AUGUSTA — A little bit of small ball, a good start on the mound and one big inning helped the Lawrence baseball team make an early season statement.

Logan Carpenter took a strong start into the sixth inning, and some aggressiveness on the basepaths helped the Bulldogs hand Cony its first defeat, 8-2 on Monday.

Lawrence made the most of the opportunities that came its way. The Bulldogs had one hit through four innings but led 3-0, and four hits midway through the fifth but led 7-0.

“We’ve got some team speed and some baseball instincts,” coach Rusty Mercier said. “We do get a lot of those reps in practice, with the bunting and delayed steals and all that stuff. Today it worked out in our favor, and Logan did a heck of a job keeping them off the bases.”

Lawrence (3-1) showed its resourcefulness early. Andrew Trombley (1-for-2, two runs) led off with a sharp single to center, then stole second before Nate Grard drew a walk. Trombley then made a break for third while the ball was being thrown back to the mound after a pitch, and a rushed throw to nab him at third went wild and allowed Trombley to trot home for the first run. A walk to Carpenter after a fly ball put runners at the corners, and Carpenter got himself into an intentional rundown between first and second and drew it out long enough for Grard to score and make it a 2-0 lead over the Rams (5-1).

Cony infielder Jordan Benedict tries to tag – but can’t reach – Lawrence baserunner Gavin Lunt at third base during a game Monday at Morton Field in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We practice all those little things a lot,” Trombley said. “We do a lot of situational stuff. When to suicide squeeze, when to steal. And we’ve got a lot of smart guys on our team, so our baserunning is pretty good.”


The lead was up to 3-0 in the fifth, and small ball kicked off the inning that broke open the game. Gavin Lunt walked leading off and soon went to third on a wild pickoff attempt, bringing up Trombley with one out. Lunt sprinted home on the pitch and Trombley dropped a perfect suicide squeeze, which turned into even more when a wild throw to first allowed him to head all the way to third.

“We practice bunting a lot. A lot,” Trombley said, emphasizing the last word. “We know when to do stuff and when not to, we can execute pretty well. Executing all that small ball stuff really put us over this team today.”

Trombley scored himself on a wild pitch, and the floodgates were opened. Cameron Dostie’s double, the Bulldogs’ third hit of the inning, scored Grard and Hunter Lee to push the lead to 7-0.

Cony answered in the bottom half when Jack Billings scored on Brayden Barbeau’s bases-loaded walk and Kam Douin came home on a wild pitch, but the hole was too deep.

Cony hitter Kam Douin makes contact during a game against Lawrence on Monday at Morton Field in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“We lost the freebie battle of bases,” Rams coach Don Plourde said. “It was walks and stolen bases and pick-off throws. That’s probably one of the best teams we’re going to face all year, and you can’t do that against a team like that.”

Hot at the plate to start the season, the Rams struggled to find an answer for Carpenter. Making his first career start, the righthander struck out nine in 5.1 innings and allowed only three hits, none until a Landon Foster single in the fourth.

“It felt good. This team beat us twice last year, they’re 5-0, and I just knew I had to deal,” Carpenter said. “You can’t get nervous when you get out there, because that will get to you. You’ve got to be confident, and you’ve got to feel it all the way through. I did that today, and I thought I did pretty good.”

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