RUMFORD – The Mountain Valley baseball team enjoyed its preseason, but that comfort zone disappeared quickly in its season-opener Tuesday afternoon.
Forced to rallied twice, with Matt Marr providing the winning hit, and then received a yeoman effort by pitcher Chris Cayer in a 10-6 triumph against Livermore Falls.
Livermore Falls (0-3) scored six runs in the first two innings. The aggressive hitters feasted on Cayer’ fastball, led by Zack Keene (two hits) and Jake Marceau, who each had two RBIs.
“That was a wild first inning,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “I didn’t think that we’d get out of it. Livermore Falls is young and scrappy. They hit Cayer pretty hard. It was a different feeling for us because we had a successful preseason against some strong teams.”
Corey Devoe (two hits) cracked a three-run homer in the first inning to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead. The lead was short lived as Livermore Falls scored four runs in the top of the second. Josh Traintor doubled and scored, but Jones two-run single was the key blow.
Marcus Palmer, Andy Shorey and Devoe each walked leading off the third against Andies starter Keene. The Falcons tied the score at 6-6 when Matt Laubauskas greeted reliever Mike Durrell (0-1) with a bases-clearing triple to the gap in right-center field.
Marr followed with a bloop single to right to plate Laubauskas with the go-ahead run.
Cayer (1-0), who appeared to be on the ropes, adjusted his game and allowed one hit over the next four innings. Cayer, together with catcher Ben French, baffled the Andies batters, finishing with eight strikeouts, two walks and two hits batters.
“I went with my breaking ball,” Cayer said. “They were hitting my fast ball hard, so I needed to adjust.”
Livermore Falls helped itself by turning two double plays.
Cody McPherson and Palmer (two hits) each singled in the fourth, and Laubauskas hit a two-run single, to finish with five RBIs.
“This is not the same Mountain Valley team as last year,” LaPointe said, whose team graduated six starters. “Last year’s team was built on speed, but we don’t have that this year. We’ll need to play solid defense. There was a couple miss-communications in the outfield today, but things will get straightened around and we’ll be all right.”