LANGDON – Fall Mountain baseball picked up their second win of the season on Thursday, beating Hillsboro-Deering 4-1 thanks in large part to a 3-RBI triple from Owen Marandino and a more than solid pitching performance from Carter Smith.
Scoreless through two innings, the Hillcats put a run on the board to gain the lead with an RBI-single from Erik Hagstrom in the top of the third.
The Wildcats were held without a hit until the sixth inning, but that didn’t stop Marandino from walking, advancing all the way to third on an overthrow, and then stealing home on a pitch to knot the game at one run apiece after five innings.
In the sixth inning, Billy Wilder got things started for FM with a single to right field. After a strikeout, Smith and Lucien Hagland each walked on full counts to load the bases with one out.
Next up was Ethan Peltier, who hit a blooper in between the shortstop and pitcher. A lunging attempt by the Hillcats seemed to be a catch at first, halting the three baserunners where they stood, but as the ball trickled out of the glove and fell to the infield, Hillsboro-Deering was able to get the force out at home with ease.
What looked like a window of opportunity for the Wildcats was seeming to close with the bottom of the order coming up and two outs.
But, Marandino, who didn’t start the game, subbed into that eighth spot in the order in the third inning.
And with the first pitch he saw, the lefty belted a ball deep over the right fielder’s head and was just a few feet from leaving the yard. Wilder, Smith, and Hagland all came around to cross home plate as Marandino put the Wildcats up three with a stand-up triple.
Smith then retired the Hillcats in order in the top of the seventh. For the game, Smith pitched all 7 innings and only threw 77 pitches in the win while walking no batters. He struck out 7 and allowed 4 hits.
“He did a phenomenal job on the mound,” said FM head coach Tom Boudro of his senior pitcher. “That’s what did it for us… and we made the plays today, too.”
The Wildcats made 14 putouts and were stranding the Hillcats on base all afternoon. The win comes over a team that just beat Conant on Wednesday, who was 7-2 going into that game.
“This just proves to this team that if we cut down the errors and make plays, then we can do some good things,” said Boudro.
Both teams are back in action today, as Fall Mountain (2-7) travels to Mascoma while Hillsboro-Deering (2-8) heads to Newfound.