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Cougars edge Bulldogs; upended by Saints
DIXFIELD -- What a difference a day makes and that was certainly the case with the Dirigo baseball team, who was riding high and then received a dose of reality in a pair of Mountain Valley Conference games.
The Cougars have already realized that nothing is going to come easy and that became even more evident during a 1-0 win over Hall Dale behind a gem by Kaine Hutchins, who pitched a one hitter, and TJ Frost, who scored the lone run at Harlow Park.
Approximately 12 hours later, the team jumped on the bus and then fell behind by double-digits against Saint Doms before waking up and scoring the final nine runs of the contest.
The initial game proved to be a pitching dual between Hutchins and Bulldogs left-handed pitcher Bobby Cumland, who each matched pitches through every inning. In fact, the flame-throwing Hutchins had a hard-breaking curve ball that struck out 11 batters.
The game had actually started slowly, with Hutchins having retired the side in the top of the first. Frost led off the home half of the opening frame with a walk and was advanced to third base with two outs. Cumland threw a low pitch, that rolled toward the right toward the dugout. Frost alertly broke for home and slid head-first under an attempted tag.
Dirigo received strong defensive plays by first baseman Jack Brown and catcher Brian Volkernick who each caught pop-ups. This was necessary because the offense was held without a hit until TJ Frost doubled in the sixth.
Hall Dale had threatened in the sixth, with runners on second and third with two outs. Kaine, who had walked two, received security when Hunter Ross snared a line drive for the final out.
Against St. Doms, things started out rough for Cougar pitcher Spencer Trenoweth, who allowed five runs in the first and the deficit increased in the second. Saints' pitcher Jimmy Theriault kept the Cougars batters in check.
"We couldn't get anything going," said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer, who didn't have a good feeling after getting off the bus.
Dirigo scored two runs in the fifth inning on a Ross single and a Tyler Frost ground out. With the huge lead, SD ran freely -- 18 stolen bases, but couldn't put the Cougars away.
Dirigo scored six runs in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Justin Chartier reached third on a hustling play and scored. Nick Young walked in a run, TJ Frost hit an RBI single, Ross doubled in runs and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Robbie Babb and Ross each had two hits.
Palmer praised the team for remaining positive and displaying character by battling back.