High schools: Winnisquam baseball maintains top perch with 9-2 win over Bow
Winnisquam's LF Gregory Hunt reaches around Bow catcher Chris Fournier to make sure he touched home plate
GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff
Bow's Evan Vulgamore bobbles the ball as Winnisquam's Jordan Dahl gets in safely at 2nd.
GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff
Winnisquam 3B Jordan Dahl reaches back to try to tag DH Nate Corrivelle but misses.
GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff
The Winnisquam baseball team (11-1) has had plenty of wins this season on its way to the top of the Division III standings, but to Bears Coach Fred Caruso, win number 11 was particularly satisfying.
“It kind of validates our record a little bit,” Caruso said.
Winnisquam used everything that has characterized the team this season – a deep batting order, an exceptionally talented outfield defense and a surprisingly talented though very young pitching staff – to its advantage, defeating Bow, 9-2, on the Bears’ home diamond.
“We knew coming into this game we were going to be playing four of five of the toughest teams on our schedule (in the next two weeks). Bow (7-5) is very tough, they’re well coached, they’ve got good players,” said Caruso, adding that, “the top of their lineup is probably the toughest we’ll see.”
The top of Bow’s order got to work early, with Evan Vulgamore hitting a single in the top of the first and scoring on an error to give the Falcons an early lead, but the Winnisquam bats, led by Tucker Normand (3-for-4, double, triple, two runs, two steals, two RBI), Dominic DeBlasie (2-for-4, double, run, RBI) and Ben Wentworth (2-for-4, run, two RBI) scored two runs in the first and six in the third to put the Bears on top to stay. In the third, Normand (triple), DeBlasie (double), Wentworth (single), Mikey Lowery (double) and Torrey Martinez (single) all drove in runs.
“Everything we hit, we stung,” said Caruso, noting that out of 13 hits in the game, five went for extra bases.
Caruso also pointed to the role of Martinez (2-for-3, double, two RBI), who is symbolic of the team’s depth behind the plate. Hitting in the bottom spot in the order, Martinez has a batting average of about .400.
“He keeps things rolling for us … he has to be the best No. 9 hitter in the division. Now we’re afraid to move him.”
The Falcons showed their resilience in the fourth, with Nick Kruger (two hits) connecting for a single and advancing to third on a pair of infield errors. With the bases loaded and no outs, Vulgamore belted a shot to deep left, but outfielder Greg Hunt made a spectacular catch to allow only Kruger to score.
“That could’ve made it a different ball game. If that went over, it’s 8-4,” said Caruso, adding that Normand played “outstanding” in center field, making five outs, including a couple on long balls.
Bow kept the ball in play, but couldn’t find that final hit to bring runners home. The visitors stranded 10 runners and left the bases loaded in both the second and fifth innings.
Tim Harmon, one of several young arms in Winniquam’s rotation, was equal to the task, allowing only two walks, six hits and no earned runs. He striking out one.
“He kept them off balance a little bit. …To get out with only two runs (against the Bow order) and getting out of some jams is outstanding,” Caruso said of the sophomore starter, adding that with three underclassmen as starting pitchers (Lowery and Hunter Tierney being the others), the pitching staff was the biggest question mark at the start of the season.
Senior reliever Dakota Tyno pitched one inning and the hosts added one more run in the fifth.
Chris Fournier added a hit for Bow, and Krueger pitched 3.2 innings of one-run relief.
Concord 8, Exeter 6
The Tide (8-5) dug itself an early hole, trailing 4-0 in the second inning, but pulled within a run by the third then went ahead to stay with a five-run fifth to put some distance between itself and Exeter (7-7) in the standings.
In the fifth, Connor Ferns reached on an error, a hit-and-run by Mark Houston put runners at the corners, and Rob Law delivered an RBI single to tie the game. Andrew Grondin reached on a fielder’s choice then stole second, setting up a two-run, go-ahead single by Gracion Smith. Ben Bengtson followed with a line drive home run for the eventual winning run.
“It was our best offensive day all year,” Concord Coach Scott Owen said. “We had a lot of good, quality at-bats.”
Smith finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and earned the win with 2.2 innings of three-hit relief. Bengtson, along with going 3-for-4 with three RBI, earned the save, pitching 1.1 innings with no hits and two strikeouts.
Mike Manoogian and Connor Loughery each contributed two hits, and Ferns had an outstanding game in the field.
JOHN STARK 5, OYSTER RIVER 4
Going into the seventh and final frame, the teams were tied at 4. After the Generals (5-6) loaded the bases with nobody out, Tyler Keim hit a sacrifice fly for the walk-off win. Keim had also pitched the top half of the seventh, keeping the score knotted at 4 before the big RBI to earn the win.
