AUBURN – Pitching? Check. Ability to smack doubles and triples? Check. Small-ball tactics? Also check.

Three St. Dom’s pitchers combined to allowed just three hits, four Saints hitters legged out extra-base hits and three more executed successful sacrifice bunts to lift their team to a 5-0 win over Old Orchard Beach Seagulls on Thursday.

With the win, No. 2 St. Dom’s (16-1) earned a spot in the Western Class C semifinals on Saturday, when the Saints will host No. 3 Livermore Falls.

Senior Andy Allen started things off on the mound for St. Dom’s, and faced just two batters more than the minimum.

“All we wanted to do was come out and throw strikes,” Allen said. “We’ve been working on having three pitches we can throw for strikes, and mixing it up a lot.”

Freshman Jacob Rutt took over in the fourth and recorded seven straight outs before running into a spot of trouble in the sixth. His defense bailed him out, though, and fellow freshman Chris Bryant finished off the Seagulls in the seventh.

“They’ve been using that pitch-by-committee all season against everybody,” Old Orchard Beach coach Tom Lachance said. “We had seen all the three kids we saw today, but usually, we’re averaging 12 hits a game, and today we were flat.”

On the offensive side of things, Shane Curtis led the game off with a walk, and scampered home on a Casey Parker double moments later.

Peter Lewis doubled behind Parker, but Old Orchard catcher Stefan Husek tagged Parker out at the plate. Lewis advanced to third on a balk, though, and scampered home on a sacrifice bunt up the first-base line.

“You’ve got to get those guys home from third,” Lewis said.

In the third, Aaron Allen scored on another sacrifice bunt after his own triple, and Curtis crossed the plate for the second time on a Lewis RBI single.

“We get a guy on third we want to score,” St. Dom’s co-coach Bob Blackman said. “That’s the bottom line. We don’t like to get there and come up empty-handed.”

Greg LaBonte slid across with the Saints’ fifth run in the fourth inning after a walk, a sacrifice bunt, an error and a passed ball.

Robert Parks relieved Old Orchard Beach starter Ritchie Ouellette in the fifth, and mowed down six straight Saints to finish the game.

“Every game this year, we’ve had that inning where we’ve busted out,” Lachance said. “I was waiting for it, but it just didn’t happen.”


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