DIXFIELD — Winning pitcher Matt Wallingford contained Dirigo’s hitters, his defense provided cover and Leavitt’s offense supplied nine well-placed hits in a 9-1 baseball victory over the Cougars on Monday.

Wallingford went all seven innings in the two-hitter, striking out nine batters.

“I was definitely getting stronger, hitting my spots, (and) a good defense behind me,” Wallingford said. “I was ready to go.”

That could also be said of the Hornets’ offense.

Leavitt (2-3) opened up on the Cougars in the first inning, using a pair of hits and several passed balls to build a 4-0 lead. Wallingford (3-for-3, including a double) smacked an RBI single and junior Blake Springer brought home a run with a fly-out to right field.

“We had some guys who had to jump into new spots — almost emergency style,” Leavitt coach Chris Cifelli said. “We had some people who were sick and a couple of injuries throughout the game, but it was unplanned so I was glad they could step up.

“We responded offensively. We took advantage and drove some guys in and got the lead and made it comfortable for Matt to settle in. He made his pitches to get people out and I think that is really important.”

Leavitt collected another two runs in the third inning. Catcher Ryan Thibeault led off with a double and Wallingford followed with his second hit of the game. The pair came home when Brogan McCormick made it to first base on an error and picked up an RBI along the way.

Another run in the fourth inning provided Leavitt with 7-0 cushion. Denver Taylor belted a single, stole second and raced home on Wallingford’s double.

The Cougars got one run in the fifth when Charlie Houghton singled and stole a couple of bases and reached home on Curtis Errington’s grounder to first base.

“I felt like we dug a hole early,” Dirigo coach Bob Karcher said. “They kind of controlled most of the game because they chipped away at us. I thought our pitching wasn’t terrible. 

“The first inning was probably our demise. We can’t let a good team get up by four and expect to have an easy time. It killed the morale.”

The Hornets topped off their victory thanks to a pair of errors and a two-run RBI single by infielder Jayden Ruel. Dirigo starter Cole Brown was tagged with the loss after Houghton came on in relief in the third inning.


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