High school boys: John Stark overcomes Lebanon in 14 innings
On one of the nicest days of this long-awaited spring, the John Stark and Lebanon baseball teams decided to play two.
It wasn’t by design, however. Tied 4-4 after seven innings, the teams played seven more before the Generals broke through in the bottom of the 14th – nearly four hours after the first pitch – for a stunning 5-4 walk-off victory.
“This means a ton,” Stark Coach Dennis Pelletier said. “We were 2-6 and starting to dribble toward the bottom of the standings. Now we’re still in a playoff spot, and that’s the goal. We’re working on rebuilding this program from the ground up, and this is going to do wonders for the team.”
That it came against a Lebanon (6-3) team that started the day in fifth place in Division II was all the more impressive.
After a trio of Stark pitchers – Tyler Keim, Wesley Lamphere and Jeremy Aubin – kept the Raiders off the scoreboard in extra innings with two shutout innings apiece, the Generals went to work at the plate in the bottom of the 14th. Callahan Loos led off with a bunt single, Tyler Gamache walked and Egan Nickerson reached on an error to load the bases. Lebanon cut down Loos at the plate for the first out, then David Nelson crushed a pitch to deep left-center – likely a bases-clearing triple had it not been a walk-off situation – easily scoring Gamache with the game-winner.
Nelson, who was moved from cleanup to the leadoff spot in the order, was in the thick of John Stark’s other productive inning, as well. After Lebanon grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth, the Generals responded with four in the home half.
With one out, Gamache singled and eventually scored on a Nickerson single. Lamphere reached on an error, then Nelson ripped a two-run single to give Stark the lead. Nelson came in on a Keim double for a 4-2 advantage.
“This is a great lift for David,” Pelletier said.
Lebanon got one back in the sixth and plated one in the top of the seventh to force extra innings.
Nelson, who also caught all 14 innings, went 2-for-6 with three RBI and a stolen base. Keim and Loos also were 2-for-6.
Nickerson, the starting pitcher in all three of Stark’s wins, went the first eight innings, allowing just one earned run on nine hits. He struck out seven. Aubin earned the win.
Bishop Brady 10, Pembroke 0
The Green Giants (5-4) played small ball to perfection, getting nine hits and 10 walks to secure their victory over the Spartans (2-8), who collected nine hits of their own, but weren’t able to score any runs.
Adam Gamache went the distance for Bishop Brady, allowing five hits and striking out five, while Tom Pelchat (two hits, two runs), Kyle Jalbert (three walks, hit by pitch, two runs) and Danny Fogerty (two RBI) led the Giant offense.
Kingswood 3, Coe-Brown 2
The Bears (5-5) fell to the Knights (5-4) as their bats never fired up.
Coe-Brown allowed two unearned runs in the first after two infield errors. The Bears scored their own unearned run in the first to make it a 2-1 game. Each team scored another run in the second, and that was all it took for the Knights to stay on top.
Luke Zollman pitched a complete game for Coe-Brown, striking out four and allowing one earned run.
Mac Struthers (2-for-3) and Brody Ashley (2-for-3, one run, RBI) played well offensively.
Merrimack Valley 5, Hanover 4
The Pride (4-5) came out on top after a back-and-forth game against the Marauders (1-5).
The Pride scored three runs in the third to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Hanover came back and tied the game in the fourth, but MV pushed across the winning run in the sixth.
In the top of the seventh with a runner on first and no outs, JT Driscoll ran down a fly ball to deep left-center to keep a run from scoring. MV got the next two outs to seal the win.
Scott Schoffield powered MV, going 4-for-4 and scoring a run. Caleb Tipton also contributed offensively (3-for-4, RBI), as well as Riley Linehan and Joe Dougherty (two hits apiece).
Linehan (four runs, three earned, four hits, four strikeouts, five walks) pitched the first six innings for the Pride, with Brooks Kimball earning the save.
Bow 6, Hopkinton 5
The Hawks (5-4) lost a tough one to the Falcons (7-3) for their third consecutive loss.
Bow didn’t score a run until the top of the fifth, tying the game at 2-2. Hopkinton answered, with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, reclaiming the lead, 5-2. The Falcons battled back in the sixth and scored three runs for a 5-5 tie.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Nate Corriveau reached first on a grounder then stole second. Jacob Berrigan hit a grounder to third to drive in Corriveau, breaking the tie, 6-5.
