Lisbon third baseman Lucas Francis makes a basket catch of a pop fly ball against Hall-Dale on Wednesday in Farmingdale. The Greyhounds fell to the Bulldogs 3-2. (Bob Conn/Brunswick Times Record)

FARMINGDALE — To say the least, the Lisbon and Hall-Dale baseball teams are becoming real familiar with each other.

On Thursday, the teams will be play for the third time in just 20 days in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game at Thomas College (4 p.m.).

But on Wednesday, the Greyhounds and Bulldogs completed their MVC regular-season slate, with the No. 1 seed in the Class C South Heal point standings on the line.

For the second time, it was Hall-Dale that came out on top, downing Lisbon, 3-2, in a tight pitcher’s duel between Bulldogs senior hurler Dean Jackman and Greyhounds junior righty Noah Austin.

Jackman allowed just two hits and struck out five, and the two runs Lisbon (13-3) scored were unearned, while Austin permitted five hits.


“He was terrific today,” Hall-Dale (15-1) coach Bob Sinclair said. “With Dean, his mental composure is very impressive. He doesn’t let things bother his game and really battles. For a pitcher to have that mental focus, it sets him up for success.”

Lisbon coach Randy Ridley always faces a dilemma when Austin, normally his team’s catcher, pitches. And it was Hall-Dale’s ability to steal bases that led to the victory, as the Bulldogs were a perfect 6-for-6.

“It’s hard because Hall-Dale is quick and fast, and it is tough to defend the steal. Plus, my best catcher was my starting pitcher today. But overall we did a good job,” Ridley said. “Today was two good teams, two good pitchers on the mound, and we did everything that we could to tie it up.”

Through three innings, Jackman and Austin had each allowed just one hit while picking up four strikeouts.

Lisbon had the best chance to score. In the opening inning, Austin and DJ Douglass opened the game by reaching on Hall-Dale errors. With one out, both stole a base to move into scoring position. But Jackman struck out the next two Greyhounds to end the frame.

Lisbon broke through in the fourth, Nick Austin was hit by a Jackman pitch, moved to second on a ground ball, to third on Hall-Dale’s third error, and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of Cole Bolduc for a 1-0 lead.


However, Hall-Dale struck right back. In the home half of the fourth, Jacob Brown walked, stole second, and later scored on an RBI single by Akira Warren that struck Noah Austin and caromed into the right field. Warren stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and beat the throw to the plate, with Cole Lockhart picking up the go-ahead RBI with a sacrifice fly ball to right field.

The Bulldogs kept the pressure on Lisbon on the basepaths in the fifth. Logan Dupont singled and stole second. With two outs, Brown singled for a 3-1 lead.

Jackman kept rolling. Through six innings, the only hit for Lisbon was an infield single by Jonah Sautter. But in the seventh, Lisbon drew closer. Sautter reached on another Bulldog error, one of two in the final frame.

“It is a concern, but we’ll work hard to make it better in the next game,” Sinclair said of his team’s five infield errors.

Lisbon pinch hitter Neil Larochelle singled to left-center field to score pinch runner Hunter Davis cut the deficit to 3-2.

With the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Jackman saw his defense come through with two good plays on hard-hit ground balls to end it.


“I felt good at the beginning, but lost it a little bit in the sixth inning. I was rushing a little bit,” said Jackman of his complete-game, 100-pitch performance. “This is a big win, morally, for us. We knew that we would be first or second, and we are ready for the playoffs. Getting the one seed is important. We want to play here.”

Now comes the MVC game.

“The MVC is always a fun game. We played them last year and it is a good chance to prepare for the postseason,” Sinclair said.

“We will go up there tomorrow and see what we can do,” Ridley said. “We are in a good spot, and hopefully we will see them again in the regional final. But there are a lot of games to be played before that.”

Noah Austin finished with seven strikeouts. For Hall-Dale, Alec Byron and Jackman each singled.

Hall-Dale third baseman Tim Cookson, left, and Lisbon baserunner Noah Austin look at the umpire for the call at third base in the first inning of Wednesday’s MVC baseball game. Austin was safe on the play, but the Greyhounds fell to Cookson’s Bulldogs 3-2. (Bob Conn/Brunswick Times Record)

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