DIXFIELD – If a team hangs around long enough, good things usually happen. Just ask the Dirigo baseball team.
Jon Smith squeezed in Rob Weymouth in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Cougars staged a dramatic comeback for a 4-3 win against previously unbeaten Jay.
The game was played in Dixfield because of bad field conditions at Ouellette Field.
Jay and Dirigo were ranked first and second, respectively, in the latest Class C Heal Points.
Jay pitcher Steve Nelson (10 strikeouts) had the Cougars number until the late innings and the seventh proved to be the Tigers’ undoing. Freshman Aaron Fenstermacher led off with a solid single, and advanced on Nelson’s overthrow. Pinch-hitter Lenny Hall then laid down a bunt and Jay third baseman Rocky DeSanctis threw the ball away, allowing Fenstermacher to score. Weymouth was reinserted to run and Smith (two hits) pushed a ball toward first base, against a drawn-in infield. Weymouth raced home easily.
“I actually had wanted to hit the first pitch,”Smith said. “But, I missed it, so I just wanted to get the ball down on the ground. This team has been successful through hard work, every body does his part and we all get along.”
Jay (8-1) had led throughout after scoring three runs in the first two innings. Jamison Turner singled and Ryan Bourassa (two hits) hit a two-run home run. Steve Lafevbre scored on a Zane Armandi single. Dirigo finally solved Nelson in the sixth. Berry and Gary Holman (two hits) each had RBI-singles.
“We don’t score a lot of runs,” Dirigo coach Donnie Hebert said. “So, we need good pitching and defense Holman and Fenstermacher came in and held them and the seventh was a pressure situation.”
Fenstermacher earned the win, after pitching the seventh.
Jay had some golden opportunities, especially after loading the bases, in the second. Two batters reached safely on errors, but both were eventually thrown out by Holman, on attempted steals.
“Those were big,” Jay coach Chris Bessey said. “Our team speed has usually helped us in those situations. Dirigo hung around and kept the score close, plus I think Steve Nelson lost his focus in the sixth.”