RUMFORD – Two days removed from its first loss of the season, Mountain Valley was hoping to get back on track and start its busiest week of the spring on a winning note.
The Falcons responded perfectly.
Marcus Palmer, Chris Cayer and Justin Staires combined to pitch a five-inning perfect game and the Falcon offense took advantage of eight Telstar errors in a 14-0 drubbing Monday at Hosmer Field that was cut short by the 10-run mercy rule.
“We knew we had to win. The pressure’s on to keep winning,” Cayer said. “It’s all about getting Heal Points now and getting home games for the playoffs.”
Mountain Valley (9-1) scored four runs in the first, third and fourth innings and two in the second. Palmer led the offense with four runs scored and a two-run single. Corey Devoe and Andy Shorey (two hits) each drove in a pair. Staires and Corey Hotham both came off the bench to drive in a run apiece.
On the mound, Palmer, Cayer and Staires overpowered the Rebels (4-6), allowing only one ball out of the infield.
“I don’t know if there is a best (pitcher). Palmer always throws good and so does Cayer,” catcher Ben French said. “(Having such a good staff), it’s less work for me.”
Palmer was credited with the win, his fifth of the season. after three innings of work where he fanned three
“I just knew I had to work my curve ball in there somehow,” Palmer said. “I knew they would be waiting for my fastball most of the game so I think I actually threw more curve balls than fastballs.”
Cayer struck out the side during his lone inning of work in the fourth. Staires, making his first pitching appearance of the year, nearly matched Cayer, inducing a ground out to short before fanning the final two batters of the game.
“I was nervous,” Staires said. “I didn’t want to blow it for these guys. They’ve pitched hard all year, and they came in and pitched hard this game, too.”
“When you have pitchers that can go in there and throw strikes and throw hard…all three of those guys were throwing the ball hard today,” said Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe. “I don’t think Justin threw a breaking ball. He was so nervous, he just wanted to throw strikes.”
The Falcons needed a laugher in the worst way because they’re going to have to go deep into their pitching staff this week. They host Carrabec today, a strong Monmouth team Wednesday, then hit the road for games with Madison and Boothbay the next two days. Limiting Palmer and Cayer’s innings Monday allows them to come back after one day’s rest.
“It’s going to be a good week because Marcus is going to be available Wednesday against Monmouth. I’ll probably go with Chris against Monmouth, and I’ll have Marcus available,” LaPointe said. “It’s nice to know we have another arm (in Staires).”