DIXFIELD — It’s nice to be in the zone and the Dirigo baseball team continued to be on a roll Friday in its final regular-season game at sunny Harlow Park.
Seniors Brody Thompson and Eric Bolduc combined for four runs and four RBIs to lead a potent offense while pitcher Arik Fenstermacher was untouchable in a 12-0 shutout against Mountain Valley. Dirigo had crushed the Falcons 13-3 in Rumford, three weeks ago, in another game called after five innings.
There was a lot on the line between the rivals. Class B Mountain Valley (8-6), ranked No. 9 in Western Heal Points, needed to win its regular season finale. Dirigo (13-2) is No.1 in Class C and play at No. 2 Saint Dom’s Monday afternoon.
“(The team) came in to this game knowing what we needed to do,” Thompson said “A win would hopefully secure us in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game. The team has been successful because of our brotherhood of playing together in so many sports. It’s team chemistry.”
Dirigo erupted for five runs on four hits in the first inning off Falcon starter Izaak Mills. Spencer Ross (two runs) legged out an infield single, Tyler Chiasson singled in a run and eventually scored on an error. The key blow was Thompson’s two-run single.
The run support proved to be more than enough for Fenstermacher (5-0) who didn’t allow a hit in three scoreless innings of work. The junior south paw struck out five, including the side in the second inning and lowered his ERA to 0.24.
“Dirigo is a good team,” said Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe. “Like I said before, you can’t afford to make any mistakes because they will take advantage. They are just as (elusive) with their speed on the base paths. I hadn’t seen Fenstermacher and didn’t realize he was that good.”
Mountain Valley only had two batters reach base in the game. Cam Kaubris walked leading off the fourth, but was erased when Mills lined in to a double play and Brady Fergola grounded out. Ryan Laubauskas singled cleanly leading off the fifth, but Gino Salgalo grounded in to a fielder’s choice, pinch hitter Adam Bedard struck out and Adam Volkernick popped out.
“We finished 8-6,” LaPointe said. “It was a good season and we came from behind four games. They did all they could. We lacked pitching, but team hit the ball.”
Dirigo had scored five runs in the fourth, including a three-run double by Tyler Gates and scored on Ryan Lafeur’s triple. On the play, Falcon center fielder Derek Volkernick injured his collarbone in a collision with right fielder Tim Ross.
“We had good production,” said Dirigo coach Dave Lafleur, whose has outscored opponents 155 to 22. “It was from top to bottom the table setters and Thompson and Bolduc with three RBIs and three runs. But pitching and defense have been our stalwart a season.”
Fenstermacher (two runs) doubled and scored on Thompson’s single. Gates had an RBI-sacrifice fly.
“We work hard in practice,” Bolduc said. “Our batting average is sky-high, the best its ever been. We work together and are very confident.”