LISBON FALLS – For a team that thought it would have to scratch and claw to score runs this year, the Lisbon Greyhounds are sure digging some big holes for their opponents so far.
Two days after opening their season with 19 runs against Hall-Dale, the Greyhounds reached double digits again with an 11-2 drubbing of Wiscasset in their home opener on Friday.
Payton Austin pitched a complete game six-hitter and went three-for-three at the plate, including two doubles, to lead Lisbon’s 11-hit attack. Max Hathaway and Andrew Dubois added two hits apiece and Kyle Neagle scored three runs.
Lisbon rallied from a 2-1 deficit and eventually pulled away with a pair of three-run innings sandwiched around a four-run fifth.
“We usually struggle once we get down,” said Austin. “I definitely jumped out of a slump today. I struck out my first two times against Hall-Dale and I don’t think I struck out two times in one game in my whole high school career.”
The Greyhounds (2-0) hit the ball hard off lefty starter Danny Carleton but didn’t have much to show for it through the first three innings. Joe Stevens reached home before a low throw by the Redskins’ third baseman to give Lisbon a 1-0 lead, but the Greyhounds were frustrated after leaving two runners on in the first and the bases loaded in the second.
Wiscasset took its only lead in the fourth but cost itself a big inning with bad baserunning. Two Greyhound errors and Zack Hartman’s infield RBI single made it 2-1 and put runners at first and second with nobody out. Following a pop out to second, Cory Lagner slapped a single to right that should have scored John Aneretto from second, but Aneretto stopped between third and home. First baseman Mike Wilkins took the cut-off and threw to Devan Knight at third, who tagged out Aneretto, then chased down Hartman between second and third for the inning-ending double play.
“That was the turning point. That set the table for the rest of the game,” said Wiscasset coach Todd Souza.
The Greyhounds took advantage of the momentum shift in the bottom of the frame, claiming the lead for good with three runs. Austin delivered the big blow with a two-out, two-run double.
Austin (two strikeouts, two walks) made quick work of the Redskins in the fifth and sixth, needing just 12 pitches to retire their top six hitters.
“Payton did a quality pitching job,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “He’s not going to strike out a lot of kids, but he’s going to keep them off-balance with his good curve ball and a fairly live fastball.”
Lisbon added four more runs in the fifth, thanks in part to three Redskin errors. Hathaway, who made a fine diving catch in left field early in the game, put the game away with a two-run single to cap the three-run sixth.