In Friday’s Mountain Valley Conference baseball game between Wiscasset and Saint Dominic Academy, it ended very cruelly for starting pitcher Tyler Bailey and the Wolverines.

Bailey fanned 14 batters over nine innings of work, but in the end two vital errors behind him cost his side the game and St. Dom’s took the win, 2-1, behind starter Riley Volpe.

“It’s a really tough way to lose,” Wiscasset coach Gregg Wood said. “But it is what it is. Just got to keep your chin up, just keep on going. We can’t let this one bother us.”

After tossing five clean innings and striking out half the batters he faced, Bailey ran into a little trouble in the sixth. Following two quick outs to start the frame, a line-drive single into center field off the bat of St. Dom’s (4-0) Gavin Bates turned into a double after a misplayed ball. Then, in the next at-bat, Justin Keaney made Wiscasset (2-2) pay for the error with another single into center, driving in the first run of the game.

The Wolverines countered and got their first run back in the bottom half, but it was another error in the ninth inning that proved more costly than the first. With one out and Bailey still on the bump, Nate Richard beat out a grounder to shortstop to get things started. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and stolen base, making way for Hunter Hughes two batters later. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Hughes popped a high fly ball into center field that looked to be an inning-ender, but it hit the grass and gave the Saints the go-ahead run.

“We were a little defensive at the plate,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “We struggled with his (Bailey) off-speed pitch and it kept us off balance. We just waited for that break. And then, the key was to take advantage of it. We just had to get that key hit when we had the opportunity.”

Bailey finished with 137 pitches and got out of three runner-on-third jams. Seven of his 14 strikeouts were looking.

“I was getting concerned,” Wood said of Bailey’s workload. “But he was strong. I kept checking with him, said he was fine. I do get nervous when someone goes over 100, but I trust him.”

Volpe, a freshman making his first-ever start for St. Dom’s, went eight strong innings, striking out four and walking just one. His only allowed run came in the sixth inning when Wiscasset’s Daren Wood beat out an infield grounder and advanced to second base on an overthrow. Two batters later, Bryson Grover drove him in on a line drive down the left-field line. Volpe bounced back strong, though, and forced five pop-ups out of the last seven batters he faced.

“He threw to contact,” Blackman said of Volpe. “Spotted his fastball down and away. I was very, very pleased with that.”

“I did better than I thought,” Volpe said. “My fastball was running a lot more than I thought, and my curveball was OK. It feels great.”

Wood doubled down the left-field line in the eighth inning, but the Wolverines couldn’t bring him home. Wood and Grover, who hit three singles, were the only two batters that reached base more than once for the home side. Gavin Bates, Justin Keaney and Nate Richard tallied hits for St. Dom’s, which won at Wiscasset for the first time during Blackman’s 14-year tenure with the program. Mack Pelletier closed out the game in the ninth inning on 13 pitches.


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