DIXFIELD – The Mountain Valley baseball team utilized all its assets Tuesday and then had to rely on rookie pitcher Garrett McPherson to get the job done.

Mountain Valley scored four runs with two outs in the 10th inning, and McPherson hurled the final four innings as the Falcons rallied for an 8-4 victory against Dirigo.

It was the first meeting between the archrivals since Dirigo won the 2006 Mountain Valley Conference championship game. The Falcons and Cougars entered Tuesday’s action unbeaten and sporting high scoring offenses. Dirigo scored 26 runs in two games, and Mountain Valley scored 37 in three.

Class B Mountain Valley (4-0) received several strong efforts in the extra frame and also capitalized on Cougar miscues. Matt Lyons was hit by a pitched ball and advanced to second base on a passed ball, but appeared to be stranded as Dirigo reliever Aaron Fenstermacher threw two runners out. Justin Staires was intentionally walked, and with runners on second and third, Corey Devoe reached on a throwing error, allowing Lyons to score.

“I’m really proud of these kids,” Mountain Valley coach Steve LaPointe said. “They really have a lot of chemistry. There was a lot of key performances, like Andy Shorey hitting to the opposite field to score a run, and then Ben French clouting the ball.”

French belted a two-RBI double to the right-centerfield gap.

The major story was McPherson, who earned the win in his first-ever varsity out. The sophomore mixed up his pitches that prevented the Cougars from taking a full stride. The Falcon pitcher felt good and rejected attempts to be lifted.

“My arm felt good, so I didn’t want to come out,” McPherson said. “I was getting my curve ball and knuckler over, and the only time I felt pressure was when (Dirigo) had runners on first and second. I knew that a hit would end the game.”

Dirigo threatened in the ninth when Derek Daley singled, and Jon Smith walked with two outs. McPherson induced Spencer Berry to pop out. Fenstermacher singled with two outs in the 10th, but Eric Bolduc grounded out to end the game.

Dirigo scored three runs in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Smith singled and scored on Dekota Holmquist double. The key blow was Fenstermacher’s two RBI-double.

Mountain Valley had a pitching strategy that had Matt Laubauskas throw three innings, and Cody McPherson and Shorey each threw one inning.

“We wanted to mix things up,” LaPointe said. “Matt Laubauskas is not a seven-inning pitcher at this point, and the job that Garrett did was unbelievable. I have a lot of respect for Dirigo – that is a good team.”

The Falcons had taken a 2-0 lead with an unearned run in the first and Stairs’ RBI-sacrifice fly. Mountain Valley appeared on the verge of breaking the game open, but Berry stranded five runners on base. Berry settled down and earned four strike outs in eight innings.

“What hurt us was seven walks and seven errors,” Dirigo coach Donnie Hebert said. “I think we are evenly-matched teams. McPherson did a good job at holding our runners on base. We couldn’t get any thing going.”

Dirigo scored when Levi Hutchins reached on a wind-aided pop-up in the fifth. Mountain Valley retied on Dean McCrillis RBI-single in the seventh.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.