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St. Doms cools off Cougars
AUBURN -- The Dirigo baseball team wasn't the same group as it lost control in the heat on Memorial Day in an 8-2 humbling loss to Saint Doms.
The Cougars fell behind early and sealed their own fate by handing out seven unearned runs. Southpaw Arik Fenstermacher struggled with location, walking seven and hitting a batter. He struck out six and threw 106 pitches.
Dirigo, who had loss to Mountain Valley three days earlier, was never able to gets its offense started, held hitless until TJ Frost singled leading off the third, advanced on Spencer Ross’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Caleb Turners RBI single. Ben Holmes singled, but Justin Conant grounded out to end the inning.
Saints' starter Kevin Johnson baffled the Cougar batters with junk, scattered five hits, struck out four and didn’t issue any walks.
"We just didn’t play that well,” said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer, who played Saint Dom’s in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game for the second straight year on Monday in Farmington. “Saint Doms tried some delayed steals and we were not ready for it.”
Dirigo trailed 3-1 entering the fifth. Ross reached on an infield, promptly stole second base and advanced on Caleb Turner’s ground out. Fenstermacher smashed an RBI triple. The threat stalled as Holmes grounded out and Conant flew out to right field.
The Cougars had an opportunity in the fourth. Chad Snowman singled and Frost’s batted ball was booted by the first baseman.
Snowman saw the ball roll away, so he continued on, but the ball was retrieved and he was gunned down at third base.
"It was one of our limited chances,” said Palmer. ”Chad thought the ball had rolled farther away and (third base coach) Dave Berry waved him over. It was an aggressive play, but didn’t work out. There would have been two outs with the top of the order coming up.”
Saint Doms iced the game by scoring six runs in the sixth, the key blow being Alex Parker’s two-RBI double. With the win, the Saints leaped past Dirigo for the No. 1 seed. The Cougars completed their regular season 14-2 for the second year in a row and with host No. 7 Winthrop in a quarterfinal playoff game on Thursday.