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Cougars clinch top seed
BETHEL -- The combination of good pitching and defense has been an asset for the Dirigo baseball team through this spring and the addition of a timely bat came alive in its regular season finale.
Senior Ben Holmes pitched a complete game one-hitter and Caleb Turner drove in the only run with a double in the top of the eighth inning as the Cougars survived 1-0 against Telstar. The game featured two quality pitchers - the Rebels' Dan Whitney and Holmes - who matched each other and had the respective opposing batters completely baffled.
TJ Frost had led off the extra frame with a walk and he didn't stand idle too long because Turner drilled a 3-2 pitch toward the leftfield fence. Frost was running on delivery of the pitch and scored easily.
“I knew he'd change-up and curveball in the count and I was looking for the straight one," said Turner. “I was pretty sure he was going to throw me the straight one and he did.”
Dirigo extended its winning streak to 15 games and clinched the number one seed for the Western Class C playoffs. First, the Cougars played a rematch (this past Monday) against Saint Doms in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game. The baseball/softball events had been previously scheduled to be held on the Saints' campus in Auburn.
Dirigo had received some great defensive efforts that prevented Telstar from getting anything going. Tyler Frost snared a grounder at third base and threw to Brett Whittemore, who whipped the ball to Cody St. Germain to complete a 5-4-3 double play. Telstar had been held hitless until Kyle Peterson singled with one out in the fifth.
Holmes' next pitch was lined toward first base, but St. Germain stretched his 6-4 body to catch it and dove to the base for an inning-ending double play.
"That was a game saving play," remarked Holmes, who had thrown a no-hitter in his prior start, a 2-0 win against Wiscasset. Holmes and catcher Jake Dowland had the same chemistry working against the Rebels.
The Cougars had runners on first and second with one out when Spencer Trenoweth (two RBI at Wiscasset) hit a ball into the gap. However, Telstar right fielder Drew Wilson rushed over and made a one-handed catch to rob extra bases.