FARMINGDALE — It was only two bad days. But when you lose as infrequently as the Hall-Dale baseball team has over the last year and a half, two bad days provide plenty of cause for alarm.

“We were coming off two losses against Lisbon and Dirigo, and that’s not really our culture here,” senior Alec Byron said. “We’re not used to two losses in a row. I’m a senior captain, and I wanted to come out here and lead our team.”

With Byron at the forefront, driving in two runs and tossing a complete game, Hall-Dale got itself straightened out, beating Monmouth 4-1 in a matchup of Class C South and Mountain Valley Conference contenders. Both teams are now 5-2.

The win came after the Bulldogs — who lost once en route to the Class C title last year, then won their first four games this year — lost by walk-off to Dirigo and via blowout to Lisbon, and though there’s plenty of time to go in the season, there was a clear resolve among the Hall-Dale players and coaches to nix this losing stuff right away.

“It was really big. It was really good to have that momentum today and have that winning side of us,” said senior shortstop Jacob Brown, who scored one of Hall-Dale’s four runs. “One of our captains, Austin (Stebbins), told us that today’s a big game to really bring us back together as a team.”

Byron made sure it happened, pitching all seven innings while striking out three and allowing four hits. He pounded the strike zone, fell behind only two batters and needed just 81 pitches to finish the game.


“I threw strikes, and I knew that my defense had my back,” he said. “I was very confident on the mound.”

Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi tipped his cap to the righthander.

“He kept us off-balance, and we didn’t get that timely hit when we needed it,” he said. “We got guys in position, we just couldn’t drive anybody in.”

Hall-Dale got the runs it needed to make sure the effort stood up early. In the first, Brown drew a one-out walk, advanced two bases on a ball in the dirt and stolen base, then came home on Byron’s single to left. Akira Warren was intentionally walked and Tim Cookson drew another walk, and Logan Dupont was hit by a pitch to bring in Byron and make it 2-0.

“We came ready to play today,” Bulldogs coach Bob Sinclair said. “We knew this was a big game, coming off a couple of losses, and we had to set a tone.”

Monmouth drew closer in the fifth when Kane Gould reached on an error, advanced on a bunt and came home on Hayden Fletcher’s single, but the Bulldogs had an answer again. Josh Nadeau reached on an error and Stebbins drew a walk, and after a bunt, Byron hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Nadeau. Another intentional walk for Warren and an error loaded the bases, and Max Byron drew a walk to make it 4-1.


Palleschi said he liked the way the defense looked after the first inning, but acknowledged that the extra outs hurt. Monmouth pitchers allowed only three hits.

“We gave up six extra bases today and they scored four runs,” he said. “Usually those numbers are pretty close to each other.”

Corey Armstrong, Spencer Richardson and Matt Fortin also had hits for Monmouth, while Armstrong struck out two and allowed two earned runs in 4.2 innings.

Warren and Nadeau had singles for Hall-Dale.

“It feels great. Monmouth, my four years here, has been one of our rivals,” Alec Byron said. “They’re good in all three sports, and it always feels good to get a win against them.”

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