MONMOUTH — It wasn’t often that the Monmouth Academy baseball team got base hits in its latest Mountain Valley Conference battle.

One of the few the Mustangs did get, though, was big — and with their pitcher nearly untouchable, that it would be more than enough to propel them past a tough MVC foe.

A bases-clearing double from Matt Marquis and a complete-game effort from Kyle Palleschi led Monmouth to a 5-1 victory Wednesday against Mt. Abram. The Mustangs had just three hits to the Roadrunners’ four but were opportunistic as they managed to reach base in other fashion to generate run-scoring opportunities.

“We didn’t have a lot of hits today — neither team did — but we got the ones we needed when we need them,” said Monmouth head coach Eric Palleschi. “Matt’s been big all year at getting us hits when we needed them, and Kyle stayed around the plate and kept them off balance.”

A Monmouth error in the game’s first at-bat would prove costly as Mt. Abram’s Killian Pillsbury reached and later scored on a Bryce Wilcox RBI double. The Mt. Abram lead would hold until the bottom of the third when Luke Harmon singled in Brandon Smith to tie it at a run apiece.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, it would be a Mt. Abram (5-2) miscue that gave Monmouth (6-2) the life it needed to take the lead. After Hunter Frost reached on an error, the Mustangs loaded the bases with a pair of walks to set the stage for Marquis, who smacked a three-run double to make it 4-1.


“I knew he had thrown three balls in a row, and I was just waiting for him to give me a strike,” said Marquis, whose double came off Payton Mitchell two batters after Mitchell had relieved starter Logan Dube. “I was just waiting for my pitch to hit, and I was patient, and I got it.”

Monmouth’s Kyle Palleschi pitches during against Mt. Abram during a baseball game Wednesday in Monmouth. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Palleschi, who was efficient all evening for Monmouth, was especially so in the later innings to finish with seven strikeouts and just one walk on 96 pitches. He also gave the Mustangs their final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as he executed a squeeze bunt to score Sammy Calder.

“I was pounding the zone a lot with my fastball, and every once in a while, I’d throw an offspeed pitch in there,” Palleschi said. “I have a great group of guys behind me, so it’s pretty easy when I can put it wherever I want. They put in play, and my guys did the work behind me to make it happen.”

Marquis had two of the three hits for Monmouth, and Mitchell had two hits for the Roadrunners and was relieved by Kaden Pillsbury (three strikeouts, walk, earned run) after finishing the fourth. Dube (3 2/3 innings pitched, strikeout, four walks) took the loss for Mt. Abram.

Despite the three hits, Monmouth reached base 14 times. The Roadrunners issued seven walks and committed four errors, many moving the Mustangs into scoring position. Only one of the five runs allowed by Mt. Abram pitchers was earned.

The matchup was one of two evenly matched teams with both Monmouth and Mt. Abram entering the game at 5-1. The Mustangs’ only defeat of the season had come April 28 in the form of a 3-0 defeat to Oak Hill, which the Roadrunners would defeat 5-2 just two days later.

“I think these are two teams that are right there with each other,” Eric Palleschi said. “It was a good high school baseball game. We were just able to take advantage of a few mistakes, and that put us on the right side of it.”

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