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Cougars avenge St. Dom's to claim MVC title
FARMINGTON -- It certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty, however, Dirigo persevered to win its first-ever Mountain Valley Conference baseball championship under the lights at historic Hippach Field.
The Cougars started slow, but got the offense going by scoring eight runs in the third and fourth innings en route to a solid 10-4 win against Saint Dominics.
The tide shifted when Dirigo scored six runs in the fourth, on two hits. The highlights included an RBI triple by Chad Snowman and a Caleb Turner two-run single, who also stole home. Spencer Ross (two hits, three runs) utilized his speed to score from second base on a ground ball out. The teams had faced each other in the regular-season finale, so Dirigo was well aware of the Saints tactics. The Cougars adjusted their battle plan and smoked the Saints in the rematch.
“We weren’t going to lose,” said Ross. “We didn’t want to lose our third game in a row (especially not with the playoffs looming). And definitely not to them.”
Dirigo and St. Doms faced each other in the MVC title game for the second straight year. In 2010, Saint Doms plated three unearned runs in the sixth inning in an 8-5 triumph over the Cougars.
In the third, Snowman singled and following a second out, Ross singled and both scored on Turner’s two-run single. Turner had two hits and four RBI.
Ben Holmes pitched the first three innings, with two runs scored on wild pitches. Cody St. Germain relieved for one and two-thirds innings, with Arik Fenstermacher throwing a shutout in two-plus innings.
Dirigo had set the tone early by being aggressive on the base paths, stealing seven times. Holmes hit an RBI ground out and two runs scored on wild pitches. Turner raced home on a would-be squeeze play.
“That was big,” said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer. “We’ve played St. Dom’s so many times and finally we were able to get them on their heels a little.”
Dirigo scored two runs in the second. Spencer Ross singled, stole second, advanced on a balk and raced home on a Fenstermacher ground out. Holmes singled and scored.
Dirigo also aided its cause by flashing leather on defensive plays, Hunter Ross made an excellent throw following a catch in the second. Snowman made a fine running catch in center field.