OAKLAND — This is how well things are going for the Messalonskee High School baseball team right now. The two-hit shutout thrown by sophomore Josh Joy in Monday’s 2-0 win over Mt. Blue was the shakiest start of the season by an Eagles pitcher. And it was dominant.

“Everyone’s just throwing strikes and pitching good,” Joy said.

The win was the fourth shutout in five games for Messalonskee, which puts its 5-0 record up against defending Eastern Class A champ Bangor on Tuesday. Eagles pitchers already have a pair of no hitters and two one hitters, and have allowed just one unearned run.

On Monday, Joy gave up a two-out single to Amos Herrin in the top of the first inning, before retiring 14 Mt. Blue (4-2) hitters in a row. Tye Nichols singled with one out in the sixth for the Cougars’ other hit.

“Josh Joy pitched very well today. He’s been pitching very well all year. He had great command of his fastball, he was mixing in his offspeed, and he looked good today,” Messalonskee coach Peter McLaughlin said.

Joy said he felt he was in a groove “about the third, fourth inning,” and his fastball was his best pitch. Joy struck out six, and reached a three ball count to just two Cougars. His lone walk came with two outs in the top of the seventh, when Colton Lawrence took the free pass. An error extended the inning, before Joy struck out Tom Wing to end the game. Joy threw just 71 pitches in the shutout.

“(Joy) was just pounding the strike zone, low in the zone. When he needed a curveball, he had that curveball to go to,” Mt. Blue coach Christian Boileau said. “He made some good plays as well. We hit the ball back to him a few times and he made the plays.”

The Eagles scored the only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, Zach Mathieu stole second base and went to third on a passed ball, before scoring on Jake Dexter’s single to center field. Dexter took second base on an error, and scored when Ben Frazee reached on an error. Boileau said the start reminded him of the Cougars’ other loss, in which they surrender early runs to Brunswick before settling down.

“At that point, it was almost too late, especially against a team like (Messalonskee),” Boileau said. “(Lawrence) pitched an excellent game.”

After the first inning, Mt. Blue starter Colton Lawrence matched Joy. Lawrence gave up just three hits, while striking out seven, walking one, and hitting two batters.

“Give all the credit to Colton Lawrence. He pitched a heck of a game. He was hitting his spots. I thought he mixed up his pitches very well. He kept our hitters off balance. I thought we had opportunities to extend it a little bit, but that’s baseball, and luckily we held on,” McLaughlin said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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