Egan Nickerson pitched the first six innings, allowing four runs, all of which came in the first. Offensively, Callahan Loos (two RBI), and Keim (3-for-3) led the way. David Nelson was solid defensively behind the plate.
CON-VAL 10, MERRIMACK VALLEY 2
The Pride (5-7) trailed throughout, as it was an all-around tough afternoon.
Joe Dougherty had an RBI single, serving as one of the lone bright spots for the Pride.
PEMBROKE 7, SOUHEGAN 6
Jeremy Caruso pitched six strong innings to earn the win for the Spartans (4-8). Liam Wright finished up, pitching a perfect seventh.
The Spartan offense was led by Vinny Dustin (2-for-4, three RBI) and Jake Gaskell (2-for-3, RBI).
Belmont 10, Gilford 1
Ryan Pluskis pitched a three-hitter and allowed no earned runs in a complete game win and the offense scored three runs in the third and fourth innings and brought home four more in the sixth to even Belmont’s record at 6-6 and snap a three-game losing skid.
Pluskis helped his cause, going 2-for-2, drawing a walk, scoring two runs and recording an RBI. Joey Levesque went 2-for-4, hitting a two-run double as part of his team-high four RBI. Jason Taylor (2-for-3, three runs, double, walk, steal) and Brent Minery (double, two runs, RBI, walk, steal) led a balanced offense that connected for four consecutive hits in the third inning.
HOPKINTON 6, BISHOP BRADY 4
Entering the seventh inning, the Giants (7-5) led 4-3, but once the inning began the wheels came off. The Hawks (7-4) capitalized on a wild pitch along with timely hitting and took control of the game. Collin Paraskeva had a two-run single to spearhead the comeback.
For the Hawks, ace Jake Nelson went the first five innings on the mound, striking out eight. David Nelson and Liam McNicholas pitched the final two innings, shutting down the Giants. Jake Nelson (3-for-5), Paraskeva (3-for-5), Luke Luneau (2-for-3) and Alex Lajeunesse (two hits) led the offense.
JP Nemkovich, Tom Blandini and Tom Pelchat had an RBI apiece for Brady.
MASCENIC 13, HILLSBORO-DEERING 5
Matt Sampson, Josh Carmen, Sam Atkins and Brad Sampson each collected their first career varsity hit, but that was it for bright spots as the Hillcats (0-11) struggled.
Kearsarge 6, Franklin 3
The Cougars (6-7) scored two runs in the fourth and four in the seventh to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a win at Franklin (1-11).
“It was big for us to stay in the playoff hunt,” Coach Travis Pelletier said.
Ryan Stanley (2-for-4, three RBI, two runs) was the offensive spark Kearsarge needed, singling home Berkley Stevens before scoring on a single by Andrew Ellis. With one out in the seventh, the Cougars rattled off five hits in a row from Jake Vierzen (single), Stevens (single), Nick Bailey (RBI double), Stanley (two-run double) and DJ Heiner (single).
Stevens threw the first five innings, fanning four, allowing four hits and three walks, before Bailey picked up the win in relief. Bailey faced six batters in the final two innings, allowing only one to reach base on a walk and eventually picked the runner off at first.
PITTSFIELD 9, SUNAPEE 3
In a battle of Division IV powers, Pittsfield (11-2) handled the Lakers (9-3).
Branden Smith (3-for-3, two RBI) and Kris Perkins (2-for-4, two RBI) led the Panther attack. Perkins also pitched well, striking out six in 3.2 innings of work.
“Tonight was our best win of the season,” Coach Rob Stockman said. “We played good situational baseball tonight and I’m proud of the boys.”
Concord 6, Exeter 2
Concord (10-3) held Exeter to its second-lowest offensive output of the season and handed the Blue Hawks (8-5) just their second loss in the last eight games.
Dani Morrill scattered five hits over six innings, giving up two runs in the fourth, and Lexi Palmisano pitched a perfect seventh.
The Tide grabbed an early 2-0 lead, saw Exeter tie it, then broke it open when Cassidy Emerson’s two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth inning.
Morrill (2-for-3, two RBI), Molly Emerson (2-for-3, double, RBI) and Meaghan Littlejohns (2-for-4, double) led the offense, with Deb Morrill (two runs), Katherine Muzzey (two runs, RBI), Franny Redlon and Annie Mullen adding to the 11-hit attack.
COE-BROWN 13, HANOVER 0
The Bears (11-2) have been impressive all season, and nothing was different as they handled the Marauders (2-9) thanks in part to a five-run outburst in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Amanda Riley (three RBI), Lauren Jones (two RBI) and Abby Ahern (RBI) led the offense. Ahern also performed well in the circle, going the distance and striking out four.
