DIXFIELD – When the Dirigo baseball team is playing at Harlow Park, the Cougar’s confidence seems to rise.

Aaron Fenstermacher was extremely effective by pitching a nifty three-hitter and relied on a flawless defense as the Cougars posted a 5-0 win against Wiscasset on Wednesday.

Offensively, Josh Daley had two hits and an RBI, and Jon Smith also had two hits and scored two runs. The Cougars created several opportunities by stealing six bases.

It was a key matchup because each team is trying to secure home-field playoff berths in the final week of the regular season. Third-ranked Wiscasset (7-6) had upset previously-unbeaten Winthrop on Monday, so Dirigo was ready to seize the moment.

“This was a big win for us,” Dirigo coach Donnie Hebert said. “This should give us enough Heal Points to earn home field in the quarterfinals or for a preliminary playoff game. We like playing here, and our team is more (effective) because we’re not big hitters, but a couple baseballs will drop in.”

Dirigo jumped on top with two runs in the first inning on its aggressiveness. Smith bunted the first pitch for a single, stole second and advanced when Spencer Berry’s third strike was missed. Levi Hutchins had an RBI-sacrifice fly, and Josh Daley hit an RBI triple.

Wiscasset starter Matt Hartman settled down to throw three strong innings, but Fenstermacher was even more in control. The right hander threw 86 pitches, struck out four and walked two. He retired 11 of the first 14 batters in the game.

“All my pitches were working well, especially my fast ball,” Fenstermacher said. “The defense was behind me and the early lead helped, plus it was nice to get ahead in the count because I could throw hat ever (Spencer) called.”

The Cougars defense was solid the entire game. Daley and Smith turned a double play and freshmen Ryan Lafleur (outfield assist), Eric Bolduc and David Guilford each made big contributions.

“There’s not a better shortstop than Smith in the MVC,” Hebert said. “Our three freshmen each made the plays and (freshman (Tyler) Gates even singled. Fenstermacher kept the ball low which had the batters off balance.”

The Cougars added insurance on Fenstermacher’s RBI-ground out, and Lafleur scored on a single by Derek Daley. Daley trotted home when a pitched ball bounced over the back stop.

“We didn’t have many chances (three runners stranded,” Wiscasset coach Todd Sousa said. ”They had some hits fall in and were aggressive on the bases. Both teams played well, defensively.”


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