DIXFIELD — Typically, it takes more than one hit to win a baseball game. 

But with Gavin Arsenault on the mound, Dirigo didn’t need a surplus of offensive production to bypass Lisbon on Monday. 

The Dirigo starting pitcher went all seven innings, scattering five hits while striking out 10 and walking just two in the Cougars’ 2-0 victory against Lisbon. Arsenault recorded a strikeout in all seven innings for the complete-game shutout. 

“Gavin’s been nothing sort of magnificent all year long,” Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer said. “He’s getting the job done. He came in with the attitude that he’s going to be one of the best pitchers in the conference and he’s definitely done everything we’ve asked him and he’s succeeded.” 

Arsenault surrendered a leadoff single to Lisbon’s Riley Austin to open the game only to retire nine of the next 10 Greyhounds — six via strikeouts. He needed just eight pitches to get out of the second and 11 to retire the side in the third. 

The Greyhounds (6-2) threatened in both the fourth and fifth innings, putting their leadoff hitter on base in each frame against Arsenault. In the fourth, Kyle Bourget and Austin Fournier singled, putting runners at first and second with one out. But Arsenault fanned Noah Francis for his seventh strikeout and got Darren Ward to fly out to Gus Brown in right field. 

“Some games we’ve gotten the big hit and, testament to Gavin, he did not allow us to get that hit,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “He threw good pitches, kept us off-balance in those situations and they made plays behind him. That’s what good teams are supposed to do.” 

Lisbon loaded the bases with one out in the fifth with the Cougars (7-1) nursing a 1-0 lead. Arsenault worked out of the jam, striking out RJ Sargent looking and getting Tyler Halls to ground into a fielder’s choice at third. 

“I know I have a team behind me,” Arsenault said. “I just pitch and they help me out, they have my back.” 

Arsenault made the lone error for Dirigo on Austin’s leadoff single in the first when he threw wide of Gavin Hebert at first base. 

Arsenault said his two-seam fastball was working the best, allowing him to stay ahead of the Lisbon batters. He rarely fell behind in the count and only threw three-plus balls to four batters. He struck out two batters on those situations, including Joe Philbrick in the seventh after falling behind 3-0. 

“I just feel like I have to battle against hitters and do my job to help the team,” Arsenault said. 

The left-handed junior wasn’t the only one dealing on the mound Monday. Bourget was just as dominant for the Greyhounds. He drew a tough-luck loss despite surrendering just one hit over six innings, striking out 11 and walking three. He allowed just four Lisbon base runners. 

“Kyle showed up today and was like ‘No, I’m going to do everything I can to win this game.'”Only giving up one hit, that’s great. Kyle stepped up. He showed he belonged as a top-tier pitcher in this league.”

Dirigo’s 4-8 hitters went 0-for-11 with 10 strikeouts against Bourget. 

The last time Bourget pitched against Dirigo, it was in the summer when he tossed a no-hitter in the American Legion baseball playoffs.

With Bourget on the mound, Dirigo turned to small ball to manufacture its runs. The first came in the top of the first after a leadoff walk to Arsenault. He moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gus Brown and reached third on a passed ball. Tyler Frost brought him in with a sacrifice fly to left field.

“We knew facing Bourget that we were going to need to play small ball to win and that’s exactly what we did,” Palmer said. “Against good pitching, our team is very good small ball-wise and we knew we had to do that.”

Frost drove in Arsenault again in the sixth on an RBI ground out to short. 

“Funny thing, is you know how America runs on Dunkin?” Palmer said. “Well, Dirigo baseball runs on Tyler Frost. Anybody that knows this team or knows Tyler knows that he’s up for every game and he’s just a great leader.”

Dirigo’s only hit came off the bat of Mitch Kubesh, a single to left field in the third. 

Austin was the lone batter for either team to record multiple hits. He finished 2-for-4. 


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