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Dirigo drops opening clash with St. Dom's
DIXFIELD -- Dirigo suffered a 4-2 loss to Saint Dom's in the season opener at Harlow Park.
The Cougars had a chance to tie the score in the sixth, but an ill-fated bounce ended the inning.
Saint Doms' pitcher Jimmy Theriault (five hits, nine strikeouts in complete game) had balked in Holmes for a 3-2 score. St Germain was on second base when Babb then hit a grounder to short, but the ball bounced directly to the second baseman, who threw to first for the third out.
"This is why baseball is a game of inches," said coach Ryan Palmer. "If that ball gets by the second baseman, Cody's already at third base, he scores and the game is tied. It completely changed the complexion of the game."
The team have created a well-respected rivalry, with several thrilling games in the past few years. In 2010, St. Doms beat Dirigo in the MVC championship game, but the Cougars beat the Saints in the Western Maine regional final en route to winning the state championship. Last year, the roles were reversed, Dirigo won the MVC crown, however, SD won thhe regional final and the state championship game.
The Cougars had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With two outs, Holmes singled, stole second and scored on a St. Germain bloop double just inside the line in right field.
Holmes pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs, 10 hits, seven strike outs and four walks. The senior battled out of jams with two runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
"I was pleased with Ben early," said Palmer. "I will take responsibility for his high pitch count (approximately 120 pitches). Ben Holmes is going to battle. He's going to give you his best every game, whether he has it or not."
The Cougars were very shorthanded, with only two subs, so they were limited in making moves. The defense turned three double plays, including a Babb putout down the right-field line and a throw to Turner at second base, who tagged out Joe Bryant.