Lisbon’s baseball team celebrates after winning Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

STANDISH — The Lisbon Greyhounds treat all two-out rallies the same, but not all two-out rallies are created equal.

Top-seeded Lisbon exploded for seven unearned runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away from No. 6 Monmouth, 12-5, in the Class C South final at St. Joseph’s College’s Larry Mahaney Diamond on Wednesday night.

With its first Class C regional title (it’s last regional title was in Class B in 1988), Lisbon (15-4) advances to the state title game at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor against No. 3-seed Orono.

“It feels amazing that we’re actually getting a shot at it,” said senior shortstop Ryley Austin, whose team lost last year’s regional final to Sacopee Valley in its final at bat. “We’ve been looking forward to this since the start of the season. Since we lost last year, we wanted to be back here, and it’s great to actually do it.”

Monmouth, which was also seeking its first Class C regional title, ends its season at 11-8.

Austin went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Greyhounds, while Nick Lerette went 3-for-3 with a double, walk, two RBIs and two runs scored.

The two teams combined for 11 errors, but it was the last one, the Mustangs’ sixth, that opened the flood gates with two out in the sixth, a half inning after Monmouth scored three runs to tie the game at 5-5.

Working in his first inning of relief, Monmouth’s Avery Amero got the first two outs with ease. Noah Austin reached on a single, but  Tyler Halls’ ground ball could have ended the inning.

But the second baseman bobbled it, which allowed Noah Austin to beat the flip throw for a force out at second and kept the inning alive for the Greyhounds.

Ryley Austin followed with a two-run single to left to give Lisbon a 7-5 lead.

“We hit better with two outs,” Austin said. “I wish we could start the inning with two outs, to be honest. That gets us fired up. I don’t know why. I couldn’t tell you why we can’t hit with two outs but once people get on base, it just seems to put something in us. We’ve got to bring them home or we let the team down, so we do our best to bring them in.”

The next five Greyhounds reached safely, with Sean Scott delivering a two-run single and Cole Bolduc and Noah Francis adding RBI singles.

“We had two outs and couldn’t get that third out,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. “Lisbon hits the ball hard. We know they hit the ball hard. Avery’s done a good job for us. He got the ground balls we needed. We just couldn’t make the plays. I think they had one earned run today.”

“Neither team really played a clean game,” he added, “but they took advantage of the errors more than we did.”

The Greyhounds made Monmouth start paying for its mistakes immediately, as three infield errors, plated two runs with two out in the first inning. The only hit of the inning, off the bat of Lerette, eluded starting pitcher Hunter Richardson’s glove and skipped up the middle to score Noah Austin from second. Back-to-back misplays at third base brought Lerette around to make it 2-0 Lisbon.

“We’re looking to capitalize on everything,” Lerette said. “Keep it rolling for the next guy, and when we get errors like that, take advantage of it.”

The Mustangs had a chance to answer in the top of the second, loading the bases with two singles and an error. But Halls, Lisbon’s starter, jackknifed Richardson with a pitch over the inside corner for called strike three to end the threat.

Monmouth didn’t squander another chance in the next inning. Hartford clubbed a triple to left-center to drive home Nick Dovinsky, and Corey Armstrong drove him home to tie it with a single.

Lisbon wasted no time regaining the lead, as Lerette doubled with one out and scored on Lucas Francis’ single for a 3-2 lead.

An RBI double by Ryley Austin and RBI single by Lerette extended the margin to 5-2 in the fifth. But the Mustangs rallied for three off reliever Lucas Francis in the sixth, helped by the last two of Lisbon’s five errors. Mat Foulke beat out an infied single to drive in one run, then Richardson belted a two-run triple with two out to tie it.

In hopes of shoring up his defense with the score tied Palleschi moved Richardson to short and brought in Amero, who had pitched six -plus innings of shutout relief to pick up the win in last Saturday’s semifinal against Winthrop. Richardson recorded the first two outs of the inning with his glove, on a pop up and ground out, before the Greyhounds got their two-out wake-up call.

“We seem to focus a little bit more with two out,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “We do a great job with two strikes, too, just battle every time up. We faced a really good pitcher on Hunter and hit the ball hard. They looked like they had the jitters in the first inning. It’s not so much that we had jitters. I think we were just a little tentative at times when we made a couple of our errors.”

But the Greyhounds also made up for their miscues with some sparkling plays, including two terrific catches in right by Scott, a diving catch by Ryley Austin retreating on a pop-up over his head at shortstop, and a great relay throw from the outfield by second baseman Noah Austin to cut down Corey Armstong at third base. That play kept the Mustangs from doing further damage in their two-run third.

Armstrong, Hartford and Foulke led the Mustangs with two hits apiece.

“I thought Lisbon was a team to beat, and we avoided them to the end. We had given them fits as much as anybody (during the regular season), beat them one game and lost the second one (7-6),” Palleschi said. “Our kids battled all year long and we had a lot of adversity that we fought through and they did a heck of a job. Today just didn’t work out.”

Lisbon won the 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish on Wednesday.

The Lisbon team erupts with joy after winning the Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Lisbon’s Noah Austin slides into home base as Monmouth’s catcher Corey Armstrong catches the ball at Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Lisbon’s third baseman Ryley Austin and Monmouth’s corey Armstrong react to the umpire’s call of”out” after a face first slide into third base at Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Monmouth’s Avery Amero tries to catch the ball to take Lisbon’s Noah Austin out.during Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

Lisbon’s Tyler Hall fires the ball down the middle from the pitcher’s mound at Wednesday’s 2017 MPA South Region Baseball Championships at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.


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