KENTS HILL — Win No. 1 came in game No. 1 for the Cony baseball team. And with a little drama to boot.

The Rams scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a late tie and make a winner out of Kyle Douin, who went the distance in a 5-2 victory over Brunswick on a gusty, blustery day at Kents Hill School.

It didn’t come easily — Cony had 1-0 and 2-1 leads, only to see the Dragons answer both. But coach Don Plourde gave his team credit for finding a way to a final rally, and one that would stand up.

Cony baserunner Riley Geyer crashes into home as Brunswick catcher Scott Masse tries to make a play during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Tuesday at Kents Hill School. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“We were knocking on the door all game. Every inning we had runners in scoring position and just couldn’t come up with that big one- or two-out hit,” he said. “And then we finally kind of broke through there in the sixth. Can’t say enough about the guys, playing in these conditions. They were locked in from the first pitch.”

They didn’t need the big hit in the sixth. Riley Geyer, who doubled in the first and scored Cony’s first run, drew a one-out walk and then went to second on Bobby Stolt’s infield single to short. Geyer stole third, then broke for home on Eli Bezanson’s hard grounder to third. The ball was bobbled, and the catcher couldn’t hang on to the throw home, allowing Geyer — who missed the plate on his first slide — to touch home with the go-ahead run.

“I just knew I was going to get there,” Geyer said. “Even with that slide, it looked pretty ugly. It kind of hurt a little bit. But it went through.”

The rally continued when Stolt, who had gone to third on the throw home, scored on a wild pitch with Douin at the plate. Bezanson, who had gone to second on the wild pitch and stolen third, scored when Douin grounded to first.

“We like to put the pressure on the defense,” Plourde said. “Make them make plays, put pressure on them, be aggressive, and it’s paid off this preseason.”

It was much-deserved run support for Douin, who threw all seven innings while striking out 12 and allowing four hits and walking three. He struck out the side in the seventh to seal the win.

“It was definitely not an easy day to pitch, with the wind and the cold,” he said, “but the main thing was just throwing strikes and trying not to overthrow, especially on the first day out. … All I was trying to do was keep the ball down, get the ball out of the air. Because when the ball gets in the air when it’s windy like this, there’s a lot of trouble, and a lot of bad things that can happen.”

Plourde said Douin’s offseason work — he threw during the winter at Bates College — was a reason he was able to finish what he started.

“We were just going inning by inning and saying ‘How are you doing, how are you feeling?’ ” Plourde said. “He wanted the baseball. I can’t say enough about his performance.”

Cony scored its first run in the first inning when Geyer led off with a ground-rule double down the right field line and scored on a passed ball. Brunswick answered two innings later when Noah Goddard smacked a one-out triple to right-center field and scored on Cam Daly’s infield single to third.

Cony went back in front in the fourth when Dakota Andow singled, advanced on a wild pitch and then a balk, and scored on Mike Boivin’s groundout. The Rams were on the brink of breaking the game open in the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out, but Brunswick third baseman Sam Sharpe made an excellent barehanded grab of Ashton Cunningham’s chopper to third and threw out Douin at home, and Andow tagged a ball into the left-center field gap that the Dragons’ Troy McKenzie was able to flag down for the third out.

Cony baserunner Bobby Stolt gets a foot on home plate while avoiding a collision with Brunswick’s Cam Dunton during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game Tuesday at Kents Hill School. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

The missed chance appeared to haunt the Rams when Daly led off the sixth with a double to left and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Sharpe. Instead, Cony had one more rally in store to nail down the kind of win that proved elusive during a 4-12 season last year.

“We’ve just got to play backyard baseball. That’s what coach has been saying all preseason,” Geyer said. “Just have fun with it.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM


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