AUBURN — It is difficult to fathom St. Dom’s scratching for wins or Heal Points or confidence during a baseball season, let alone all of the above. But after losing two of their first three games, that is the position the Saints found themselves in for Monday’s Mountain Valley Conference game with unbeaten Lisbon.
And the Saints did indeed get just about every boost they could ask for in a 10-0 win over the Greyhounds, which was shortened to six innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
“We needed that one,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said.
Nine hits, five walks, six stolen bases, three Lisbon errors, numerous wild pitches and a passed ball contributed to the Saints’ onslaught. Shane Curtis led the offense by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Alex Parker added a pair of hits, including a double and drove in a run and Kurt Johnson went 20for-3 with two RBIs.
The Saints chased Lisbon starter Frank Angelico after three-plus innings.
“Our game plan was to look for the fastball and react to his change-up, keep our hands back and hit it up the middle and away,” Curtis said.
“We focused on taking the ball the other way because we knew he liked his off-speed stuff,” Blackman said. “The guys executed perfectly. Everything they were hitting was up the middle or to the right side.”
Garrett Darnell executed that plan perfectly, hitting a pitch the other way over the right-fielder’s head for an RBI triple that made it 2-0 in the second. Curtis, Parker and Joe Bryant knocked consecutive singles in the third to make it 4-0. That allowed the Saints to pull their ace, Chris Bryant (two hits, one strikeout) after just three innings of work so they can send him back to the mound Wednesday to face Ryan Leach of Hall-Dale, one of the top pitchers in the MVC.
“We really wanted the win, so we debated on whether or not (to pull Bryant),” Blackman said. “The key was getting the fourth run in the third inning. If we were still in a dogfight, we probably would have gone with Chris longer. He can go Wednesday now against Leach and Hall-Dale.”
Alex Parker relieved Bryant and threw three innings of one-hit ball to pick up the win.
The Saints (2-2) blew the game open with a five-run fourth. They only had two hits in the frame, back-to-back singles by Dan Nadeau and Curtis. But two walks, an error and a couple of wild pitches helped them get to Angelico and reliever Scott Eck.
While this was the first regular season meeting between the two schools, the Saints didn’t hold many surprises for the Greyhoudnds, Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said.
“I expect them to have a couple of good pitchers, play solid defense and be very good at the plate,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “They are very patient and do exactly what you’re supposed to do at the plate. The bottom line is they hit and we didn’t.”
Bryant and Parker limited the Greyhounds (3-1) to just three hits, by Angelico, Alex Hall and Dalton Dunphy.
One of the quirks of St. Dom’s schedule when it was in the Western Maine Conference was that they played a handful of Class B teams every year. Lisbon, which the Saints play twice this season, is the only Class B team on this year’s slate.
“I go back to the Greely (win) last year. We were all pumped up for that because it was a Class B game,” Curtis said. “It’s the same deal here. We knew that they were going to be good. We just have to come out with the intensity and drive to win the game and I think we did that.”