LISBON — Heading into Monday’s clash with St. Dominic Academy, the Lisbon High School baseball team was red hot, winning six straight games and piling up 68 runs.

In the Greyhounds’ latest Mountain Valley Conference game, the bats continued to connect, but Riley Volpe and the Saints’ defense had something to say about it.

Lisbon hit into 15 flyball outs and was shutout for the first time this season as St. Dom’s won the hard-fought pitcher’s duel, 1-0.

“They’re a well-coached team,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said of St. Dom’s. “They took advantage of one opportunity they had, and we missed two of ours.”

Lisbon (10-4) put the ball in play early and often, but it consistently ended up in the glove of a St. Dom’s (12-2) fielder. There were just six at-bats in which the Greyhounds didn’t make contact and force a defensive play, but Volpe allowed just five hits on the day.

“We made good contact with the balls we hit,” Ridley said. “But we had too many flyball outs. If we’re going to go up against a kid like that, we need to make sure we get more line-drive hits, hit the ball hard on the ground. We did that. We had some opportunities to score and they made the plays behind him. That’s the bottom line.”

Volpe, who tossed just 85 pitches and walked a pair in seven full innings on the bump, struck out three and recorded four 1-2-3 innings. Two walks and an infield grounder put the freshman in a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning, but a diving catch in center field kept the Lisbon runs off the board.

“I don’t think he was overly difficult to hit,” Ridley said of Volpe. “He mixed up his pitches well and kept you off balance, but we still hit the ball. I think part of it was that we were trying to kill the ball instead of putting the ball in play. We tried to hit the ball too hard.”

“Riley’s (Volpe) not going to blow the ball by them,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “He’s going to pitch to contact and he’s going to stay on his spots. We had a plan and Riley really executed that plan the best we could do it.”

The Greyhounds’ second-best chance at a run came in the bottom of the seventh, when they rallied behind a pair of singles from Noah Austin and Nick Austin. Volpe earned two outs before facing Tyler Halls at the top of the lineup in what was an ideal spot for the home side. After five pitches and two foul-tips from Halls, Volpe caught him swinging to end the game.

“I just threw a fastball right down the middle,” Volpe said. “Pitching to contact was really it.”

“That’s an exceptional team that we just beat,” Blackman said. “One of the top hitting teams in the conference. Our defense was exceptional, running down flyballs all day long.”

The opportunity

On the other side, Halls also pitched a complete game, hurling 96 pitches and fanning 10 batters. The southpaw managed to get out of two based-loaded jams, but was burnt by an error in the third. After Gavin Bates reached second on a playable ball in right field, Halls struck out two before Mack Pelletier singled. But on the second swinging strikeout, Lisbon catcher Nick Lerette was forced to pick the ball out of the dirt and throw to first to record the out. As he did, Bates rounded third and crossed the plate to score the game’s only run.

Halls gave up four hits and walked three, settling down by the end of the game and facing just 13 batters over the final four innings.

“He pitched a great game,” Ridley said of his starter. “He’s done that every day we’ve given him the ball on the hill. Today, we just didn’t get the bats going.”

Cole Bolduc led the way for Lisbon, tallying two hits (double, single) from the nine spot. Noah Austin reached base twice (one single), while Ryley Austin and Nick Havlicek singled.

The Greyhounds travel to Wiscasset on Wednesday for another key MVC game at 4 p.m.

“I tell them put this behind them,” Ridley said. “You’ve got to live pitch-to-pitch. This game’s over with, put it behind you. We’ve got to get back to work tomorrow.”


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