With runners on second and third and one out, the Hawks were given one final shot in the bottom of the seventh. Bow pulled pitcher Sebastian Strong (three runs, two hits) and brought in Evan Vulgamore, who struck out a batter and got the next batter to pop out to end the game and earn the save. Starting pitcher Gavin Lacourciere went four innings, striking out one and allowing four hits and two runs.
Collin Paraskeva led Hopkinton with three hits. Jake Nelson (two hits), Andrew Clay (two hits, two RBI) and Luke Luneau (one hit, two RBI) also played well.
Nelson (two earned runs, seven strikeouts) and Liam Nicholson (two hits, no earned runs) combined on the mound for Hopkinton.
Somersworth 15, Belmont 5
The Raiders (5-4) allowed 12 walks in a game against the Hilltoppers (7-1) that got away from them early as Somersworth put up 13 runs in the first three innings.
Offensively, the Raiders fared well at the plate with Jason Taylor (1-for-2, double, HBP, run scored, RBI) and Corey Derosier (2-for-3, double, RBI) leading the way.
Winnisquam 12, Franklin 1
The Bears (8-1) bats were alive in their game against the Golden Tornadoes (1-9), pounding out 13 hits in the victory.
Winnisquam’s Nos. 2-5 hitters of Tucker Normand, Dominic DeBlasie, Dakota Tyno and Ben Wentworth did a majority of the damage against Franklin, going 9-for-11 with seven runs, three doubles and 10 RBI. Tim Harmon picked up the win on the mound, throwing a complete game, allowing three hits and striking out four.
DErryfield 2, Pittsfield 1
The Cougars (3-5) snapped the Panthers’ (8-2) five-game winning streak, scoring two unearned runs in the seventh.
Pittsfield scored its only run in the first inning and couldn’t get the right hit at the right time the rest of the game, leaving a total of 12 runners on base.
Jed Eastman (2-for-4) and Jesse Slater (2-for-2) led the Panthers offense.
Pittsfield pitcher Chris Farr went the distance, striking out 13, allowing three hits and two unearned runs.
Concord 6, Salem 4
Concord (2-9) snapped an eight-game losing streak, riding a three-goal outing from Tyler Martel to a victory over Salem (4-7).
Liam Richards (two assists), Dan Lebell (assist) and Ian Scura also scored for the Tide, while Max Foisy and Tim Weinhold added assists.
Nick Zavarotny was solid in net, making 14 saves.
Bishop Brady 15, Stevens 2
Bishop Brady (4-3) put a quick end to its two-game losing streak, beating winless Stevens (0-10).
The Giants spread the offense amongst nine goal scorers, including varsity firsts for Cooper Johnson, Steve McGrath and Christian Reed.
Craig Newcomb and Dan Kelly split time in the cages, each allowing a single goal and combining for six saves.
Coe-Brown 6, Plymouth 3
After starting the season 1-5, the Bears (5-5) defeated the Bobcats (2-9) to pick up their fourth win in a row to pull themselves to .500 for the first time in more than a month.
No. 1 Alex Wimsatt, No. 2 Brian Gordon and No. 3 Jeremy Fenerty each won their respective singles matches, 8-2. No. 4 Jared Carlson and No. 6 Connor Bell won their matches, 8-0. In doubles action, the No. 2 substitute team of Gareth Owen and Tom Mellor won their match 8-5 for Coe-Brown.
Lebanon 8, Bishop Brady 1
The Green Giants (6-4) lost a tough match against the Raiders (10-1) on the road.
In Brady’s lone victory, No. 2 Jack Bryck won his match, 8-6.
Bow 9, Sanborn 0
Bow (9-1) cruised to an easy victory over Sanborn (1-9), giving up just nine of 57 games in singles.
Zach Zbehlik (8-1), Tim Bradley (8-0), Ben Maurer (8-2), Nathan Louf (8-5), Jacob Huppe (8-1) and Josh DeYoung (8-0) swept the singles ladder from top to bottom.
Doubles winners were No. 1 Maurer and Bradley, No. 2 Harrison Buck and John Gibbens (8-3) and No. 3 Nate Riera and John Holmes (8-4).
John Stark 3, Coe-Brown 0
The Generals (3-6) defeated the Bears (0-11) at home in straight sets, 25-5, 25-8, 25-19.
John Stark had a strong team effort while Coe-Brown was led by Charlie Swansburg with four kills, Phaleap Taing with three blocks and Parker Aube with three assists.