RUMFORD — Bryan Maurais pitched a complete game and the Livermore Falls offense played aggressively and used small ball tactics effectively to pull away from Mountain Valley for a 15-3 victory at overcast Hosmer Field on Monday.
The teams split earlier this season — Mountain Valley won 6-4 and Livermore Falls won 1-0 two weeks back — and there were playoffs implications on the line this time around. The Andies forced the issue, in the rubber game to earn the big win.
“We needed this win,” Livermore Falls coach Brian Dube said. “I thought we were aggressive with our bats early, but then pitching was important because (Mountain Valley) came back. The main thing is, the team kept its focus.”
Livermore Falls (6-7) started strong, scoring five runs in the first two innings. The key hits included RBI singles by Ben Keene, Maurais and Hunter Brett. Evan Castonguay and Jake Keene each singled in the second inning to drive Falcons starter Adam Volkernick from the game.
Mountain Valley (4-7), ranked ninth in Western Class B, came alive with three runs in the third inning, highlighted by Izaak Mills’ towering two-run homer. Cam Kaubris (two hits) doubled and scored on Brandon Jacques’ RBI single.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” said Mauras, who has been hindered by an injury during midseason. “When Mountain Valley scored those runs, I’ll admit to being a little nervous, but I knew I knew the team was behind me.”
Maurais, a right-hander, pitched out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Colin Merrill and having Josh Rainey fly out to end the third. Maurais settled in to a groove and only allowed hits to Scott Gauvin over the final four innings.
“We knew coming in to the season that young team would be a work in progress,’’ said Steve LaPointe of Mountain Valley, who has lost seven of eight following a 3-0 start. “But, the kids are hustling, so I can’t complain about the effort. Even on those bunts they hustled down the line.”
Livermore Falls broke things open by scoring five runs in each of the final two innings, highlighted by an ability to execute a new weapon on offense. A Jimmy Seitz infield single and four consecutive bunts resulted in three runs.
“We adjusted and went small ball,” said Dube, whose team travels to unbeaten Dirigo on Wednesday. “We had three straight squeezes against Madison, so once Mountain Valley came back, we figured why not try bunting, and it worked.”
The Andies’ leadoff batter Alex Rose was a catalyst, scoring three runs in the game.
“You still have to credit Livermore Falls,” LaPointe said. “They used small ball and that’s the second time Maurais beat us this season.”