Mountain Valley first baseman Ethan Laubauskas waits for the ball as Spruce Mountain’s Mason Shink (20) gets back to the bag safely. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)
LIVERMORE FALLS — Mountain Valley winning pitcher Hunter Ames didn’t need to call for backup from his offense and defense.
The Falcons (10-3) were already on the scene with timely hitting and holding down the fort in the infield. That kind of team effort provided Mountain Valley with a 12-1 victory over Spruce Mountain (7-6) in a Mountain Valley Conference baseball game at blustery Griffin Field on Monday.
Mountain Valley’s win puts an end to the Phoenix’s five-game winning streak.
Ames kept a vigil on the mound and pitched all five innings after the 10-run rule was applied. He gave up just three hits.
“We have been hitting the ball really well lately,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “We had what 12 hits today, a dozen hits in a five-inning game. Our kids are just going up there and swinging early in the count and that makes a big difference swinging early in the count.
“I thought Hunter pitched great. I thought Hunter was just in command. He didn’t strike a lot of batters out. He was moving it around. He was mixing it up, and when he wanted to throw the fast ball, he has a good one.
“He just pitched a great game today. We are coming together. We are coming together. We were struggling along at 6-3 and we’ve won four in a row. It was a big one because they are Class B, and if they win today, they leapfrog us. We are in good shape. We are having fun.”
The Falcons struck in the top half of the second and piled up four runs. Outfielder Will Bean started the ball rolling when he led off with a double and eventually moved to third on a passed ball and a Curtis Gauvin walk. Bean came home on Cody Hemingway’s flyout to left field.
With two men on in that same inning, third baseman Garrett Garbarini ripped a three-run homer to center field to put the Falcons on top 4-0.
The Falcons were already soaring when they got to the third inning and used a balk, an error and four key hits to add five more runs to take a 9-0 lead. Jacob Blanchard and Hemingway each hammered out an RBI single.
Mountain Valley collected another run in the fourth when catcher Dylan Deroches doubled and scored on a Mountain Valley error.
In the bottom of that inning, the Phoenix came up with a run. Shane Pelletier got on with a single and eventually moved to third and scored when Noah Gilbert hit into a fielder’s choice.
“I thought their pitcher did well,” Spruce Mountain coach Brian Dube said. “He kept our lefthanders pretty much at bay and we really didn’t catch up to him at all.
“We made a few mistakes and it just wasn’t our day. I knew they would be tough. I don’t care what happened two weeks ago. I knew they would be tough. He pitched well and they got the hits when they needed it.
“They deserved it today. They outplayed us.”
The Falcons put an end to the game when they scored two more runs thanks to Ames’ two-run single that stayed fair right down the first-base line.
Mountain Valley concluded the day with 12 hits.
Mountain Valley winning pitcher Hunter Ames delivers the ball in a Mountain Valley Conference game against Spruce Mountain at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls on Monday. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe waves on Ethan Laubasuskas as Spruce Mountain third baseman Jordy Daigle waits for the ball. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)It was just like old times for Spruce Mountain coach Brian Dube, left, Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe middle, and plate umpire and former Edward Little athletic director Dan Deshaies at the Spruce Mountain-Mountain Valley baseball game at Griffin Field in Livermore Falls on Monday. The trio all played in the men’s Pine Tree Baseball League years ago. (Tony Blasi/Sun Journal)