JAY – Somewhere between leadoff line drive hitter Chris Cayer and No. 9 pest Ben French, presumably there are some occasional outs in the Mountain Valley High School baseball lineup.
If Jay couldn’t find those holes Monday afternoon, though, it’s hard to imagine too many other teams in the Mountain Valley Conference stopping the Falcons from teeing off.
Cayer went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles, French singled twice and scored three times, and Corey Devoe and Andy Shorey each hit a home run to power unbeaten Class B Mountain Valley past Class C-leading Jay, 17-2, at Ouellette Diamond.
“I wasn’t expecting that. Not at all,” said Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe, whose Falcons backed up their five runs in the third inning with a dozen in the fourth, easily shortening an anticipated mid-season showdown to five innings by virtue of the 12-run rule.
You can consider Jay coach Chris Bessey equally thunderstruck by the blowout, one his Tigers (9-2) unwittingly embellished by committing six errors.
“Hopefully this will give us a little bit of re-focus,” Bessey said. “We lost our last one at Dirigo on Thursday, so a nine-game winning streak to start the season doesn’t mean much right now.”
Marcus Palmer allowed five hits and one earned run over four innings to pick up his fourth win of the spring for Mountain Valley (8-0). Cayer struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth, sandwiched around a walk and an error, to close it out.
Jay mound ace Zane Armandi kept the Falcons under wraps until the third, when French led off with a single and Cayer ripped the next pitch to the gap in right center field to put Falcons at second and third.
Armandi appeared poised to escape the jam down only 2-0 after sacrifice flies by Palmer and Devoe, but Matt Marr slipped away on an eight-pitch walk. Then Matt Laubauskas drew a base on balls before Shorey deposited a 2-1 offering into the woods.
“Zane was a little rusty. It’s been a while since he’s pitched, but that’s no excuse. He got behind in the count, and they’re too good a hitting team to keep falling behind,” Bessey said. “And on top of that we’re facing Marcus Palmer, who’s probably the best pitcher in the league.”
Shorey (five RBIs) also tagged a two-run single in the fourth, when 15 Falcons stepped to the plate and rudely greeted Jay reliever Jamison Turner. Devoe punctuated the punishment with a three-run blast.
Mountain Valley entered the game hitting just under .400 as a team and continued its blistering of the MVC with 11 hits.
“We beat Dirigo on a walk-off homer, and then Dirigo went out and beat these guys in a close game, so we figured this would be a close one,” Cayer said. “It’s all just coming together. We’re playing great right now.”
Every Mountain Valley starter scored at least one run.
Armandi singled and scored on Ryan Bourassa’s two-out knock in the third for Jay. Nick Bourassa walked and eventually scampered home on a passed ball in the fourth.
Jay stranded a runner at third base in each frame except the third.