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High schools: Lemay helps Gilford baseball team score crucial win over Franklin

  • Gilford’s Brian Chilvers collides with Franklin shortstop Bryan Sweet after trying to stretch a single into a double during Thursday’s Division III tilt in Gilford. The Golden Eagles preserved their playoff hopes with an 8-1 win. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Gilford pitcher Branden Lemay gets ready to fire a pitch toward home plate against Franklin on Thursday in a Division III matchup at Gilford Village Field. Lemay, who went the distance and allowed just five hits, lifted the Golden Eagles to an 8-1 victory when they needed it most. The win gets Gilford a little closer to a berth in the D-III tournament with one game left on their schedule. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Thursday, May 18, 2017

GILFORD – It was a less-than-ideal start to Thursday’s game for Branden Lemay. Two of the first three Franklin batters he faced slapped singles to the outfield, leaving the Gilford senior in a tough spot on the mound in a Division III contest with major playoff implications on both sides. Lemay, though, was hardly fazed.

He induced two straight groundouts to tightrope his way out of danger and went on a tear from there, retiring 15 of the next 17 batters he faced to jolt the Golden Eagles’ tournament chances with an 8-1 triumph over Franklin at Gilford Village Field.

“I can’t say enough for our starting pitcher Branden,” Gilford Coach Vint Choiniere said after his team climbed over the .500 mark at 8-7 with one game left to play. “It’s his second start in the last two weeks and he’s come up big both times. ... A lot of first-pitch strikes, mixed in a nice curveball to keep them off-balance and they didn’t really square up a lot of balls. Just a great game.”

Lemay went the distance in the win, making it look easy at times against the Golden Tornadoes (5-7). He allowed just five hits, set down the side in order three times and racked up seven strikeouts, all while delivering a clutch RBI double as part of Gilford’s game-clinching, four-run sixth inning.

The win should go a long way in helping Gilford reach the tournament in a crowded division, but Lemay wasn’t thinking about any of that.

“I kind of just take the same approach and go out there and throw strikes,” Lemay said. “I had the fastball and was pounding the zone, getting the ball low and my curveball was working for me when I needed it to.”

While the Golden Eagles received the gem on the mound they were looking for, the Golden Tornadoes left a bit disappointed.

Franklin starter Harrison Clark lasted only two-plus innings after allowing four runs on five walks and a wild pitch. And on a day where its starter didn’t have his best stuff, the offense wasn’t there either.

“We expected more from our starting pitcher,” Franklin Coach David Joyce said. “Fifty-eight pitches in and he’s usually much sharper than that, but you got to score to win. One run isn’t going to beat a team like these guys.”

Gilford scored a pair of runs in each of the first two innings off Clark, with freshman Adrian Siravo providing the biggest at-bat in the early goings with a hard-hit, two-run single through the left side that made it 4-0.

The score would remain that way until the sixth inning when Braeden Lacroix (three hits) opened things up with a single to score two. But Franklin did little with the few chances it had in between.

The Golden Tornadoes collected only three hits total before plating a run on Trevor Gallagher’s bloop single in the seventh and couldn’t take advantage of a strong relief appearance from Bryan Sweet.

“We’ve had a tough schedule, but no excuses,” Joyce said. “If you want to be a top team, we’ve got to beat teams like that so we have to figure out a way to do it.”

The early run support for Gilford not only allowed Lemay to relax on the mound, but it also helped the lineup breathe a sigh of relief.

“The four (runs) we got early, I felt us relax a little,” Choiniere said. “We didn’t press so much like we have been lately. ... In the middle innings, it’s a little bit frustrating because you never know, sometimes that will come back to bite you, but this is a big win, a very big win for us.”

The Golden Eagles will play the final game of their season on Monday at Prospect Mountain. Franklin still has four games left, the first at Berlin on Friday before three straight at home to end the season.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

BASEBALL

Hanover 10, Laconia 3

Key players: Laconia – Thomas Turpin (2-for-3), Dom Vaillancourt (2-for-4), Tyler Richter (2-for-4, triple, RBI)

Highlights/key moments: Hanover snapped a three-game losing streak.

Records: Hanover 5-7, Laconia 2-9

Belmont 10, Inter-Lakes 0, 5 inn.

Key players: Belmont – Corey Desrosier (5 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K; 3-for-3, double, 3 RBI, run), Cam Magerer (2-for-3, double, 2 RBI, run), Doug Price (1-for-3, double, RBI, run)

Highlights/key moments: The Raiders scored seven runs in the first inning to earn their 11th straight win.

Records: Belmont 11-2; I-L 5-8

SOFTBALL

Belmont 6, Inter-Lakes 5, 8 inn.

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (3-for-4, 2 runs), Taylor Lavallee (2 hits), Jordan Lavallee (2 hits); I-L – Hailey Hart (triple, double, 2 RBI), Jordan Durand (3 hits, double, 2 RBI), Izzy Dunn (hit, RBI), Jade LaSalle (94 pitches, 72 strikes)

Highlights/key moments: Estremera led off the eighth inning with a double, advanced to third on a bunt by Jordan Sargent and scored on a fly ball from Shannon Davies for the victory.

