LISBON — Starting pitcher Nick Ferrence kept Mt. Abram in check until Lisbon’s fly ball outs finally turned into hits and runs in the Greyhounds’ 6-1 victory in Monday’s clash of Mountain Valley Conference baseball heavyweights.

Ferrence, a senior, struck out 15 batters and allowed only two hits and two walks in seven innings.

“After I let up that first run, I really dialed in,” Ferrence said. “We didn’t get our offense going in the first couple innings so I had to buckle in. My curveball felt really good and I’ve been locating that well. Fastball felt good and I was locating that well because I’ve been struggling for a couple games with it. (Catcher) Caleb (Phillips) called a really good game.”

Lisbon’s offense was held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Phillips singled, stole two bases and scored on an errant throw on a pickoff attempt at third, tying the game at 1-1.

The Greyhounds (6-0) then pulled away with a four-run fifth.

Aiden Parker started the outburst with a one-out single. Ethan Brown followed with another single, then Hunter Brissette was hit in the head by a pitch to load the bases for Levi Tibbetts, who drove a long fly ball over the left fielder’s head and under the fence for a ground-rule double that scored two runners, giving Lisbon a 3-1 lead. 

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Phillips grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Brissette, and Ferrence followed with a deep double into right field that was nearly caught. Ferrence advanced to third on the throw home attempting to stop Tibbetts from scoring. Tibbetts did score, and Lisbon ended the fifth with a 5-1 lead. 

“I could tell, once we got a couple hits and we tied it up, I could almost feel that they were really bringing it up and they were ready to go,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “After a big, emotional win on Friday (5-4 over Monmouth) and then coming to play another quality club, it’s tough. But I thought we had good mental focus, a couple mental lapses, but we kept it even keel and did a great job. We knew it would be a battle.”

Mt. Abram’s (4-2) lone run came in the third inning when Kaden Pillsbury took a two-out walk then was driven in two batters later on a double by Trevor Plouffe that put the Roadrunners ahead 1-0. 

Ferrence didn’t allow another base runner. He allowed only four in the game — on two hits and two walks — all in the second and third innings.

“Nick pitched well again,” Ridley said. “I am very happy. I thought he had a bit of lapse when they scored a run, but other than that was locked in. He has a really, really good curveball that he can throw from different angles that will throw off batters. Then, he has that fastball that looks even faster after a bunch of curves. He pitched another quality game and I am proud of him.”

Mt. Abram starter Adam Luce went five innings, giving up five runs on six hits. He also struck out three batters. 

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“Adam, our pitcher, threw strikes, and this is a very good hitting team,” Mt. Abram coach Jeff Pillsbury said. “They had a lot of fly ball outs and then had the double from Tibbetts. The fly ball to right, would have liked to have that one back. A couple plays we thought we had a shot at that we didn’t come up with, and against this team, they’ll take advantage of it. Generally, if they score five or six, you don’t beat them. You can’t do much with 15 strikeouts.”

Lisbon sophomore Jimmy Fitzsimmons led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, then moved around the bases — he stole second, reached third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a passed ball — to cap the Greyhounds’ scoring and push their lead to 6-1.

Ferrence struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning to seal the win.

Both teams play again Wednesday. The Roadrunners play at home against Monmouth, while Lisbon travels to face Spruce Mountain. 

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