MONMOUTH — If there has been one major storyline in Mountain Valley Conference boys athletics this year, it’s been the battles between the Monmouth Academy Mustangs and Mt. Abram Roadrunners.

Both schools won state soccer titles in the fall, Mt. Abram in Class C and Monmouth in D. Next, they had some remarkable showdowns in boys’ basketball with the Mustangs beating the Roadrunners for the regional title en route to a Gold Ball. Now, it’s baseball season, and once again, both are cream of the crop.

“They’re a similar size school as us, and (you look at) their success on the soccer field and in basketball and now baseball, too,” Monmouth’s Jacob Harmon said after the Mustangs’ 8-2 win over the Roadrunners on the diamond Friday. “It’s a new rivalry, but I feel like we bring the best out in each other.”

It certainly brought out the best in Monmouth on Friday, as the defending state champion Mustangs came through for a major Class C South win. The home team weathered five errors over the first three innings and put up crooked numbers in the third, fourth and fifth in a strong performance.

Sammy Calder threw a complete game for Monmouth, striking out eight and allowing three hits. Jacob Harmon (two singles), Luke Harmon (two double) and Noah Schultz (single, double) all had multi-hit games for the Mustangs, who totaled nine hits as a team.

Monmouth (10-1) made an error in each of the first two innings but still found itself in a scoreless game through two as Mt. Abram failed to capitalize. The Mustangs weren’t so fortunate in the third, though, as Payton Mitchell went from first to third on an errant throw before he scored on a sacrifice fly.

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Monmouth answered right back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs before adding two more in the fourth. The Mustangs scored four in the fifth as Mitchell, who relieved starter Logan Dube, walked four straight batters before Luke Harmon hit a two-run double.

“I’ve got to give credit to Sammy Calder because it’s tough as a pitcher when your fielders are making those errors, but he came back,” Jacob Harmon said. “First inning, they had a runner on third, and he got three straight strikeouts. … (Offensively), we just brought it back together as the game went on.”

Dube, who struck out three and gave up four earned runs in as many innings of work, took the loss for Mt. Abram (7-4). He had one of the three hits for the Roadrunners, whose other base knocks came courtesy of Ash Rollins and Bryce Wilcox.

The win was the seventh in a row for Monmouth, which has now won 28 of its past 29 games dating back to last season. The Mustangs are averaging 11.3 runs per game.


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