Coach’s quote: “Took an extra inning for Belmont to put a pesky, highly motivated Inter-Lakes team away. Give Inter-Lakes credit, they came to play and gave us a game.” – Belmont’s Bill Clary

Records: Belmont 9-4; I-L 1-12

Franklin 16, Laconia 4

Key players: Franklin – Meghan Johnston (5 IP, 3 H, 9 K; 2 hits, 2 RBI), Ryley Haskins (3 RBI), Jess Cilley (3 hits), Lauren Croteau (2 hits, 2 RBI, 3 runs in first varsity start)

Highlights/key moments: Franklin won despite being riddled with injuries and having six players in new positions.

Coach’s quote: “The coaching staff is proud of this group of young ladies for not only dealing with the nerves but also handling the excessive heat.” – Franklin’s Skip DuBois

Records: Franklin 7-5; Laconia 1-11

Stevens 19, Kearsarge 4

Key players: Kearsarge – Maddie Folcik (2-for-2, 2 runs), Katlyn Kleckner (1-for-3, run), Emily Folcik (2-for-3, run)

Highlights/key moments: The Cougars had a 4-1 lead in the third inning, but the Cardinals stormed back.

Records: Stevens 7-6; Kearsarge 2-12

Newfound 8, Mascoma 6

Key players: Newfound – Amanda Johnston (3-for-4, 2-run HR, double, 4 RBI, run; 7 IP, 5 ER, 10 K), Kasey Basford (2-for-4), Victoria Roman (2-for-4, two-run triple), Hayleigh Pabst (2-for-3, first varsity start)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears trailed 6-4 after five innings of Wednesday’s game but scored three runs in the seventh. Johnston hit her second home run in two days.

Coach’s quote: “Although we just could not put them away early the team fought to the end to pull out the win.” – Newfound’s Corey Johnston

Records: Newfound 8-4; Mascoma 4-9

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Bishop Brady 8, Keene 1

Key players: Brady – Sydney Herrington (8-1 win at No. 1), Ravalika Damerla (8-0 win at No. 2), Rachel Achong (8-2 win at No. 3), Anna Michaud (8-4 win at No. 4), Manu Komma (8-0 win at No. 5),

Highlights/key moments: Michaud won her first career match and the Giants swept all three doubles matches. Herrington at Damerla won, 8-2, at No. 1, Addie Dinsmoor and Achong won, 8-4, at No. 2 and Alexa Bonvie and Sarah Haynes won, 8-4, at No. 3.

Records: Brady 4-10; Keene 1-13

Profile 6, Inter-Lakes 3

Key players: I-L – Gabriele Nedeau (win at No. 1), Alyssa Floyd (win at No. 2), Ava Duymazlar (win at No. 4)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers were swept in doubles Wednesday, but had a good match from the No. 1 team of Floyd and Nedeau that lost in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-2).

Records: Profile 11-2; I-L 2-12

BOYS’ TRACK & FIELD

Bow first, Kearsarge second

Key players: Bow – Brian Bushnell (1st 100, 1st 200), Mike Perry (1st long jump, 2nd high jump), Kirpal Demian (tied 1st 1,600), John Rolla (2nd triple jump, 2nd 110 hurdles, 3rd 300 hurdles), Matt Nicholls (2nd 300, 3rd 100), 4x100 (1st), 4x400 (2nd); Kearsarge – Grant Croft (1st pole vault, 2nd 300 hurdles, 3rd triple jump), Hunter Burns (1st 800), John Cunningham (2nd pole vault), 4x400 (1st), 4x100 (2nd); Franklin – Gio Lemon (1st javelin), Christian Shepard (tied 3rd high jump); Hopkinton – Kevin McGrath (1st high jump), Max Rossignol (3rd javelin)

Highlights/key moments: The Falcons won a 10-team meet on their home track on Wednesday, tallying 143 points. Kearsarge (114.5) and Epping (65) rounded out the top three. Franklin (24) finished seventh and Hopkinton (22.5) finished eighth.

GIRLS’ TRACK & FIELD

Bow first, Kearsarge third

Key players: Bow – Dom Biron (1st 200, 1st 400, 1st high jump, 1st long jump), Laura Hoeker (1st pole vault, 2nd 100, 2nd triple jump), Malena Lafreniere (1st 100), 4x100 (1st), 4x400 (2nd); Kearsarge – Mya Dube (1st 800, 4th 400), Megan Roy (1st javelin), 4x100 (2nd); Hopkinton – Megan Ellsworth (2nd 400), Lillie Presti (2nd long jump), 4x400 (3rd); Franklin – Zoe Kaplan (2nd javelin)

Highlights/key moments: Bow scored 144 points to win a 10-team meet on the Falcons’ home track. White Mountains (137) and Kearsarge (72.5) rounded out the top three. Hopkinton (39.5) finished fifth and Franklin (13) came in eighth.