High Schools: Pittsfield baseball team passes test
Steph Tumasz of Pembroke hits the ball in her doubles match with Melina Katakaridis playing against Noey Struthers and Kate Forsythe of Coe-Brown; May 8, 2013.
(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
Noey Struthers of Coe-Brown prepares to hit the ball in her match against Melina Katakaridis of Pembroke; May 8, 2013.
(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
The Pittsfield baseball team went into yesterday’s showdown with Newmarket with a 7-3 record, position among the top five teams in Division IV, and status as a surefire contender come playoff season.
But Coach Rob Stockman saw the caveat. He knew there was a hole in the Panthers’ resume. They were winning, no doubt, but they weren’t being tested.
Yesterday presented that exam, and the Panthers aced it. A pair of quick runs provided more than enough support for Kris Perkins, who was dominant again in lifting Pittsfield to a 2-0 win over the Mules (9-2), Division IV finalists a year ago who were starting their ace in lefty Sean Flemming.
“This was a big game for us, because the three losses came against good teams with good pitching,” Stockman said. “We needed to beat a good team with a good pitcher on the mound, and we did that tonight.”
The Panthers would have had to look hard to find an opposing pitcher in a groove matching Perkins’s. The junior allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out 14, bringing his totals to 27 strikeouts, four hits and no runs allowed in his last 12 innings on the mound.
“He’s crafty,” Stockman said. “He throws mid-70s, he’s got a really good curveball. … He can just spot on the corners, over and over.”
As hot as Perkins has been, he’s only been part of a rotation-wide rejuvenation in Pittsfield. The Panthers have shut out four of their past five opponents, with Chris Farr and Jed Eastman also taking part in the turnaround.
“We kind of had a bull’s-eye on our back, everyone saying we were the team to beat,” said Stockman, whose team allowed seven or more runs in three of the first seven games, one being a 9-3 loss to Newmarket on April 25. “We’re getting better. Our pitching’s started to come around. It definitely takes some of the pressure off, knowing that they’ll keep us in every game.”
Perkins helped his team jump on the Mules early, smacking a first-inning double and coming around to score on a passed ball. The Panthers stretched the lead to two runs in the third, when left fielder Max Tuttle drilled a single with two outs to score shortstop Keith Duclos.
Concord, Timberlane, susp.
The Crimson Tide’s road game was suspended before it became official. No makeup date was announced.
St. Thomas 1, Coe-Brown 0
A bases-loaded walk with two outs in the top of the sixth gave the Saints (5-6) the only run they needed and dropped the Bears to 5-7.
Garrett Wensberg threw 6 2∕3 innings, allowing six hits and striking out three. McCormick Struthers, Ben Bailey and Matt Cunningham had singles for the Bears, and Ethan Moreno made a diving stop at second base with the bases loaded in the fourth inning to keep the game scoreless.
Manchester West 13, John Stark 4
John Stark held a 4-3 lead after two innings, but the Blue Knights took control for the remainder of the game, finishing with 11 hits and nine walks.
Nick Manna pitched three innings for the Generals (3-7), Josh Colby pitched the fourth and fifth innings, and Alex Morse finished the game on the mound.
Offensively, Ryan Thompson led the way for John Stark, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run. James Henry was 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base and one run scored, while Ben Casazza went 3-for-3 with one run scored.
Bow 8, Bishop Brady 7, 9 inn.
Sebastian Strong brought home Hunter Berke on a suicide squeeze in the ninth inning to give the Falcons (8-2) the win over the Green Giants
Berke (two hits) got on base after getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second and took third on an overthrow before Strong plated him.
Nate Corriveau excelled both offensively and defensively for Bow, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and playing a fantastic game at shortstop before earning the win on the mound in relief.
“He really shut them down in the eighth and ninth innings. He really did a great job,” Coach Ben Forbes said. “He did a great job.”
Tyler Lambert (RBI) and Matt Murray also had two hits for the Falcons, who collected 14 hits.
For the Green Giants, Mack Sokul had two hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the fourth inning as part of a four-run rally that put Brady ahead, 7-6. Jourdain Bell had two runs and two RBI, and Kyle Jalbert added two hits and made a temporarily game-saving catch in center field in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Gamache struck out seven and allowed only two earned runs in eight innings of work from the mound.
“It was a great game. I’m proud of my young team for battling a great team like Bow into extra innings,” Brady Coach Skip Foy said.
Hopkinton 2, Hillsboro-Deering 1
The Hillcats (1-8) threatened but couldn’t land the finishing blow on Liam McNicholas, who worked out of trouble in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings en route to pitching a complete game and lifting the Hawks (5-5) to their third straight win.
“It came down to the last second,” Hawks Coach Dave Chase said. “We’re playing some closer games, these guys are being forced to grow up on the baseball field. That’s just huge for us.”
