DIXFIELD — This rivalry usually brings out the best from the Mountain Valley and Dirigo baseball teams.
A barrage of offense, led by Cody St. Germain with three hits and four RBIs, broke things open as Dirigo eventually pulled together to remain unbeaten with a 17-6 win against Mountain Valley at Harlow Park on Tuesday. It was the third straight game that the Cougars have beat the Falcons with the mercy rule.
“Yes, the rivalry brings out (emotions) when we play Mountain Valley,” said Ben Holmes, who had two hits and scored two runs. “But things didn’t exactly start out the best for us. We went in the dugout after the first inning and coach was mad and told us to start hitting the ball.”
Dirigo (4-0) erupted for 10 runs on six hits in the fourth inning off three Falcon relievers. Winning pitcher Arik Fenstermacher led off with a single and scored on Holmes RBI triple. Justin Conant (two hits, three runs) walked and St. Germain (two runs) hit the first of his two-run singles in the inning. A couple runs scored on errors and Spencer Ross (three runs) and Caleb Turner each drew bases-loaded walks. Mountain Valley had used Colin Merrill, Adam Volkernick and Dalton Bradley on the mound.
Mountain Valley (3-2) had proven to be a scrappy bunch and trailed by one run in both the third and fourth innings. Volkernick and Zac Radcliff each drew walks and Izaak Mills smashed an RBI single. Cam Kaubris hit an RBI ground out and Kyle Gauvin added an RBI sacrifice fly in foul territory.
Ryan Nicols scored on a Josh Rainey RBI single to pull the Falcons to within 7-6 in the fourth.
“Mountain Valley made us work for it,” Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer said. “We’ve had to come from behind in most of our games and we cant afford to let teams get a lead on us. The team can hit and score runs, so once we get runners on base we’re (in motion). We’ve stolen 24 bases in four games.”
The Falcons jumped on top 2-0 in the first inning. Volkernick and Radcliff had each walked and scored on Cougar errors.
The lead was short-lived because Dirigo scored four runs in the bottom of the first against Falcon starter Sean Murphy. Ross and Fenstermacher each walked and advanced on two Falcon throws. Holmes and Conant each had singles and scored on Spencer Trenoweth’s single. TJ Frost scored two runs.
“Arik Fenstermacher (2-0) certainly wasn’t at his best,” Palmer said. “He struggled with his control at times, but settled down (six strike outs) and that was a good sign.”