AUGUSTA — For much of Monday evening, a clash between two of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s top baseball teams was one of missed opportunities.

While on another day there might have been batches of runs scored in a game like this one between Cony and Lawrence at Morton Field, a contest that saw 21 runners left on base instead resulted in a low-scoring affair. Someone, though, had to pull it out — and fortunately for Cony, that someone would be Landon Foster.

Foster hit a walk-off single up the middle to bring home Parker Morin in the bottom of the ninth inning and give Cony a 2-1 victory in a major KVAC Class B North showdown. The win avenged the lone defeat of the season for the Rams, who lost 5-0 to the Bulldogs on May 4.

“That’s just kind of the team we’ve been all year,” Cony head coach Don Plourde said. “Whether we’re up, down or tied, we’re a team that, we never panic, and we always stay calm and grind it out. Today, Landon comes up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and shuts the door for us.”

Lawrence pitcher Hunter Lee helped his own cause in the first inning when he powered a solo home run over the left-field fence to put the Bulldogs (9-4) in front. He then struck out two in the first, overcame two walks in the second and fanned two more in the fourth to maintain the 1-0 advantage entering the fifth.

Lawrence squandered a major opportunity to stretch the lead in the top of the fifth as it failed to score despite loading the bases with no outs. An inning later, Cony (12-1) would make the Bulldogs pay as a Davis Kibler sacrifice fly with one out scored Jordan Benedict to tie the game.


After a scoreless seventh inning sent the game to extras, both teams failed to score again in the eighth despite putting runners in scoring position. Lawrence looked as if it might break the deadlock in the top of the ninth on a hard-hit ball by Michael Hamlin, but a diving catch by Tyler Pelletier kept it 1-1 going into the bottom half.

“That’s the stuff that we work on a daily basis,” Plourde said. “Plays like that, they don’t just happen; they happen because we take pride in our defense. We’ve been going a couple months now, and our outfield coach, Eli Bezanson, I have to give him a plug because has those guys doing great stuff out there. That was a big play.”

With the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Hamlin recorded a big out for Lawrence as he struck out Benedict swinging. But Foster made sure Cony, which left 11 runners on to the Bulldogs’ 10, would not go away empty-handed once more as he dribbled a single up the middle to win it for the home team.

“In that situation, you just have to smack it wherever it goes and give your teammates a chance to score, and that’s what happened,” Foster said. “We had some struggles, but we just had to make sure we kept fighting and got that next chance, and we were able to do that and win the game.”

Foster also earned the win as he pitched five scoreless innings after relieving Benedict with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the fourth. It wasn’t perfect with four walks and a pair of balks along the way, but it was enough to get the job done for the Cony junior.

“It was tough coming into the game without (a bullpen session), and I think you could see that a little bit with the balking,” said Foster, who struck out five. “It’s all about staying in there, staying resilient and finishing out the job, and I was able to stay settled in and stay focused when I needed to.”

Hamlin took the loss for Lawrence, striking out two batters and walking four in 1 2/3 innings of work. Lee struck out six batters and walked four before Hamlin came on to relieve him to begin the eighth inning. Maddox Santone had a game-high two hits for the Bulldogs in the loss.

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