LISBON — It was the rematch the Lisbon High School baseball team wanted, another shot at Sacopee Valley in the postseason.

That chance at redemption from last year’s regional final walk-off loss to the Hawks came on Thursday as the top-seeded Greyhounds hosted No. 9 Sacopee in a Class C South quarterfinal.

For five innings, it looked liked those wishes were going to blow up on Lisbon, with the Greyhounds trailing 3-0, with Hawks fireballer Bryn Burnell keeping the hosts off the board.

But, Burnell ran out of pitches after allowing a run in the sixth, and Lisbon feasted on reliever Jared Jordan in the seventh for a walk-off 4-3 victory.

In that seventh inning, Nick Austin worked a walk to open the frame, and Noah Austin, who was hit on the arm while running out a ground ball in the first inning, hustled to first after rolling a slow roller to third. He collided with Hawks first baseman Pete Cates and went to second when the throw from third sailed out of play.

“I have a little scrape on the arm, nothing big,” said Noah Austin, who was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Tyler Halls followed, slicing a single to left field to tie the game, with a second Sacopee error allowing the senior to motor into second. Ryley Austin grounded to third, with Halls caught in a rundown. But, the Hawks, after making seven throws to try and retire the speedy runner, dropped the ball, with Halls taking third. A wild pitch three pitches later had Hall and his teammates celebrating.

“We knew we were going to come together, and we have each other’s backs,” said Halls. “We were going to get runners on and win this game. This is very important to our community. We definitely wanted Sacopee in this game, and we got our revenge.”

“These young men showed a lot of heart today. They didn’t give up,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “What we did in the seventh, you can’t ask for more.”

Early nerves

It was Lisbon (13-4) that showed nerves in the early going. Francis hit leadoff hitter Cam Cyr with a pitch and walked Burnell on four pitches. A fielder’s choice and a passed ball gave Sacopee (9-9) a 1-0 lead.

The second inning was no better for the Greyhounds, as two more Hawks scored without the benefit of a hit, with two errors costing Lisbon dearly in putting the hosts into a 3-0 deficit.

“Walks and errors at the beginning of the game, but I think we were finally able to get the jitters out,” said Ridley, who relieved Francis to bring in the lefty Halls, who worked the final five scoreless innings on six strikeouts and four walks. Combined, Francis and Halls tossed a no-hitter.

Meanwhile Burnell had Lisbon guessing. The tall right-hander permitted three hits through five frames – a bunt single by Halls, a Noah Austin double and an infield single to Noah Francis.

“He was good with changing his pitches up, kept us guessing, and he pitched a great game. His fastball was straight, but his curve had me off-balance a couple times,” said Halls of Burnell, who over six innings, threw 111 pitches with seven strikeouts, one walk and five hits allowed.

Lisbon scratched a run across in the sixth in Burnell’s final frame, with Ryley Austin scoring on a Lucas Francis single.

“It was a hard game, but we kept going. None of our hitters hit (Burnell) hard, but we just stayed positive,” said Noah Austin.

Ridley felt the rally in the sixth was key to his team’s success in the seventh.

“We flipped the lineup in the sixth, and that was huge. It was boom, boom , boom the rest of the way. We made mistakes, but they made mistakes late in the game,” Ridley said.

Noah Austin felt his team came together for the six Lisbon seniors.

“Right after I scored, I went up to Noah Francis and Ryley and said, ‘this is for you,’” said Noah Austin. “This is why we play. This was great.”

“There is no room for second-guessing, sitting back, and they were there for each other and I am so proud of how we stayed up the whole game,” said Ridley.

Lisbon is scheduled to host either Dirigo or Traip Academy on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.


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