AUGUSTA — It’s been a while since anyone beat the Monmouth Academy baseball team — even longer still since someone tagged the Mustangs for this many runs.

Early on, the Cony Rams didn’t look like they were going to do either Monday afternoon. Yet two big innings flipped the script for the home team, which handed Monmouth a loss the likes of which it hasn’t seen in a while.

Cony scored four runs in the fourth inning and seven in the fifth to claim a 15-8 victory at Morton Field. The result snapped the Mustangs’ 21-game winning streak dating back to last year and marked the most runs in a game against Monmouth since May 30, 2017.

“It feels pretty good, honestly,” Cony’s Trenton Hayward, who had two hits, said of the victory. “They were talking about (their winning streak) there in the outfield a little bit, and it felt good to put it all together and get a team win today.”

Conys Parker Morin throws a pitch to a Monmouth Academy hitter during a baseball game Monday in Augusta. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Jordan Benedict and Anderson Noyes also had two hits each for Cony, which managed its 15 runs on just nine hits as it capitalized on walks and errors. Max Tibbetts (3 1/3 innings pitched, two earned runs, two hits allowed, five strikeouts) got the win for the Rams, while Kyle Palleschi (2/3 inning, seven earned runs) took the loss for Monmouth.

Hayward came through early for Cony (4-2), scoring Parker Morin on an RBI single for the first run of the game in the opening inning. He then stole second before coming home on an RBI single by Noyes to make it 2-0 for the Rams, who would maintain that lead through three.


Monmouth, though, would respond in a big way in the fourth. With Cony committing three errors in the field, the Mustangs (3-1) tied the game at two runs apiece with two outs. Then, back-to-back-to-back doubles by Palleschi, Jacob Harmon and Lucas Harmon gave the visitors a 6-2 lead.

“We hit the ball really well in those first two or three innings, but it seemed we were hitting the ball right at guys,” said Monmouth head coach Eric Palleschi. “We had that one inning there where we were really able to hit the ball, but then, I think it was the mental part of the game — the kids just weren’t locked in and weren’t focused.”

Cony took advantage. A combination of smart baserunning, two hits, two walks and a Monmouth error saw the Rams score four runs to tie it in the bottom of the fourth. Cony then used four hits and four walks and an error by Monmouth to add seven more runs against Palleschi (who had relieved starter Sammy Calder) in the fifth.

Although Cony had managed some offensive success (6.8 runs per game) in its five previous contests, the Rams’ offensive output Monday far exceeded anything thus far. More impressively was the fact that they did against Calder and Palleschi, both of whom had 0.69 ERAs last season.

“We had practice at 10:30 (a.m.) Saturday, and we had guys that came in early at 8 to take extra swings and stayed until 1 o’clock,” said Cony head coach Don Plourde. “(With Calder), we knew we didn’t want to allow him to throw to that curveball up in the count, and if he’s down in the count, he’s throwing fastballs.”

The loss marked Monmouth’s first since a 3-0 defeat to Oak Hill in the second game of the 2023 season, after which the Mustangs won their next 18 games to claim their first-ever Class C state title. They were also 3-0 to begin 2024, claiming wins over Lisbon, Mountain Valley and Telstar.


The result, Eric Palleschi said, was one that was therefore a foreign feeling to many of his players. None of the current Mustangs had ever suffered a seven-run loss at the high school varsity level, and the margin of defeat and the mistakes that led to it, Palleschi added, could be a wake-up call.

“We’ve got some seniors that are not used to losing, and to lose in this manner really isn’t in their DNA,” Palleschi said. “We took a little time (after the game) to just discuss what we need to do, how we can get refocused and how we can bounce back and focus on our next game Wednesday.”

Cony, too, had its share of mistakes, committing six errors. None of the six fourth-inning runs allowed by Morin, who started on the mound for the Rams, were earned, and the home team also made some mistakes in the final inning before ultimately closing out the win.

“We’ve just got to get rid of the mental errors,” Hayward said. “It’s just (a matter of putting in) reps again. I made a couple myself, but we’ve just got to come back tomorrow and really lock in.”

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