LEWISTON — The Lewiston coaching staff exhorted its young hitters with the words “right guy, right situation” for most of a raw, drizzly Friday afternoon.

Never was the reading on the sincerity meter higher than when senior Matt Poulin stepped to the plate at Deschenes Field with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning.

“With Mike Wong at third at Matt at the plate, I felt pretty good about our chances to score the run,” Lewiston coach Dave Jordan said.

Poulin put down the perfect squeeze bunt that died in the wet grass in front of Mt. Blue pitching ace Colton Lawrence. The Cougars didn’t get a whiff of a play at the dish, and the Blue Devils walked off a 3-2 winner.

Wong started the winning rally with a sharp single through the box, only Lewiston’s third of the day against Lawrence.

The Mt. Blue right-hander hit Gage Cote to dig the hole deeper, and even though Eddie Emerson was called out for leaving the baseline on his sacrifice bunt attempt, Wong and Cote advanced successfully.

Lawrence intentionally walked Nick Perreault to set up Poulin’s heroics for Lewiston (4-3).

“We’ve been doing a lot of bunting in practice just for situations like that,” Poulin said. “One of our coaches on the bench called it. He said, ‘(Emerson) is going to move them up, (Perreault) is going to get walked, and you’re going to win it.’ It was just a matter of getting comfortable in the moment and executing.”

Until the extra frame, pinch hitter Kyle Morin’s infield single in the fifth inning and Gage Cote’s bunt single in the sixth were the only hits against Lawrence, who struck out seven.

“He was definitely the best kid on the mound today, I thought,” Mt. Blue coach Dave Pepin said. “But we didn’t get any timely hits. That’s the name of our season.”

Kyle Ullrich, Austin Wing and Emerson combined to hold the Cougars (3-4) to four hits.

Emerson picked up his second win of the season after surrendering an unearned run while trying to close it out in the seventh. He fanned three.

Mo Clark’s leadoff walk triggered the seventh-inning rally. Anthony Franchetti then reached on a bobbled ground ball, and the rushed, high throw moved Clark to third.

Clark scored the tying run on Tye Nichols’ comebacker to the mound.

“The problem today was we weren’t focused through all eight innings,” Poulin said. “But it’s a huge win, because it shows our perseverance and our effort even in that last part of the game when everybody’s getting tired, and staying strong.”

After being on the business end of a no-hitter through 4 1/3 innings, Lewiston scored one run in the fifth and another in the sixth to take the lead.

Ullrich walked and was safe at second on a fielder’s choice thanks to a wide throw. Morin singled to load the bases before Wong’s fly to center was deep enough to drive home the equalizer.

“That’s two frustrating losses in a row, especially this one. I thought we were in control right up to the bottom of the fifth,” Pepin said. “We walked a guy and then we had a bad error. That’s when it really comes back to haunt you when you don’t get those other runs home early in the game. We should have been up two, three-nothing at that point. We didn’t have room for any error, and we made one.”

Mt. Blue had at last one runner in scoring position in all eight innings.

Wing, whose playing status was uncertain after he took a line drive off the face in practice Wednesday, coaxed two groundouts after Ryan Pratt reached on an error with one out in the sixth.

The Devils took advantage with Cote’s bunt, a steal of second, a throwing error on Perreault’s grounder and a wild pitch to Poulin.

“Obviously that was a great pitcher on the mound, and he battled. I felt like we just hung with him,” Jordan said. “We thought if we could stay with him, within a run or two, we would have a chance to scratch some runs across, and the guys executed and got it done.”

Cam Abbott was 2-for-4 with a double for Mt. Blue. Lawrence allowed only one earned run. He walked four.

The Cougars pushed across the initial run in the second when Pratt walked, went to second on Ullrich’s balk, swiped third and scampered home on a Chase Heikkinen bounce-out.

“We had a brutal schedule to start with, and I thought we responded well, with a number of games on the road and playing the top tier of the conference,” Jordan said. “We kind of survived, and now we’re looking at going into the second half of the season trying to really find our groove.”


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