PORTLAND – A hobbled Coastal Landscaping fell at home against Andrews Post on Tuesday evening, July 11. Coastal posted their biggest inning in the third, when Chandler Hartigan, Kolby Lambert and Riley Bartell all scored, but Andrews had already tallied eight of their own by that point. 13-4 the final.
“We’ve played them a couple times,” said Coastal head coach Dan McCarthy of Andrews Post. “The last time we played them, we beat them in 13 innings. They’re a tough team; when they’re full-staff – they’re most of the better Portland and Falmouth players – they’re a solid team.”
Coastal found themselves, on Tuesday, facing a problem many summer ball teams face, and all too often: a short bench. Whereas the team actually counts 18 kids on its roster, only nine were able to make the game.
Often, players’ summer jobs keep them away from the diamond, but additional leagues have also sprung up in Southern Maine in 2017. That affords athletes the happy opportunity to play on multiple teams, but when those teams’ schedules conflict, obviously the kids are forced to choose between contests.
“You’ve got everyone being pulled in every directions…It’s a grind when we’ve got the travel teams out there that’re taking a couple of our players down,” said McCarthy. “We knew we were going to be shorthanded. But at this point, we’re in pretty good shape to make States, with the way our record is.” The loss, which played out at Cheverus High School, dropped Coastal to 8-4.
Andrews struck first, logging three in the top of the second. Dom Tocci walked on to start the inning; Will Snyder then followed Tocci to the plate and promptly smacked a single. Donato Tocci also walked, loading the bases for Jacob Knopp, who drove in Dom Tocci, and Colin Coyne, who drove in Snyder and Donato Tocci.
Coastal snatched one back the bottom of the second: James Sinclair doubled to begin the inning, and eventually rounded to home when Derek Higgins grounded out 4-3.
Already up 3-1, Andrews unleashed their full fury in the top of the third. Reece Armitage, both Toccis, Snyder and Cam Guarino all scored in the stretch, with Armitage and Guarino both belting doubles – Guarino’s to deep center-left for three RBIs – and Knopp adding a single.
Coastal did what they could to catch up in the bottom of the third. Hartigan and Lambert both walked on, before Logan McCarthy skied out to right. Bartell next singled for one RBI and Sinclair doubled for two more.
“We hit the ball good, too, when it was our turn up to bat,” McCarthy said. “Just a couple key hits, and it’s a longer game.”
In the end, however, the Fates favored Andrews. The team added two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the seventh to reach an even baker’s dozen. Meanwhile, Coastal never rounded the bases again.
“We had a guy with a sore arm today start the game,” McCarthy said, referring to pitcher Justin Ray. “He gave us what he could. Then we had kid, Augie Salevsky, come in, hasn’t pitched since Little League, he threw strikes, did exactly what he had to do, only walked a couple guys. Pitched to contact, got the outs for them, gave up a couple runs.”
Lambert and Bartell each finished the evening 2-5 for Coastal, racking up a quartet of singles between them. Sinclair also went 2-5, but logged a duo of doubles.
Knopp finished 2-5 with a pair of singles for Andrews. Robbie Armitage went 2-5 with a single and a triple, Reece Armitage 2-5 with two doubles, Max Fortier 2-5 with two singles, Dom Tocci 1-5 with a single, Snyder 2-5 with a single and a double, and Guarino 2-4 with that huge double and a triple to boot.
“We just need to make sure we get enough players here – no forfeits – and get ourselves ready for States,” McCarthy said. “When we have all hands on deck, 15 to 18 guys, we’re as good as any team in the State, let alone in our Zone.”
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Kolby Lambert leads off first, watching a pitch zip toward home.
Tim Greenlaw stretches off first, grabbing a throw for an out.
Augie Salevskey took to the mound – and performed admirably – for Coastal in their matchup with Andrews on Tuesday, despite not having pitched in years.