RUMFORD – There’s power, and then there’s the pitching and hitting displays Matt Laubauskas and Justin Staires put on, respectively, at Hosmer Field Monday.

Laubauskas overpowered Jay’s hitters with a dozen strikeouts in just five innings and Staires crushed a pair of three-run homers as the Falcons pummeled the Tigers, 16-1, in a game called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Staires’ home runs capped an eight-run third and a four-run fourth for the Falcons. The fright-handed hitting sophomore hit both to right field for his sixth and seventh homers of the season. He also added to his astonishing RBI total, which has now reached 31 in just 10 games.

“He got off the plate a little bit today,” Falcons coach Steve LaPointe said. “He’ll just hit it where it’s pitched. Guys will try to get him on the outside. They might be better off trying to tie him up on the inside, I don’t know.”

Staires wasn’t a one-man wrecking crew, though. Catcher Ben French cracked a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. Laubauskas clipped a pair of doubles, scored twice and drove in a run.

The Falcons have scored 31 runs in two games since Winthrop’s Forrest Dwyer two-hit them last week.

“The guy from Winthrop did a nice job against us,” LaPointe said, “but I hope anyway that you can’t keep this offense down forever because there are a lot of bats in the offense.”

And those bats don’t need the help Jay’s pitching and defense offered Monday. The Tigers (6-4) walked three, hit two batters and committed five errors, in addition to several wild pitches and passed balls and a balk.

Mountain Valley had some fielding problems of its own early on to give Jay a quick 1-0 lead. Nick Bourassa led off the game with an infield single, stole second, advanced to third when the catcher’s throw sailed into center field, then scored when the center fielder’s throw to third sailed out of play. Mike Holland added a harmless double in the inning, which turned out to be Jay’s last hit.

The Falcons (9-1) took the lead for good off Jay starter Ben Hebert in the bottom of the frame, courtesy two Tiger errors, a balk and a two-run double by French.

Laubauskas struck out the side in the second and fourth. He walked three in the third, one intentionally, but escaped further trouble with a pick-off and two strikeouts.

“Everything just came together (after that first inning),” Laubauskas said. “I just had to pick my spots and not leave anything up.”

“Laubauskas was tough on the mound today,” LaPointe said. “He’s one of those pitchers that’s wild enough to be effective. He throws real hard and has a nice deuce (curve), but he’s going to get you off the plate because he can be all over the place now and then.”

An RBI single by French and a couple of bases loaded walks had given the Falcons a 9-1 lead when Jamison Turner came on in relief of Rocky DeSanctis in the middle of Staires’ third inning at-bat and left a curve ball up over the outer half of the plate. Staires knew precisely what to do with it.

“I saw it all the way coming from his hand,” Staires said. “I figured I’d go with the pitch and I went with it and I hit it pretty good.”

Reliever James McLamb met a similar fate when he hung an 0-1 pitch to Staires in the fourth. He hit it to almost the exact same spot in right.


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