For a day, the Lawrence High School sat atop the Class B North Heal Point standings. While the Bulldogs slipped back to third, behind John Bapst and Hermon, wins this week over contenders in other classes should set Lawrence up with points the rest of the season.

On Monday, the Bulldogs (4-2) eked out a 6-5 win in eight innings over Class C South contender Maranacook, On Tuesday, Lawrence took a 5-2 win over Lewiston, one of the top teams in Class A North.

“We’ve been competing. It obviously gives us some points. Maranacook is a good team. They’ll win some games,” Lawrence coach Rusty Mercier said following the win over Maranacook.

In both wins, Lawrence got a strong pitching effort. Sophomore Hayden Lee went seven innings against Maranaook, allowing three earned runs without walking a batter. Against Lewiston the next day, senior lefty Nick Robertson threw a complete game, allowing four hits.

Offensively, the Bulldogs came up with timely hits, including a two out, three run double by Dylan Coombs in the Maranacook game, and played effective small ball. The winning run against Maranacook came on a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt by Coombs, scoring Chris Dow without a throw.

“It was nice to see our kids execute. It helps us move forward,” Mercier said.

Lawrence is scheduled to play at Leavitt Friday, and at old Class A rival Skowhegan Monday.

 

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Skowhegan is 3-3, but in those three wins the team has gotten excellent pitching.

Skowhegan’s three wins include shutouts over Messalonskee (8-0) and Mt. Blue (6-0), as well as a tight 2-1 win over five-time defending Class A state champion Bangor.

A bright spot to Skowhegan’s pitching staff has been senior Ryan Savage. Coach Mike LeBlanc said he challenged Savage to step up in the preseason.

“He’s consistently throwing strikes,” LeBlanc said of Savage, who threw four scoreless innings Wednesday in the win over Mt. Blue.

Junior Zack Fitzgerald also has pitched well, after only pitching in junior varsity games last season, LeBlanc said.

“Our defense has been pretty good, too,” LeBlanc said.

As of Thursday afternoon, Skowhegan sat in sixth place in the Class A North standings. Skowhegan has three games coming up against teams chasing it in the standings, Camden Hills, Cony, and Brunswick. There’s also a game next Monday against Lawrence, a strong team in Class B North.

“I think we have four very important games coming up. Some of these teams are right behind us, and Lawrence has been playing really well,” LeBlanc said.

 

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While some of the larger schools around the state are a third of the way through the regular season, some small schools have yet to take the field.

Valley High School of Bingham was set to play its first game Thursday, hosting northern Somerset County rival Forest Hills. Vinalhaven/North Haven, like Valley in Class D South, also has yet to play, with a doubleheader against Temple Academy of Waterville on the schedule for Friday.

While Forest Hills has played two games, they came on the same day, in a doubleheader at Temple. Host Temple won the first game, 9-5, but the second game showcased a problem shared by many Class D teams, a lack of pitching. Forest Hills took game two, 21-20. The problem could come up again for Forest Hills, which has three more doubleheaders scheduled this season,

 

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Around the state: In a game between the top two teams in the Class B North standings on Thursday, No. 2 Hermon improved to 7-0 with a 6-4 win over John Bapst (4-3)… As of Thursday, Greely had yet to play a game on its home field. Despite that, the Rangers are off to a 4-1 start, the lone loss at York Monday… Oxford Hills senior Colton Carson, who will play baseball at the University of Maine next year, threw a one hitter in Wednesday’s 10-0 win over Brunswick, striking out 10. Carson struck out nine in a 19-0 win over Mt. Ararat last week. Three of Oxford Hills’ six wins were via shutout, and the Vikings average close to 11 runs per game.

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