H-D got runners in scoring position the last three innings, but could only get one run in when Troy Girard scored on Tyler Wood’s seventh-inning groundout. McNicholas struck out seven for the Hawks and has notched two wins and a save in Hopkinton’s last three games, striking out 12 and allowing one earned run in his last 14 innings.
“We just couldn’t get that big hit,” H-D Coach Chris Parsons said.
Steve Auger scored on Colin O’Keeffe’s sacrifice fly in the first, and Collin Paraskeva singled and scored on Jake Nelson’s single in the third. Paraskeva finished with two hits, while McNicholas and O’Keeffe had singles.
Robert Armstrong pitched all six innings for the Hillcats, allowing seven hits and three walks while striking out two. Danny Egner had two hits, including a triple, while Girard and Brett Bennett had two hits apiece.
Belmont (2-7) held a 5-1 lead after three innings, but the Bears tightened the defense after that and their bats came alive as they improved to 8-2 with the win in Tilton.
Winnisquam starter Dom DeBlasie (three hits, four walks) lasted just 2 1∕3 innings, but only one of the five runs he allowed was earned. Caleb Hutchins came on in the third and escaped a jam with a pair of strikeouts and eventually earned the win as he went 3 2∕3 innings allowing four hits and three runs while striking out four.
Winnisquam began its comeback with three in the third, the final one coming home on a squeeze bunt from Curtis Archibald (3-for-4, two runs, two RBI). The Bears added five more in the fourth, the big hit there a two-run single from Tucker Normand (2-for-5, run), and then six more in the fifth as Parker Normand (4-for-5, three runs, two RBI) and Jordan Dahl (three RBI) each delivered two-run singles. Senior Rob Goddell went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI for Winnisquam.
Concord 6, Timberlane 4
The Crimson Tide (10-1) took over first place in Division I, jumping out to an early lead and staving off a late rally by Timberlane (11-2).
An infield hit by Amy Morin, a wild pitch and an error scored the first Concord run, then Jasmine Morin belted the first of her three doubles to make it 2-0 after two. Katie Kennard crushed a solo home run in the third, and Morin’s second double plated Cassidy Emerson, who had led off with a single, to make it 4-0 after four.
The Owls mounted a comeback in the fifth, however. After Kennard retired the first two batters, a pair of infield hits and a walk loaded the bases and Madison Bishop cleared them with a double up the left field line to make it a one-run game.
Concord got one right back in the bottom of the inning on three straight singles by Annie Mullen (two hits), Kennard and Jess Carroll. But Timberlane pulled back within a run in the sixth and had runners on second and third with two outs when Dani Morrill came on in relief. She issued a walk to load the bases, then escaped the jam before retiring the side in order in the seventh for the save.
The Tide added an insurance run in the sixth on Morin’s third double, a single by Deb Morrill and a sacrifice fly by Mullen that scored runner Kelsey Bisson.
Both teams had runners reach base in each of the first six innings, but the Tide defense turned two double plays to minimize the early Owl threats.
Merrimack Valley 9, Kennett 5
Brooke Ellis smacked a bases-clearing triple in the third to break a 4-4 tie and lift the Pride (5-4) to the home win.
Ellis’s triple capped a two-out rally, as Amber Cronan and Kerry Fedion had singles and Kayla Kibbee walked to load the bases. Maggie Carey had an RBI double in the sixth, and Fedion followed with an RBI single to provide the Pride with insurance.
Erin Frost drove in three of the first four runs for MV. Kibbee got the win in the circle, allowing eight hits and five runs while fanning three in seven innings.
Winnisquam 13, Belmont 6
The Bears (3-8) scored four runs in the first and third innings, and added three in the second while Marissa DeBlaisie pitched well to hold off the Red Raiders (3-6) in a convincing win.
Elyssa Clairmont was 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBI, including a three-run homer in the third. Rachel Willcut (3-for-3, three runs, three RBI) and DeBlaisie (four runs, two RBI) each had two doubles. Kendra Lonergan and Alyssa Clogston also contributed two hits apiece.
DeBlaisie went the distance from the circle, striking out 10 Belmont batters, walking none and allowing no earned runs on 11 hits.
Franklin 7, laconia 2
Kat Styles hit a three-run triple in the top of the first inning and Kelsey Bird struck out 13 Laconia (5-6) batters while allowing only three hits to give the Golden Tornadoes (9-2) the win. Styles also scored a run in the top of the first following a Maria Gauthier triple. Bird went 3-for-4 at the plate, while Lexi Colpack (RBI, run) and Kim Gerlarneau (run) each had two hits apiece.
Bishop Brady 7, Bow 4
The Falcons (4-5) took a 3-2 lead after one, but a run in the second and three in the third put the Green Giants (5-6) up for good.
