FARMINGTON — With his team clinging to a one-run lead late in Friday’s game, Mt. Blue High School baseball coach Steve Lancaster used the new pitch count rule in an effort to look ahead to a big game Monday. Starting pitcher, senior lefty Corey Rogers, was pitching well against Cony, but was at 64 pitches after five innings. If Lancaster wanted to use Rogers against Bangor on Monday, he had to go to his bullpen now, despite Rogers’ strong day.

“If he goes over 65 (pitches), he gets to 66, he’s got to have three days rest and that doesn’t make him available against Bangor — (which is) one of the top three teams in the state — on Monday,” Lancaster said. “If they’ve got a bunch of lefties in the lineup, I want to have Corey available for Monday. That’s what caused me to make the decision, even though Corey was pitching well all the way through the fifth.”

Lancaster went to Hunter Bolduc, and while the sixth inning was a nail biter, the gamble worked, and the Cougars held on for the 1-0 win at Hippach Field.

While the Cougars (2-2) managed just two hits off Cony (1-3) pitchers Danny White and Jake Dacus, they pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning. David McDonald led off the inning with a single, and took second base on a wild pitch. A throwing error on Miles Pelletier’s sacrifice bunt attempt allowed McDonald to score from second base with the game’s only run.

Cony had numerous chances to score, but stranded nine runners on base. The Rams left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, and had the tying run on second base with one out in the seventh, before Bolduc clamped down to earn the save.

“You’ve just got come up with the timely hit, that’s all. I’m very pleased with the pitching, defense. We had some good at-bats, but not enough timely hits,” Cony coach Don Plourde said.

Knowing he wanted to have Rogers available against Bangor on Monday, Lancaster had no reservations about calling on Bolduc.

“I had a lot of confidence that Hunter Bolduc would be able to come out and throw well. His arm’s been feeling well and he’s a tough competitor. They weren’t hitting the ball excessively. They were hitting the ball against Corey earlier in the game, but not really enough to create some tension,” Lancaster said.

Rogers surrendered four hits, all singles, in the first three innings, He got stronger as the game went along, retiring six of the last seven batters he faced, three via strikeout. Rogers finished with five strikeouts.

“It was my first start of the season. I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes and let my defense make plays behind me. Try not to do anything too fancy,” Rogers said. “The first two, three innings, my curveball was a little off. I couldn’t really locate it. As it got into the fourth and fifth, it was really sharp. I got it to snap down and could locate it a lot better.”

Taylor Heath and Mike Boivin each had a pair of hits for Cony.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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