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Cougar boys take second state crown in three years
CLASS C CHAMPIONS -- The Dirigo baseball team, most of them sporting mohawks here, won the state championship for the second time in three years Saturday, defeated previously unbeaten Calais, 6-1. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
TJ Frost of the Cougars dives across home plate following a wild pitch for the first run of Saturday's state title contest. Adam Geel of Calais dove to make the tag, but the throw from the catcher went past him. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Dirigo's Spencer Trenoweth successfully swipes second base during the state title contest with Calais. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
STANDISH -- It's difficult to defend against confidence and experience, however, that's exactly what the Dirigo baseball team has relied on throughout the season and the combination was evident once again in the Class C state championship game.
The top three batters -- T.J. Frost, Caleb Turner and Chad Snowman -- powered the offense by combining to go 7-for-9, while pitcher Ben Holmes persevered in going the distance as Dirigo baseball team took advantage of the action for a 6-1 win against Calais last Saturday at Mahaney Diamond on the Saint Joseph's campus. It was the Cougars' second state crown in three years.
Dirigo had beaten Calais in the 2010 state game, on the same field, took control by putting the ball in play to lead 4-0. This was highlighted by scoring three runs in the third inning. Dirigo won their 19th straight game following a loss to St. Dom's in the season opener.
Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer said the team never looked back or broke down after the team's lone loss. The four seniors -- Cody St. Germain, catcher Jake Dowland, Turner and Holmes had outstanding careers; four state championships and eight regional crowns.
In the third, Tyler Frost reached when his pop-up was misplayed. Hunter Ross drew a walk and TJ Frost singled home his younger brother. Turner drilled the next pitch beyond the outstretched glove of the centerfielder for a two-run double.
Pitcher Adam Geel was the X factor for Calais. The right hander was 10-0 this season and 30-4 in his high school career, but the Dirigo batters was unfazed. The Cougars had loaded the bases in the first inning and despite only T.J. Frost scampering home on a breaking ball that bounced away.
Holmes said during the game that (Geel) wasn't throwing (slider) that well and could be hit and T.J. Frost concurred that (Geels) off-speed wasn't much different from his other pitches.
T.J. Frost had singles, Turner doubled twice and Snowman was a homer shy of the cycle, with a single, double and triple. The Cougars (both teams wore blue shirts again) had additional chances, but Snowman and Spencer Trenoweth (stolen bases) were each stranded on third base.
The Blue Devils, who lost their third straight state game, scored a lone run in the third. They stranded 10 base runners, including two each in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
Holmes admitted he didn't have his best stuff, eight singles and five walks, but had eight strikeouts in a 125-pitch performance.
Holmes had troubles with his location and as not happy, but the team win was of greater importance.
Dirigo also flashed some leather, including Dowland bouncing out from behind home plate to make a diving catch. Trenoweth raced over to catch two fly balls in the right-field gap. In the sixth, Turner had three assists at shortstop and St. Germain caught a foul ball by the first base dugout.