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Falcon baseball off to 4-1 start
RUMFORD -- It usually requires time before everything to come together in team sports. Thankfully, there is other performances that can be beneficial. The importance of pitching can not be overlooked because it can help carry a baseball team and Mountain Valley isn't about to argue the issue.
The Falcons entered the week 4-1 and faced a stiff test on Monday against rival Dirigo. Each team entered the game with one lost and for a near-sighted schedule, it was the only regular-season meeting between the RSU 10 neighbors. Still, the teams already had played against similar opponents.
Mountain Valley had beat Boothbay, 11-1, Monmouth, 2-1, Carrabec, 8-1 and Lisbon, 4-2. These triumphs followed a season-opening loss to fellow Class B Spruce Mountain. In the wins, the Falcons allowed five runs, while receiving solid performances by pitcher Adam Volkernick and Izaak Mills.
Volkernick only allowed one hit in five innings against Boothbay and then fired a two-hitter and struck out 10 in five innings against Carrabec in North Anson. Kyle Gavin struck out five of the six Cobra batters he faced. Gavin will be the third starter. Mills went the distance against Monmouth and Lisbon.
The outing with the Greyhounds proved to be a marathon of sorts. The Falcon senior was put to the test in multiple innings. This included stranding the bases loaded in three innings and having a runner on third base with no outs. Mills faced a full count to 13 batters through five innings, but finished with a four-hitter and threw 145 pitches.
The Falcons' pitching has been helped out by a solid defense that has prevented opposing teams from extending innings. The aforementioned two combinations have been important in the teams success. Although the offense is well-balanced with several players contributing, there hasn't been an overabundance of runs scored.
Against Boothbay, Gauvin led the way with three hits and five RBIs, while Josh Rainey and Aaron Benson each had two hits. Volkernick and Mills were key on a cold day at Hosmer Field with Monmouth. Catcher Colin Merrill had three singles at Carrabec. No. 9 batter Sean Murphy was a spark by going 3-for-3, with a run scored and two RBI against Lisbon.