John Stark 1, Oyster River 0
The Generals (8-3) made a first-inning run stand up behind the three-hit, shutout pitching of Lyndsey Turner (eight strikeouts, no walks).
Maddie Jenelle stroked a leadoff double and came home on a single up the middle by Carly Cook (2-for-3).
Stark had just four more hits the rest of the game, but stranded eight runners. Turner worked out of a jam in the seventh, when an error and a double put Bobcats on second and third with no outs. But a strikeout, a fielder’s choice and a line drive to the first baseman ended it.
CON-VAL 8, MERRIMACK VALLEY 2
Aside from allowing a seven-run second inning, the Pride (5-7) performed well, but the damage inflicted in the inning could never be overcome.
Pitcher Kerry Fedion allowed eight runs, five earned, with the majority coming in that inning. She was able to quiet the Cougar (5-8) bats for the most part throughout the rest of the contest.
Erin Frost and Lindsay Balch scored on an error in the seventh for the Pride.
Winnisquam 18, Bow 0
Allie Trowsdale threw a three-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking one in the five-inning game, while her teammates exploded for nine runs in the second inning and seven in the third in a home win over the Falcons (1-10).
Winnisquam (9-4) was led offensively by Alyssa Clogston (2-for-5) and Kendra Lonergan (2-for-4, three runs) with a triple and three RBI each. Erica Doubleday (2-for-2, three runs, RBI) also hit well.
HOpkinton 3, Bishop Brady 0
Becca Shatney needed eight strikeouts, but threw 12, to earn her 250th career strikeout in the fourth inning of a shutout victory over the Green Giants (4-8). Shatney gave up only three hits and walked two.
“She has command of several pitches,” Hawks Coach Dan Meserve said. “She has a great catcher in Maddy Bergethon. The two of them work together so well … it was really a masterpiece.”
The game was scoreless until the fourth, when Sarah Ewing singled and advanced on a sacrifice before breaking the deadlock on a Sloane White single. In the fifth, Kelly Scammon connected for a leadoff double and came home on a perfectly executed squeeze play by Caroline Flood. Flood also drove home the third and final run (scored by Lily Scammon, who reached on a single) in the seventh with a two-out single.
Hopkinton (9-2) has won seven in a row.
Franklin 32, Kearsarge 1
It was 2-1 after an inning and a half, but that changed in a hurry, as Franklin (8-4) scored five in the second, 17 in the third and eight more in the fourth before the game mercifully ended.
Lexi Colpack (four hits, six RBI, three runs) and Kat Styles (four hits, two RBI, two runs) led the onslaught. Mariah Gauthier, Shelby Joyce, Breanna Styles, Lauren Hennessey, Kelsey Bird and Hailey Haskins each had two hits.
Bird (one run on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts in three innings) earned the win, with two innings of relief from Haskins (no runs, four hits, three strikeouts).
Tess Witmer had a pair of triples and drove in Kearsarge’s lone run. Sam Dow and Victoria Botana each added a hit for the Cougars (3-10).
MASCENIC 6, HILLSBORO-DEERING 5
Emma Moore and Maggie Girard had two RBI apiece but it wasn’t enough for the Hillcats (4-7), who actually led 5-4 going into the sixth. The Vikings then went on to score a run in both the sixth and seventh to seal the deal.
Maggie Atkins went the distance in the circle, striking out six.
SUNAPEE 13, PITTSFIELD 1
The Panthers (0-13) struggled, not generating much offense.
Kylee Morel scored on an Emlee Sanuth RBI groundout for the Panthers’ lone run.
Hanover 8, Bishop Brady 1
The Green Giants (8-5) saw some encouraging signs, despite the loss to Hanover (10-1).
The No. 1 doubles team of Brendan Bryck and Revanth Damerla earned an 8-4 win, and Danny Bryck came close in both of his matches, falling 9-7 at sixth singles and 8-6 at third doubles with Tom MacMullin.
Brady can clinch a playoff berth by beating Kennett (7-5) in its season finale tomorrow at Memorial Field.
Bow 7, Kearsarge 2
The Cougars (5-8) won two close doubles matches in tiebreakers, but the Falcons put the match away early by sweeping singles play to improve to 12-1.
Zach Zbehlik (8-0), Tim Bradley (8-1), Ben Maurer (8-3), Nathan Louf (8-1), Jacob Huppe (8-2) and Josh DeYoung (8-0) won at the first through sixth singles spots, respectively. The doubles matches were all closely contested, with Kearsarge’s Tyler Valovic and Drake Van Kannewurff defeating Bow’s Mitch Blair and John Holmes, 9-8 (7-2) and Will Anderson and Jack Van Etten also winning in a tiebreaker over Ross Cook and Louis Miyara, 9-8 (7-2) at No. 3. The Falcons won an 8-5 decision at No. 1, with Bradley and Maurer holding off Karver Bosela and Chris Bossi.
