STANDISH — Hall-Dale took home its first baseball state championship in 17 years, as Cole Lockhart won a duel with Houlton’s Nick Perfitt to lead the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory in the Class C final Saturday at St. Joseph College’s Mahaney Diamond.

Lockhart, a senior, pitched a three-hitter and drove in one of the two runs for the Bulldogs (19-1).

“It’s been a great year,” Lockhart said. “I’m at a loss for words. I honestly don’t even know how we scored right now. It’s just unbelievable.”

Lockhart was not overpowering, but he was effective. After walking the game’s leadoff hitter, Isia Bouchard, he pounded the zone. Fifty-four of his 79 pitches were strikes.

“Usually it takes him an inning or two to settle down, and we knew that. That’s been his history over the last couple of years,” Hall-Dale Coach Bob Sinclair said. “Once we get over that first or second inning, he finds his groove and continues to get better as the game goes.

“A lot of pitchers tend to fade out, but we found with Cole that he actually gains a little more control and a little more break on his breaking ball and does well in the later innings.”

The Bulldogs fell behind just seven pitches into the game when Houlton’s Keegan Gentle roped an RBI double to left-center, but Lockhart held the Shiretowners (14-4) without a hit after the third inning and retired 13 of the final 14 hitters, with only an error breaking up that string.

Houlton’s Perfitt gave up only five hits – three of them infield hits – and walked none.

“We played a good game overall,” Perfitt said. “Both teams played a good game. I knew it was going to be a tight one, and I knew we’d have to battle all the way to the end. We did, and so did they.

“I probably could have left a couple more pitches down, but when you put the ball in play, things can happen. They’re a good team.”

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning, Logan Dupont led off with an infield single to the left side. No. 9 hitter Josh Nadeau bunted Dupont into scoring position, and Dupont raced home on Alec Byron’s single up the third-base line.

From there, it was up to Lockhart.

“I trust my defense. I know they’re going to make the plays and they’re going to be coming up big for me. That’s what happened,” Lockhart said.

“We thought we’d score more runs today, but what a great game by (Perfitt).”

Hall-Dale tied the game in the second inning. Akira Warren led off with a double to right-center and advanced to third when right fielder Tyler Bailey bobbled the ball. Lockhart then drove in Warren with a grounder to second base.

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