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Cougar nine dismantle Saints for regional title
STANDISH -- A fourth chance proved to be exactly what Dirigo needed as it completely and effectively won its second straight Class C Western regional championship at Mahaney Diamond on the campus of Saint Joseph's College.
The Cougars dismantled rival Saint Dominics 15-3 in a baseball game that as shortened to four and one half innings because of the mercy rule. Kaine Hutchins earned the pitching win, while Jack Brown and T.J. Frost each collected three hits and drove in four runs to lead the offense.
It was the fourth meeting between the two MVC foes. Saint Doms won the season opener 11-9 in Auburn, but Dirigo ended the regular season on a high note with a 3-1 win at Harlow Park. The Saints cruised in the MVC championship game.
The regional title game was supposed to be a pitching dual between the Saints' Zak Johnson and Hutchins, but it never materialized.
SD jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
''That's happened to us all year,'' said Brown. "The first couple of innings, they always score on us then after that we get our stuff together and get it back.''
Indeed, it was Dirigo who got some timely hits and came up with solid defensive plays to earn the triumph.
In the bottom of the first, the Cougars tied the score. Table setters TJ Frost, Hunter Ross and Chad Snowman each hit the ball.
Tyler Frost laced an RBI single and Hutchins had an RBI sac-fly to the shortstop in shallow left-center field.
Neither team scored in the second, but the best was yet to come. Ross led off the third with a single, a walk and an error loaded the bases. Hutchins was hit in the left arm and then the flood gates opened.
Spencer Trenoweth hit a grounder to short, but a throw home was in the dirt and Snowman scored. Brett Whittemore drew a bases-loaded walk and Johnson was lifted.
Brown, a designated hitter, smashed a two-run single and Dirigo wasn't done.
''Jack Brown had a monster game,'' said coach Ryan Palmer. ''He has been ripping the ball in batting practice. We knew before long, he was going to break out and, boy oh boy, did he.''
A walk reloaded the bases and T.J. Frost hit a two-run single. Snowman added an RBI sac fly. Hutchins allowed five hits, walked one , while fanning one in each inning. He retired the side in order in three innings, including the fifth inning.
Dirigo has graduated Robbie Babb, Justin Chartier, Nick Young, Ross, TJ Frost, Snowman and Trenoweth.