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Cougars rally past Bulldogs, 7-6
DIXFIELD -- Once again, a little bit of adversity helps strengthen a team and that proved to be exactly what Dirigo needed as it buckled down when the situation was needed in a Western Maine Class C semifinal baseball game last week in the final appearance by the seniors at Harlow Park.
When Chad Snowman was summoned into relief in the first inning, he wasn't sure what to expect, however, his performance was stellar and the Cougars offense rallied back for a 7-6 win against Hall Dale.
Snowman earned the win after pitching 6 2/3 on the mound after shifting over from third base, after starter Kaine Hutchins ran in to trouble. It was deja vu for Snowman, who had threw the final four innings in relief for the top-ranked Cougars beat Old Orchard Beach in a quarterfinal game. It was No. 4 Hall Dale who lost in a quarterfinal game in Dixfield last year.
The semifinal game turned blue when the Bulldogs scored five runs in the first inning, but the Cougars immediately started battling back. Dirigo scored three runs in the first, two in second and two in the third.
In the bottom of first, T.J. Frost walked, Hunter Ross singled cleanly and Snowman drilled a pitch to the outfield and he raced into third standing up, with both runners scoring. Snowman, who is playing with a torn ACL, eventually scored.
"The (knee) brace makes me feel like I don't have an injury at all," said Snowman, during a post game interview. "It's really nice. It has helped me a lot."
The Cougars maintained the pressure in the second as Jack Brown led off with a single and Brian Volkernick laid down a sacrifice bunt. T.J. Frost then hit a towering drive over Nash Street for a two-run homer.
"I saw his father (Dave) parked over there,"said coach Ryan Palmer. "He started honking the horn as even out. He had a good view, so I assumed it was out."
Dirigo had tied the game, but wasn't done. Hutchins led off the third with a walk, stole second and motored home on Spencer Trenoweth's triple. Second baseman Brett Whittemore followed with a groundout that plated Trenoweth, making the score 7-5.
Hall Dale scored a lone run in the fourth, on an RBI ground out. But a fly ball to left was caught by Volkernick to end the inning. Snowman walked four and struck out three. He didn't allow a base runner, following catcher Tyler Frost throwing out Nat Crooker to end the fifth.