DIXFIELD — It wasn’t pretty, but Dirigo came alive when it needed to and remains unbeaten in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Spencer Ross singled home freshman T.J. Frost with the winning run in the fourth inning and Arik Fenstermacher came in late to earn the save as the Cougars topped Mt. Abram 10-7 on Monday at Harlow Park.
Dirigo (3-0) had a predetermined plan to use its pitching staff in a certain rotation, but the plan nearly backfired. The Cougars started strong and led 5-0, but found themselves trailing and needed a rally, scoring four runs in the fourth inning.
“This was absolutely atrocious,” said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer, who had coached at Mt. Abram for the previous four seasons. “In the late innings, I just needed someone to come in and throw strikes. This wasn’t the team’s best effort. We scored 10 runs, but it was not spectacular and our pitchers did not come through. To me, the biggest performance was by Spencer Trenoweth who came in with the big hold in the sixth.”
Trenoweth entered the game with Dirigo nursing a 9-7 lead. Mt. Abram (1-3) had two runners on with one out, but the right hander struck out Ethan Boyd and induced a pop out from Parker Kennedy. Sol Fask singled leading off the seventh, but Fenstermacher came on to slam the door.
“I have to give Mt. Abram a lot of credit,’’ Palmer said. “They fought back and took a lead. Mt. Abram is a pesky team and they probably always will be.”
Dirigo scored five runs in the first and third innings off Roadrunners pitcher Josh Beedy (0-2). Spencer Ross (two runs, three hits) tripled and scored on a passed ball. Fenstermacher and Holmes (three hits, three runs) both scored on a Justin Conant single. Conant had an RBI-double in the third.
“Truthfully, I was just glad to be competitive in a close game,” Mt. Abram coach Lee Niles said. “We start four freshmen and two hadn’t played before. We gave them two or three of those first few runs on errors.”
Holmes started and shut out the Roadrunners through three innings, but sidearm reliever Cody St. Germain wasn’t effective. Mt. Abram sent 12 batters to the plate and grabbed a 6-5 lead. The key blows included an RBI double from Kennedy and a single by Hal Dixon. Trent Rosenberg and Beedy each drew RBI-walks and Jay Chenard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“Josh Beedy deserved a better fate,” Niles said. “That’s his second quality start, but we gave runs away on defense. Eventually, we will get the job done for him.”
Fenstermacher and St. Germain each had RBI-sacrifice flies. Frost (two hits) had an opposite-field RBI-single. Holmes scored an unearned run in the sixth.