MADISON — Early Tuesday evening, Madison coach Peter Kirby took a dare from his players and stopped the game against Post 51 to get Sam Dexter’s autograph on a baseball. Maybe Kirby should have gotten Matt Woodbury’s, Blair Blaisdell’s, and Reid Nutter’s as well.

Dexter, Woodbury, and Blaisdell all hit home runs, and Nutter had another strong outing on the mound as Post 51 cruised to an 11-1 victory in a Zone 2 American Legion Baseball game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.

Dexter, who is hitting close to .500 this season, and Woodbury each had three hits. Jake Dexter doubled, walked, and scored three runs, and Zach Mathieu added a pair of singles. Post 51 is 12-1 and has clinched a spot in the Zone 2 tournament.

“As the season goes on,” Post 51 coach Tom Dexter said, “our guys have a little better approach to the at-bats — knowing the situation, when to be aggressive to drive in runs, when to move runners over, and we’ve done a good job with two-strike hitting. Plus we have some good hitters, just fundamentally and naturally.”

Blaisdell’s two-run home run in the second inning gave Post 51 a 5-0 lead. Woodbury led off the third and hit one long enough but a couple feet foul. Two pitches later, he sent one over the left field fence to make it 6-0. Dexter hit a three-run blast into the trees in left-center in the fourth.

The top four teams qualify for the Zone 2 tournament. Madison (6-6) is hanging on to the No. 4 spot. Kirby opted to save ace Cody Moody for Thursday’s game against Waterville, so Moody could pitch again Monday on three days rest.

Kirby said he thinks Madison will need to either win three out of its remaining four games, or hope for some help. Franklin County (5-7) and Amato’s of Rockland (6-8) are each a game behind Madison in the standings.

“I’d like to be in charge of our own destiny,” Kirby said.

Nutter pitched a three-hitter with three walks and one strikeout. Madison did have a couple highlights. Catcher Garrett Emery threw out two runners trying to steal, and right fielder Dustin Warren recovered after bobbling Sam Dexter’s single and got Dexter at second trying for a double.

Relief pitcher Brandon LeHay was in the center of the weirdest play of the game. With two out in the fourth, Nutter hit a soft grounder back under LeHay’s glove and through his legs. The ball bounced off the pitching rubber and right to LeHay, who threw to first in time for the out.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]almaine.com

 

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