Hawks won by the 10-run mercy rule when the two teams met in the regular season. Still, it was a good bet that no one imagined Marshwood getting no-hit in the rematch.
But that’s exactly what happened, as No. 4 Marshwood failed to get a hit in a stunning 2-0 loss in nine innings to the 11th-seeded Eagles (11-9) on Tuesday night in the regional final at Saint Joseph’s College.
“If you don’t hit the fastball, you’re not going to hit the curveball,” Marshwood coach Eric Fernandes said. “I think we took too many third strikes. Then we tried to force some things.”
Marshwood (15-4) had the potential winning run at first base with the bases loaded (via walks and a hit batsman) with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Windham pitcher Tanner Laberge got the final two Marshwood batters to strike out looking to complete the upset. Marshwood was caught looking at a third strike six times on the night.
“We had trouble getting hits together all postseason,” Marshwood shortstop Noah McDaniel said. “You’re going to run into games like this, where you just can’t really get the runs. But we were there.”
Windham scored the game’s only two runs in the top of the ninth inning off Marshwood relief pitcher Kyle Parmley. Zach Alpern led off with a single down the line in left field, then stole second and scored when Spencer Hodge hit a grounder over the glove of Marshwood third baseman Zack Quintal. Hodge scored when Ethan Petty reached on an infield hit to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead with nobody out. Windham got one more hit off Parmley — its eighth of the game — before Guy Hanks came in and got the final two outs.
“Marshwood’s a great hitting team, and we thought for sure we were going to have to battle,” Windham coach Brody Artes said. “It was important for us to keep them at bay and Tanner did a hell of a job with that today.”
Laberge took the mound in the bottom of the ninth despite having thrown 109 pitches and promptly gave up back-to-back walks to Quintal and Zach Hodges. Laberge was then lifted for third baseman Zach Conley and Laberge went to third.
Conley issued a walk to Noah McDaniel, but during the at-bat Quintal was thrown out trying to steal third. Jake Lebel was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Back came Laberge to record the final two outs and seal the no-hitter, albeit one he has to share with Conley. Laberge finished with seven strikeouts.
“Tanner was losing a little bit of velocity toward the end there,” Artes said. “He definitely lost some zip off his fastball. We had Zach come in, but his curveball wasn’t working, so we went back with Tanner and got the job done.”
Lebel pitched the first seven innings for Marshwood and pitched a beauty of his own. He allowed just three hits, struck out one and walked none. He retired the side in order in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh.
“Jake kept tempo with (Laberge),” Fernandes said. “I give him credit. Ball bounces a couple different ways. There were so many things to that game. The kids battled the whole time.”
The game was a classic pitchers’ duel, with neither team reaching third base until the sixth inning, when Ryan O’Neil led off with a walk for Marshwood, was bunted over to second by Quintal and advanced to third on a balk.
“It was frustrating, because it gets in the back of your mind where you see the same thing that happened last year,” Marshwood’s Hodges said. “Every at bat, everyone was thinking, ‘Let’s just get something going.'”
It was the second straight year the Hawks’ season ended in the regional final.
The Eagles will play Eastern Maine Class A champion Bangor (17-2) in the Class A state final on Saturday at St. Joe’s. Top-seeded Bangor was a 6-3 winner over No. 2 Messalonskee (16-3) in the Eastern final on Tuesday night in Augusta.