Stevens 7, Kearsarge 2
Seniors Sabrina Duquette (8-6 at No. 2) and Emily Irick (8-5 at No. 3) both picked up singles victories in their final high school matches, while the Cougars’ other senior, Kathleen Kowalski, nearly added a doubles win with Duquette before falling, 8-6, at No. 1.
Kearsarge (0-13) played competitively in all three of its doubles losses, with Irick and Lahtesha Nelson (8-5) and Lydia Schoonmaker and Elise Paquette (9-7, 7-3) also coming close.
Bow 7, Wilton-Lydeborough 2
The Falcons won five singles and two doubles matches to finish the season with a win at Wilton (3-11).
Claire Mulvaney (8-2), Kristen Duval (8-4), Danielle Gould (8-0), Nandita Kasireddy (8-0) and Casey Day (8-4) claimed victories in the second through sixth singles matches, with Laura Zbehlik and Duval winning, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles and Mulvaney and Gould winning, 8-5, at No. 2.
With a 13-1 record, Bow has guaranteed itself a top-three seed in the Division III tournament.
Concord 11, Memorial 3
Tim Weinhold (five goals) and Tyler Martel (three goals) led the Tide in a road win over the Crusaders (0-11).
Dan Lebell (two goals), Ian Scura (goal), Connor Hawkins (assist), Max Foisy (assist) and Josh Owen (assist) also contributed to the offense. Nick Zavarotny (five saves), Ethan Donlon (two saves) and Drew Graff (two saves) split the goaltending duties.
Concord (4-10) started the season 1-9, but has won three of its last four.
BEDFORD 12, BOW 6
Matt Sanford led the Falcons (7-3) with four goals, but it wasn’t enough to take down the mighty Bulldogs (14-0).
Devin Calkins (goal, assist), Ben Podis (goal, assist), Devin Barker (assist) and Trevor Garrett (assist) also contributed offensively. Derrick Labranche and Tucker Johnson played well defensively in front of goalies Chase Chamberline (10 saves) and Travis Beauchain (six saves).
HOPKINTON 5, BISHOP BRADY 4
Robbie Ferguson, Owen Kanter, Colin Noonan, Henry Yianakopolos and Prince Mansah had a goal apiece as the Hawks (5-4) displayed their balanced scoring attack.
James McCluskey (two assists) and Joe Cullinan (assist) also contributed offensively. Thomas Knight, Jake Hammerlien and Liam Flanagan and Sage Dubois played well defensively in front of goalie Matt French.
Londonderry 19, Concord 10
Adelaide Symmes scored four goals, but the Crimson Tide (3-9) couldn’t keep up with the Lancers (7-6) in a home contest.
Veronyca Daniels and Grace Orzechowski scored two goals apiece, while Bella Rubin and Delana Erickson added goals for Concord. Melissa Harper and Molly Waite led the Tide defense.
JOHN STARK 10, HOPKINTON 5
At halftime, the lead was slim as the Generals led 4-3. The second half provided the Generals (9-2) with a chance to pull away, and they seized the moment.
Sam Valcourt, Danielle Galli and Gianna Pezzulo had two goals apiece. Katie Walgura, Casey Poirier, Danielle McCarron and Liz Neal each had one tally. Clarissa Foote made 15 saves in net.
For the Hawks, Meg Hemmerlein (three), Caroline Sweny and Izzy Gesen had the goals. Josie Lavigne also contributed offensively, while Caitlin Reidy was strong defensively.
Bishop Brady 20, MERRIMACK VALLEY 7
The Green Giants (7-4) played well enough to take a 9-5 halftime lead over MV (0-11), but really opened the game up in the second half, outscoring the Pride, 11-2.
“We starting making some nice connections … we started to relax and settle in a bit,” Bishop Brady Coach Kate Hohenberger said.
Sisters Jill and Sarah Thomas led the offense with seven and six goals, respectively. Dana Beauregard and Meg Houten played well defensively.
John Stark 3, Coe-Brown 0
John Stark won in straight sets over Coe-Brown, 25-5, 25-6, 25-16, to improve to 4-8.
The Generals were led by Ryan Compagna (six kills, ace), Aedan McCarron (two kills, three blocks), Tyler Bossart (four kills, block) and Carson Dunn (four kills, three aces).
Leading Coe-Brown (0-12) was Alec Schleich with 16 digs, Parker Aube with five assists and Phaleap Taing with three kills and two blocks.