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High Schools: Pembroke baseball comes up a run short to Portsmouth

  • Jeremy Caruso of Pembroke grabs the ball to get a player out at third base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Jeremy Caruso of Pembroke grabs the ball to get a player out at third base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Brandon Bachelder of Pembroke throws the ball from second base to get a runner from Portsmouth out on first base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Brandon Bachelder of Pembroke throws the ball from second base to get a runner from Portsmouth out on first base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Jeremy Caruso of Pembroke grabs the ball to get a player out at third base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Brandon Bachelder of Pembroke throws the ball from second base to get a runner from Portsmouth out on first base; Wednesday, April 24, 2013. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

PEMBROKE – The Pembroke Academy baseball team was still celebrating a stunning defensive escape from a few moments before when Brandon Bachelder doubled down the right field line to lead off the bottom of the sixth. The Spartans trailed by a run, but the game had the makings of a fifth win in five tries this year, and an extension to what’s been a dream start to the season.

Instead, the Spartans soon had to deal with their spring’s first setback. A squeeze cut the tying run down at the plate, and Pembroke lost an early matchup of two of Division II’s top teams to Portsmouth, 3-2.

“I thought their heart and their fight, their passion was definitely there,” said Pembroke Coach Joshua Coughlin, whose team dropped to 4-1. “A couple of close calls, (could) go either way, that’s the game of baseball. Who makes less mistakes.”

The momentum change came after Bachelder lined a shot past a diving Kobie Taylor at first and went to third on Dean Dustin’s sacrifice bunt. Ninth hitter Jeremy Caruso was up, and the squeeze was on with a 1-1 count. Caruso got the bunt down, but it went right back to pitcher Rick Holt, who flipped the ball to home plate in time for catcher Owen Shepcaro to tag out Bachelder. Caruso went to second on the play, but he was left there when Vinny Dustin popped up to end the inning.

It was the last serious threat for the Spartans, who couldn’t get a runner past first in the seventh.

“I was pretty confident it was going to happen,” Coughlin said. “Bottom line is we got him to third, and it was a bang-bang play at home plate. It could have gone either way.”

Pembroke put itself in position to take command in the bottom of the sixth by slipping out of a jam in the top half. Holt doubled leading off, and after a sacrifice bunt, Shepcaro walked to put runners on the corners for the Clippers (4-1). Spartans starter Autrey Gates got pinch hitter Jeff Heinz to ground to second and Bachelder came home with the throw, getting first Holt in a rundown between third and home, and then pinch runner Vince Sacramone, who had strayed too far past second, for a double play to end the inning.

“I was pretty confident in that situation,” Coughlin said. “We work those plays regularly. My kids know how to handle themselves in that situation, and I think it showed right there.”

The late drama capped a pitchers’ duel, as both starters fought to stave off rallies. Holt allowed runners to reach second in five of seven innings but still battled through 122 pitches, while Gates threw all seven innings while allowing six hits and striking out three.

“I’ve pitched against them three times in four years, and I always know their lineup’s (tough) top to bottom,” said Gates, whose control allowed him to finish the game on only 90 pitches. “I knew if I could keep the score low and keep the pitch count low, that my team would stay in it. We’re doing really good staying in games, even when we’re down.”

Gates’s toughest inning was the first, when he allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits. Pembroke evened the score at 2 in the bottom of the second when Seth Gonya walked and Gates moved him to third on a single to right. Gonya came home when an attempt to catch Gates stealing second went into the outfield, and Gates scored on Caruso’s grounder one batter later.

Portsmouth scored the eventual winning run the next inning with another unearned tally, as Dillon Crosby walked, went to second on an error and scored when Pembroke’s attempt at an inning-ending double play resulted in an overthrow to first.

“We both had each other on the ropes a couple of times,” Clippers Coach Tim Hopley said. “It was who made the most mistakes, or who made the last mistake.”

Even with an unfulfilling result, the game managed to fit Pembroke’s surprising start to the season. With four straight titles from 2008-11 and a national record for consecutive wins established in the process, Portsmouth is one of the division’s premier teams, and going toe-to-toe with the Clippers is a sign that the Spartans have made the jump from .500 team to legitimate contender.

