FAIRFIELD — Coming to bat with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh inning, Cony’s Anthony Brunelle was telling himself not to hit into a double play. Anything but a double play.

“I’d done that in the last game we played,” Brunelle said. “There was just a lot of things going through my head, I was thinking too much.”

On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Brunelle found a moment of clarity, driving a fastball back up the middle, spinning Lawrence pitcher Derek Bowen and scoring two Rams, including Kolbe Merfeld with the game-tying run.

From there Cony kept going, eventually scoring five runs in the inning to take a 9-7 win in a key Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game. Cony improved to 4-5 and likely jumped into a playoff spot with the win, while Lawrence is now 5-4.

“I think that’s a big boost. Any win is a big boost, but when you’re in the middle of the season like this, with a (opponent) that has a positive record, you want to get every win you can,” Brunelle said.

Cony trailed 6-4 going to the seventh inning. With one out, Zach Charest walked and Merfeld reached on an error. Jake Dacus singled to load the bases, and Lawrence coach Rusty Mercier went to Bowen to try for the save. Brunelle was the first hitter Bowen faced, and was a lefty versus lefty matchup.

“He was throwing all right, so I got to time him up in his warmups,” Brunelle said.

After getting a pop out, Bowen walked Tyler Dostie to load the bases, then walked Connor Perry to drive in the go-ahead run. An RBI single from Justin Rodrigue and a bases loaded walk to Cameron Dunlop plated two more runs for a 9-6 Rams lead.

Despite leaving nine runners on base through the first six innings, the Rams were confident they could rally.

“We knew they threw their best pitcher (J.T. Nutting). Whoever came after that, we figured we could hit. We were confident after putting four runs in an inning that we could come back, no matter what,” Brunelle said.

“We just didn’t execute in several opportunities we had to make a play to get us out. We did a little of that early, but it was too much (in the seventh),” Mercier said. “We made a few errors, but we also didn’t throw strikes. When you don’t throw strikes, it’s very difficult on a defense.”

A trio of Lawrence pitchers — starter Nutting, Eric Jackson and Bowen — combined to walk eight hitters. Cony had at least one runner on base in each inning, but didn’t get on the scoreboard until a four-run fifth. Merfeld’s single to right scored Rodrigue to give the Rams a 4-3 lead.

Lawrence answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kolby Lawrence led off with a walk, stole second and third base and scored the tying run on Brandon Hill’s groundout to third. Bowen and Devon Webb hit back-to-back doubles, giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead, and Webb stole third and scored on a throwing error.

The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Webb scored the game’s first run on a passed ball. A Nutting double scored Braden Ballard, and Jacob Bickford’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Josh Dow. The Bulldogs left runners in scoring position in the third and fourth.

“I think offensively, we could’ve done a better job and scored a few more runs early,” Mercier said.

Lawrence scored once in the seventh. Bowen led off with a bloop double to left and took third base on a Webb single. When Webb was caught in a rundown between first and second base, Bowen scored.

Rodrigue earned the win with 2 2/3 innings in relief of Riley Boivin.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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