Gerek Theriault comes through in the clutch for Lisbon in the win over Hall-Dale

LISBON — A good coaching move can go awry when an opponent gets on the board and steps off at the moment.

Lisbon was the benefactor of such a situation in its 3-1 victory over Hall-Dale in an MVC baseball game Saturday.

The Greyhounds (5-3) entered the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 1-0. With two outs and Cody Osmond at the plate, Lisbon executed a double steal, putting Jimmy Fitzsimmons, who singled and reached base, and Keeghan Morrissette, who reached on a fielder’s choice, into scoring position.

Hall-Dale (3-3) coach Kyle Bishop decided to intentionally walk Osmond, loading the bases. In the next at bat, Gerek Theriault made the Bulldogs pay with a bases-clearing double that gave the Greyhounds a 3-1 lead.

“That’s just baseball,” Lisbon coach Randy Ridley said. “It was a great coaching move to intentionally walk my No. 3 hitter Cody to get to my No. 4 hitter. It worked for us when Gerek took a huge step forward.”

Theriault stepped up to the plate ready to make a big play.

“I knew the curveball was coming,” Theriault said. “I just sat on it and went for a ride.”

Ridley said Theriault’s hitting has returned and he has been hitting the ball hard in recent games.

Bishop tried to help his defense with his decision to let Osmond walk.

“They had second and third with two outs and we wanted a force on every base, so we put him in,” Bishop said. “We tried to make it easier on our defense, and (Theriault) stepped up and smoked it.”

Hall-Dale’s starting pitcher, freshman Noah Longfellow, flied out Lisbon’s JT Hoyle to end the threat, with Theriault still at second base.

Longfellow pitched all six innings, striking out six and allowing three hits.

“For a freshman to come here to play a program like these guys, to throw strikes like he did and compete, I couldn’t be more proud,” Bishop said. “We are really looking forward to seeing him progress throughout the rest of the season and into the future. He has a lot of potential and we are happy to have him.”

The Bulldogs rallied from two outs in the top of the sixth when Nick Brown singled and Keegan Cary walked. Hall-Dale executed a double steal to put both runners in scoring position, but the threat ended when Fitzsimmons, Lisbon’s starting pitcher, got Logan Norton to ground out.

“It felt good, very stressful,” Fitzsimmons said of getting stuck. “The heart got going a little bit, but hey, it’s nice to get out of there.”

Unlike Theriault’s hitting, the Bulldogs didn’t get a big hit when they needed one.

“For us, you’re not going to win too many games with (four) hits,” Bishop said. “We needed a hit like he had when we had guys on. We didn’t understand that and they did. That’s baseball. It was a good high school baseball game.”

Lincoln Matthews replaced Fitzsimmons in the seventh, allowing only a single to Breton Lucas.

Hall-Dale scored the run in the top of the fourth inning when Brown and Cary each got into scoring position on a double steal. Brown scored when Norton grounded out to the shortstop.

Ridley was happy with the way Fitzsimmons came out of the match.

“He only allowed one run,” Ridley said, “and early in the situation he stayed focused, throwing strikes and trusting his defense behind him. That’s what I liked most: you have to learn to trust each other and build on each other.”

Fitzsimmons pitched six innings, striking out three batters and allowing three hits.

“That slider felt great today,” Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons finished the meet under the 95-pitch limit, meaning he only needs three days of rest before throwing again (throwing 96-110 pitches requires four days of rest). He should be available to pitch on Wednesday when the Greyhounds host Dirigo (0-5). They also play at Madison (2-4) on Monday.

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