“Two, three, four, five years ago, we give up two runs in the first inning against Portsmouth and that’s a five-inning game,” Coughlin said. “It’s not anymore.”

BASEBALL

Concord 2, Pinkerton 1

The Crimson Tide scored runs in the fourth and second to rally for its sixth straight win to start the season.

The Tide evened the score at 1 when Cody Ferns singled, went to second on a groundout and eventually came home on Nate Mullen’s single to center. Concord grabbed the lead for good in the sixth after Mullen reached on an error with one out. Pinch runner Seimou Smith went to third on a passed ball, and Nate Strozewski brought him in with a single.

Strozewski went 2-for-3 and Ferns went 2-for-4 to lead the offense, and Josh Partridge got the win on the mound with seven strikeouts while allowing six hits, one walk and one hit batter in seven innings.

Pelham 6,
Bishop Brady 3

Bishop Brady (2-4) pitched well, hit well and played clean defense, but it wasn’t enough to knock off Pelham (3-1), one of the strongest teams in Division III.

Starter Tom Blandini pitched four strong innings, striking out four, and held a strong Pythons offense at bay, allowing only two runs and four hits.

Down 2-0 after four innings, the Green Giants responded with a rally in the top of the fifth as Kyle Jalbert, Blandini and Jourdain Bell all drove in runs. However, Pelham regained the lead with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

“They hit the ball hard,” said Brady Coach Skip Foy, noting that Pelham had three extra base-hits in the rally and that no errors were committed by either team the whole game.

The Green Giants also hit well, but couldn’t find holes in the Pythons defense.

“It was a well-played game against a strong team,” said Foy. “I was pleased with the game we played.”

Lebanon 7, John Stark 3

A lineout to the Lebanon (1-4) shortstop stranded two John Stark runners in scoring position and ended a seventh-inning rally as the Generals fell to 1-2.

The Raiders led 3-1 with two innings to play, but a four-run sixth inning extended the lead to 7-1 before the Generals came back in the seventh.

Nick Manna was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base, while Ben Casazza had two hits and James Henry scored two runs and stole three bases. Henry also made a nice play in right field and David Nelson played well at third base.

Kearsarge 6, Franklin 2

Kearsarge (3-4) defeated winless Franklin (0-6).

For Franklin, Craig Lebrun struck out seven in a complete game from the mound and added a single of his own. Ryan French reached base four times with three singles and a fielder’s choice. Griffen Fleming singled, walked and scored a run. Clayton Ford added a double.

SOFTBALL

Concord 8, Pinkerton 0

Concord (5-0) sprayed 13 hits around Memorial Field, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings to take control early.

Jess Carroll (2-for-3, three RBI) got things started with a two-run single up the middle in the first, then added a booming RBI triple in the second. Katie Kennard was 2-for-2 with two RBI, Cassidy Emerson went 3-for-4 and Deb Morrill was 2-for-3 to pace the attack. Annie Mullen, Meaghan Littlejohns (double), Rachel Stevenson (RBI single) and Katherine Muzzey (RBI single) all chipped in.

Three Tide pitchers combined for the two-hit shutout. Kennard (four innings, one hit, five strikeouts) earned the win, with solid relief from Dani Morrill (two innings, one hit, two strikeouts) and Kaitlyn Kelleher (1-2-3 seventh).

John Stark 21, Lebanon 0

The Generals out-hit Lebanon, 24-2, en route to a convincing victory in five innings.

Jackie Kilar (5-for-5), Sam Kazakis (4-for-4) and Maddie Jenelle (4-for-5) led the way for John Stark (2-2). Shelby Broulette started the game in the circle, pitching three innings and allowing two hits while striking out three. Lyndsey Turner pitched the remainder of the game, striking out five and allowing no hits.

Portsmouth 7, Pembroke 4

The Spartans (2-3) fell behind early and a late comeback fell short. Portsmouth (1-5) led by three runs after the third inning and by six runs at the end of the sixth.

Hannah Seidner starter in the circle and pitched well for four innings, giving up four hits, three earned runs and had three strikeouts, but three Pembroke errors led to four unearned runs. The bats came alive in the sixth inning, putting up four runs on five hits from Katherine Arvanitis, Emma Gagnon, Ashley Henshaw, Kara Dugas and Hannah Mitchell.

