LISBON — Three years from now, Lisbon High School freshman baseball player Jack Tibbetts probably won’t remember his first varsity at-bat.
In blustery, cold conditions on Wednesday, Tibbetts’ teammates were praising the young left fielder, whose memorable sacrifice bunt keyed a two-run uprising, leading the Greyhounds to a 2-1 Mountain Valley Conference win over Madison/Carrabec.
In the third inning, Nate Havlicek walked against pitcher Ryan Emery. Tibbetts fouled the first pitch he saw, but dropped a bunt on the next offering. The ball rolled four feet beyond home plate to move Havlicek to second.
“We practice bunting a lot, and I needed to make sure I didn’t bunt it too hard,” Tibbetts said. “It turned out to be a big play.”
Tyler Halls followed with a single to put runners at the corners, and Havlicek scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Lisbon lead.
Halls hustled to third base on the wild pitch, then trotted home on a single by Ryley Austin.
“There were people not here today, and for players like a freshman Levi Levesque to play a solid right field for us and Jack to come up and lay down a bunt, that is tough to do,” said Lisbon coach Randy Ridley, who informed his young players of their starting job just before the teams warmed up. “They found out just before the game they were starting, so there was pressure there.”
Emery was solid for Madison/Carrabec (0-1), going the distance on 81 pitches with eight strikeouts and the one walk that proved costly.
Last season, on its way to the Class C South regional final, Lisbon faced Carrabec in a home preliminary contest before visiting Madison for the quarterfinals.
This year, Madison/Carrabec, which goes by Bridgeway, is a co-op team.
“That is a solid team over there, and they will pick up a fair of amount of wins,” Ridley said. “This was a quality win, a playoff atmosphere, and we stayed up the whole 21 outs. I am proud of them.”
Ridley went with righty Lucas Francis on the mound. Throughout his four-inning, 65-pitch performance, Francis worked in and out of trouble, with the visitors putting at least one runner on base in each inning. But, Francis kept Bridgeway off the scoreboard, with four strikeouts, one walk and three hits allowed.
Halls relieved to begin the fifth. He worked around a two-out single by Evan Bess in the fifth, and allowed a run in the sixth when Evan Holzworth walked, moved to second on a ground ball by Emery (2-for-3) and scored on a single to right field by Dylan Willette to cut the Greyhound lead to 2-1.
In the seventh, Jordan Hadley reached on an infield single, and a two-out error put the tying and go-ahead runs on base before Halls retired the final Bridgeway hitter on a routine ground ball to shortstop.
“Both Lucas and Tyler pitched extremely well today,” said Ridley, who came in with a pitch count in mind for Francis. “For Lucas, 65 was the max, and the last out was 65. That is the most extended pitching we’ve had this year. You could tell they weren’t in regular season form, but I was very pleased. Tyler did a great job coming in.”
Halls and Austin were 2-for-3 at the plate for Lisbon, with Havlicek adding a single to his walk for a 1-for-1 afternoon.
Lisbon is slated to host Oak Hill on Friday at 1 p.m.