RUMFORD – Corey Devoe hit a walkoff, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning as Mountain Valley pulled out a dramatic 4-3 victory against arch-rival Dirigo at Hosmer Field.
The game, featuring two unbeaten teams, lived up to its billing.
Mountain Valley (4-0) was down to its final out, when Marcus Palmer hit a spinning ground ball that bounced off Cougar pitcher Jon Smith and into left field. Devoe stepped up and fouled off a pitch. The next offering was deposited on the track beyond the left-field fence.
“I was just hoping for an inside pitch,” Devoe said. “He had been throwing me outside all game long. In a rivalry game like this, anything can happen.”
“Dirigo is young, but they are for real,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “We hit the ball solidly, but they made the plays. This was quite an ending. In fact, in 26 years of coaching, this is the first-ever walk-off homer.”
Dirigo (3-1) built a 3-2 lead, manufactoring a pair of runs in the third inning. Aaron Fenstermacher led off with a single, and Derek Daley reached safely on a fielder’s choice. Smith then laid down a bunt, but the throw sailed into right field, allowing both runners to score.
“We played some small ball to advance runners,” Dirigo coach Donnie Hebert said. “One bunt led to two runs. I grew up with it and it works in high school ball because you make (opponents) throw the ball around.”
Josh Daley hit a sharp ground ball to Falcons second baseman Cory McPherson, who threw out Smith at the plate. Daley was later erased at home by Eric Volkernick’s throw.
One inning later, shortstop Matt Laubauskas threw out Gary Holman at the plate.
The game was actually a pitcher’s dual between Smith (1-1) and Palmer (2-0), who each escaped jams. After Smith stranded the bases loaded in the second, he retired 12 of the next 14 batters.
Palmer threw a three-hitter, struck out four and retired 10 of the final 11 batters. The Falcons also turned a double play to end the sixth
“I felt good,” Palmer said. “After Spencer (Berry) hit the homer in the first, I settled down. It sure was a relief when Corey hit that ball out.”
Matt Marr also hit a solo home run.