Pelham 11, Bishop Brady 9

Bishop Brady (2-4) had rallies after falling behind to 9-0 and 11-6, but a flyout to center field with two on and two out left the game-tying run stranded at second base.

Both Pelham (2-2) and Brady hit the ball, but the difference, according to Green Giants Coach Shawn Brechtel, was placement.

“We hit the ball well. We had several line drives right at their infielders and outfielders. (Pelham) didn’t hit the ball near anybody,” Brechtel said.

Kenzie Keenan was 2-for-3 with a run scored and Cammie Marchand was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

Franklin 21, Kearsarge 0

The Golden Tornadoes (5-1) had 14 runs and 13 hits in the first two innings and Kelsey Bird threw a no-hitter as Franklin crushed Kearsarge (0-7) in a five-inning game.

“Games like this test your discipline and self control at the plate and I was pleased with how we handled things,” Franklin Coach Skip DuBois said. “We swung the bats freely today but maintained good pitch selection.”

Among the offensive standouts for Franklin were Lexi Colpack (three hits, three runs, one RBI), Kat Styles (three hits, two runs, five RBI), Maddie Constant (three hits, three runs, stolen base) and Maria Gauthier (two hits). Amber Vogt (two hits), Jill Roberts and Bird (two hits) each had two RBI.

Defensively, Bird struck out nine of 19 batters she faced with the only Cougar threat coming in the fourth inning. Bird stranded Kearsarge runners on second and third (both reached on errors). Rachel Capri and Kaitlyn Brace also played well defensively for the Golden Tornadoes.

Pittsfield 5, Nute 1

The Panthers (5-1) scored early and late, and pitcher Katelynn Hunt pitched a complete-game three-hitter to give Pittsfield its third straight win. The Rams fell to 2-4.

With the Panthers holding a slim 2-1 lead in the sixth, Katie Small broke the game open with a two-run single, plating Bekah Adams (double) and Emily Buchanan (single). Courtney Chagnon provided more insurance in the seventh when she led off with a triple and eventually came home to make it 5-1.

Kim Cyr, hitting first in the order in the absence of the regular leadoff hitter, went 3-for-4 with a run scored, RBI and stolen base.

BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Kearsarge First

Kearsarge won 12 of 17 events, including sweeps of the distance, hurdle, relay and jumping events, to total 171.5 points, far ahead of Stevens (48.5), Newport (42) and Sunapee (17) in a home meet.

The Cougars won all the distance events, with Peter Martin recording wins in the 1,600 (5:12) and 3,200 (11:51). Connor Terhunne won the 800 (2:11) by more than 30 seconds and also took second in the pole vault, while Phillip Tatro won the 400 (57.74).

Gabe Carter led a 1-2-3 sweep of the 110 hurdles, winning in 16.33 seconds, ahead of Jeff Kozikowski and Cameron Webster (third 200). Carter (second 100 and 200) also won the long jump (20-3 1∕4) by about 3e_STnS1∕2 feet. Kozikowski was also a double-winner, claiming victories in the 300 hurdles (44.82) and pole vault (10-0). Zach Beltz (third 100, fourth 200) won the high jump (5-8) and Logan Maville (second 300 hurdles) won the triple jump (39-3 1∕2).

Jacob Jones (second discus and shot put), Aidan Terhunne (second triple jump) and Adain Gainor (second long jump) also placed well. The 4x100 relay (Ellio Lukaitis, Reed Bell, Beltz and Webster) and the 4x400 relay (Roudy and Willio Rehor, Alex Apkan and Gainor) won in times of 47.5 and 4:23, respectively.

GIRLS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Kearsarge Second

The Cougars tallied 72 points to finish second in a home meet to Stevens (101), but defeated Sunapee (33) and Newport (21).

Emily Morcom won both the shot put (26-1) and the discus (73-8), ahead of teammate Kaitlyn Croft (second shot put, third discus) to lead Kearsarge. Aryn Morcom won the high jump (4-8) and Desiree Kalloch (third long jump) won the pole vault (7-0). Carolyn Haron (second 100, third high jump) and Mercedes Gorman (second high jump) also placed well. The 4x100 relay of Savannah Bell, Hayley Joseph, Kalloch and Haron won in a time of 54.22.

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