Monmouth Academy’s baseball players have shirts emblazoned with three words — ability, motivation, attitude — to help keep them on task for the 2016 season.

If the shirts also serve as a checklist, coach Eric Palleschi thinks the Mustangs have two of the three already covered.

“We’ve got the ability, and they seem motivated. It’s just that attitude, making sure we have that business-like attitude every day,” Palleschi said. “If we bring that with us, talent-wise should take care of itself.”

Monmouth has taken care of business so far, winning its first three games by a combined 38-6 score.

Pitchers Hunter Richardson, Nick Sanborn and Chandler Harris have combined to allow a total of 10 hits through the first three games. That trio and Gage Cote spark the offense, which put up a season-high 13 hits, including homers by Harris and Cote, in four innings against Telstar on Wednesday.

The Mustangs return virtually their entire starting lineup and all of their pitching from the team that reached the regional semifinals last year, and went into this year as one of the favorites in the Mountain Valley Conference. That familiarity breeds chemistry that the Mustangs think will help them maintain the business approach Palleschi wants.

“We know each other very well. It’s not just baseball but other sports,” Richardson said. “This whole group’s been together forever. We play well together. It translates well onto the field.”

The Mustangs will meet Hall-Dale, which is also 3-0, in Farmingdale on Friday.

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The triple play is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball. For Winslow High School baseball coach Aaron Wolfe, the triple play his team turned in Monday’s 10-0 win over Mount View was the first he’s seen in a game in which he’s been involved.

“It was kind of a perfect situation,” Wolfe, who is in his second season as the Black Raiders head coach after a few years as an assistant, said.

It happened in the fourth inning when the Mustangs put runners on second and first base to start the inning. Winslow second baseman Spencer Miranda snagged a low line drive for the first out. He then flipped the ball to shortstop Jake Trask at second base for out No. 2, and Trask fired to first baseman Luke Fredette to complete the triple play.

“There was a question as to if (Miranda) would be able to make the catch, so the runners were off the bag a little,” Wolfe said. “Both plays were bang-bang. The runners weren’t that far off the bases.”

The Black Raiders improved to 3-0 with the win, but a scheduling quirk gave Winslow a week off before its fourth game, next Monday at Erskine Academy. While the break gives pitchers a chance to rest their arms, Wolfe would rather be playing.

“I don’t like it and I don’t think the kids do either,” Wolfe said. “We started off pretty good and you wouldn’t want much of a break.”

Winslow’s break will be short-lived. Beginning with Monday’s game at Erskine, the Black Raiders play three games in four day. Winslow hosts Morse on Tuesday and Medomak Valley on Thursday. The following week, Winslow’s schedule calls for another three games in four days, with games on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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At 3-1 through a quarter of the season, Lawrence already is just two wins shy of last season’s total. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in one-run games and coach Rusty Mercier said his team is taking care of the basics.

“We’ve pitched fairly well thus far and defensively we’ve made the routine plays. We’re getting timely hitting,” Mercier said. “We like the way we’ve been playing. We’ve been stingy and gritty.”

The Bulldogs allowed just two runs over their last three games, a 5-0 win over Mt. Blue, a 2-1 win over Hampden and Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Bangor. Sophomore Braden Ballard pitched well in the loss, allowing one run on four hits over five innings.

“When we look at our pitching depth, and Braden is our No. 3 starter. For him to go out and pitch like that against the two-time defending state champs is big,” Mercier said.

Mercier said although it was a loss, the Bangor game was more proof that the Bulldogs are playing well. Derek Bowen, who homered in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Lawrence a win over Hampden, doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh against Bangor. Bowen went to third on a passed ball, but was held there.

“We were in position to tie the game, so we were in it until the last out,” Mercier said.

Lawrence’s tough stretch continues at Messalonksee on Friday and at Brewer on Monday. That’s just life in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A division, Mercier said.

“I like to break the season up into chunks of four games. You look at each chunk of four and they’re all tough,” Mercier said. “Our league does not let up.”

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Waterville graduate Kyle Bishop got a taste of being a head coach last week. A first-year assistant coach at Waterville, Bishop filled in for Purple Panthers head coach Dennis Martin for a pair of games when Martin was away due to a family commitment.

A 2011 graduate of Waterville, Bishop was a key member of the Panthers’ back-to-back Class B state championship teams in 2010 and 2011. Bishop played college baseball at Husson and has been an assistant football coach at Orono for a few seasons.

“It’s good to be a part of it, coaching at the place I grew up. I just want these kids to have fun and make some plays,” Bishop said after Waterville’s season-opening loss at Winslow.

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Around the state: Schenck pitcher Ryan Jurgiewich struck out 20 hitters in a win last week over Katahdin. Only one of Katahdin’s 21 outs came on a ball put in play… Defending Class A state champ Bangor is 4-0, with a pair of shutouts… All four defending state champions are off to good starts. Along with Bangor, Greely (Class B), St. Dominic (Class C) and Searsport (Class D) are a combined 12-0 with a quarter of the season complete.

Travis Lazarczyk also contributed to this report