DIXFIELD — What began as a feeling-out process by the Dirigo baseball team eventually turned into an exciting  season-opening Mountain Valley Conference game Monday.

Ben Holmes hit two singles to drive in the eventual winning runs and Arik Fenstermacher pitched two and one third innings to earn a save as the Cougars rallied back for a 9-5 win against Wiscasset at rainy Harlow Park.

The game was extremely competitive between defending Class C state champion Dirigo (1-0) and Wiscasset. The tide turned as Dirigo initially began to hit its stride by scoring six runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, respectively. Every Cougar player contributed in some capacity.

The score was tied 4-all when Dirigo loaded the bases in the fourth. Spencer Ross singled, Chad Snowman walked and Fenstermacher singled. Holmes waited for the right pitch and delivered an opposite-field line drive over the first baseman. Holmes eventually scored from first after Fenstermacher got in a rundown and was tagged out at home plate.

“This was a good showing,” said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer, who had mentored Mt. Abram for four seasons. “Our hitters came up in a lot of big situations and delivered. The same thing happened in preseason because it seemed that all of our batters came up in big situations, even though it was during preseason, I think it carried over.”

Holmes had started and ran in to trouble when Wiscasset loaded the bases and Brandon Bailey hit an RBI-single to trail 7-5. With two outs, Fenstermacher was summoned in from centerfield. The southpaw fell behind in the count 2-0 and 3-1, but came back to strike out Ashton Benn.

“I felt really good on the mound,” Fenstermacher said. “I knew when I came in that the defense was behind me, so my job was to throw strikes. But I was a little nervous when the count was full against (Benn).”

Wiscasset took a 4-1 lead, scoring three runs in the third. The key blow was a two-run triple by Mason Brewer to the gap in left-centerfield. The lead was short-lived because Dirigo scored three runs in the bottom of the frame. Snowman doubled and scored on Fenstermacher’s single. Holmes walked and Justin Conant was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Cody St. Germain hit a two-run single.

“Our offense hit the ball well,” said Fenstermacher, who had two hits and two RBIs. “We were aggressive at the plate and when we got on we (hustled) to take an extra base.”

Ross and Holmes each had two hits and scored two runs. Snowman scored two runs also. Conant and Caleb Turner each scored on wild pitches in the sixth.

“We were patient at the plate,” Palmer said. “We got Brewer to throw a lot off pitches. Ben had control of his fast ball, but (Wiscasset) had some Texas leaguers that we couldn’t do any thing about. Arik also had good command of his fast ball. We still have a rough week with Telstar Wednesday.”


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