LISBON — With two outs and runners on first and second, Monmouth had a chance to rally in the top of the seventh inning of Saturday’s Class C South baseball semifinal.

Lisbon catcher Caleb Phillips noticed one batter earlier that Hayden Fletcher was taking a long lead off second base, so when the opportunity struck during Sam Calder’s at-bat, Phillips launched a throw to second base and the Greyhounds were able to get Fletcher out in a rundown to secure the 3-2 victory.

Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said that while he wouldn’t have made the throw to second, he has total confidence in Phillips making that decision.

“When I saw how big a lead he had, I thought that Caleb was going to take a chance,” Ridley said. “In that situation, do I like that, though? I’m not that way, but I will always trust my players. It was a great decision and it worked out great for us.

“It comes to a point as a coach where you have to just trust your kids to play. Sometimes it burns us, but I want my kids to play.”

Phillips, meanwhile, had confidence in the Lisbon infielders to finish the play and get Fletcher out. 


“The pitch before, on the (Manny Calder) strikeout, Fletcher stepped a couple too many,” Phillips said. “The defense knows I make some gutsy, dumb plays, but I trust them. I trust them to catch it. The last (pitch), I saw him go one step more than last time, and I just sent for it.”

No. 1 Lisbon (19-0) will now face No. 6 Maranacook (15-5) — a 2-0 winner Saturday over No. 2 Sacopee Valley — in the regional final Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College.

Saturday’s semifinal between the Greyhounds and the Mustangs was a rematch of last year’s regional final, won by Monmouth, and of a 5-4 win by Lisbon on May 6. So it wasn’t surprising that it ended up being a tightly played game decided by one run.

The Greyhounds’ offense, throughout the game, took advantage of the few base runners they had, including the sixth inning, when they scored the go-ahead run.

Hunter Brissette singled with one out and moved to third on a single from Levi Tibbetts. Phillips then launched a fly ball to center field that was caught but was deep enough to allow Brissette to tag up and score to put Lisbon ahead 3-2. 

The fifth-seeded Mustangs (14-5) had had a couple of opportunities they didn’t take advantage of early in the game.


In the second inning, they loaded the bases on two hits and a hit-by-pitch but didn’t plate any runners. In the fourth, they left two runners on base. They stranded eight in the game.

“We just couldn’t execute,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. “I don’t know how many people we left on base, but it had to be a bunch. Situations like that, against good teams, they’ll come back and get you. That hurt us.”

While the Mustangs’ offense wasn’t scoring early, neither was the Greyhound’s, as starting pitcher Sam Calder retired Lisbon in order each of the first three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, Lisbon finally had some base runners and quickly converted them to runs. 

Tibbetts hit a deep double to left-center field to score Brissette and break the scoreless tie. Two batters later, Greyhounds starting pitcher Nick Ferrence helped his own cause with an RBI single that extended the lead to 2-0. 

“I thought Sammy pitched a great game,” Palleschi said. “He did a great job keeping them off balance and had some secondary pitches that were working really well. He did well.


“Levi had two hits, and he hit a couple tough pitches. He hit the fastball way off the plate and hit it up the middle, and he hit the slider down and away and he went down and got it.”

Monmouth bounced back in the fifth, plating two runs to tie the game 2-2. 

First, Matt Marquis’ sacrifice fly scored Isaac Olivera. Two batters later, Sam Calder hit a fly ball into right field that the sliding outfielder wasn’t able to catch, allowing Fletcher to score the game-tying run. 

Calder sat Lisbon down in order in the fifth inning, including one of his five strikeouts in the game. 

Tibbetts was brought in to pitch the sixth inning for Lisbon, relieving Ferrence, who gave up two runs on three hits and struck out four batters over five innings. 

“Nick looked like he was getting a little tired,” Ridley said. “He was still throwing OK, but I think he pressed a little bit. It was an early thought process where I said, ‘OK, I don’t think he’s going to go the whole game.’ My thought at the start of the game was, Nick and then someone else. Nick pitched well and Levi came in and did his job.

“I am pleased, happy with how this whole team stayed together through this one. A big team win.”

The win to advance to the C South final was an emotional one for the Greyhounds. 

“This is huge. Monmouth is kind of that team now,” Tibbetts said. “Last year we couldn’t string it together to beat them, and now we’ve beat them twice this year, and it’s just a ton of momentum.”

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