Becca Olson went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in for Brady, while Kenzie Keenan went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Meghan Kissinger got the win in the circle, allowing six hits and four runs while striking out six in seven innings. She also went 2-for-5 and scored.
Kylie Iasillo went 2-for-2 with a three-run homer for the Falcons, and Kelsie Flynn homered in the fifth for Bow’s other run.
H-D and pitcher Alyssa Bailey (five strikeouts, one walk, two earned runs) gave Hopkinton (8-2) all it could handle, but the Hawks scraped together enough runs and flashed enough leather to claim the home win.
The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kasey Smith (2-for-4, two runs) singled, stole second and scored on an overthrow. The Hillcats (2-8) came back in the second when Sara Egner tripled and scored on a groundout. Hopkinton answered in the third when Sloane White walked, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on a suicide squeeze from pitcher Becca Shatney (five strikeouts, one walk).
H-D threatened in the fifth, but second baseman Kelly Scammon made a diving stop to end it. The Hawks added two insurance runs in the sixth as Caroline Flood (2-for-3, RBI) and Emily Bogart drove in runs. Erin Delacy (2-for-4), Leah Rheault (1-for-3) and Makayla Savoy (1-for-1, pinch hit) led the Hillcats offense.
Pittsfield 7, Newmarket 4
With the Panthers down 4-3 in the final inning with one out and the bases loaded, senior captain Bekah Adams (2-for-4, four RBI) delivered, hitting a walk-off grand slam to right center to give Pittsfield (8-3) the win over Newmarket (3-7).
Beanie Small led off the seventh-inning rally with a walk and Courtney Chagnon took several pitches from a tiring Mules pitcher and drew two wild pitches that advanced Small to third before Chagnon struck out. Stefani Gauthier, Kim Cyr and Hunt then drew walks to cut the lead to 4-3 and loaded the bases for Adams.
“We didn’t have our best day today,” Panthers Coach Nick Semales said. “All year I’ve stressed that we are a very talented team, but our Achilles heel is playing when we are down and chipping away.”
But that’s what happened, thanks in part to strong pitching from Katelynn Hunt. Newmarket scored four runs on four hits in the first inning, but Hunt settled down and only allowed one hit for the rest of the game.
Bow 8, Pelham 1
After suffering their first loss of the year on Tuesday, the Falcons (11-1) bounced back with the commanding win at home against Pelham (6-5). No. 1 Zach Zbehlik, No. 2 Evan Maccani and No. 5 Ben Maurer all claimed 8-0 wins for Bow, No. 3 Harrison Beack won 8-1, and No. 4 Tim Bradley and No. 6 Nate Louf earned 8-2 decisions. Zbehlik and Bradley won 8-0 at first doubles while Mitch Blair and Louis Miyara won 9-7 at third doubles.
Coe-Brown 6, Pembroke 0
The Bears (7-5) swept a match against the Spartans (2-7) that was shortened due to weather conditions. Noey Struthers (8-1), Shannon Ketenci (8-3), Nikki D’alessandro (8-0), Kate Forsythe (8-0), Emily Blad (8-3) and Bianca Ketenci (8-1) won their No. 1 through No. 6 singles matches, respectively.
Bow 6, Pelham 0
The courts stayed dry enough to squeeze in all of the singles matches, and that was all the time the Falcons needed to improve to 11-0 with the road win. No. 2 Nisha Naik had the match day, coming back from a 1-5 deficit to claim a 9-8 (12-10) win.
“Nisha felt like she was in a deep hole and it was a really gutsy performance for her to come all the way back,” Bow Coach Jonesy Rainville said. “It was a great match.”
The Falcons’ other wins came from No. 1 Sunday Swett (8-0), No. 3 Jess Torres (8-4), No. 4 Laura Zbehlik (8-1), No. 5 Kristie Smith (8-0) and No. 6 Alex Lust (8-2).
Merrimack Valley 6
The Pride (1-7) ended the first half with three consecutive goals to make a game of it, but a disastrous third quarter put the game out of reach. Laconia (4-5) took a 6-0 lead to start the game, but MV made it 6-3 by halftime. A string of penalties caused the Pride to play a man down for seven minutes and the Sachems built an insurmountable lead.
Tanner Carter had three goals and an assist to lead MV while Dylar Baer, Warren Campbell and David West added single tallies. Ben Reed and Buddy Hughes played well on defense.
Souhegan 19, Concord 9
The Crimson Tide (4-7) battled to an 8-6 halftime deficit, but the Sabers (9-1) took command in the second to run away with the win.
Adelaide Symmes had three goals for Concord, while Mary Annon and Grace Orzechowski scored twice, and Lexi Erickson and Brooke Simonton also had goals. Bella Rubin, Melissa Harper and Molly Waite played well defensively.
Timberlane 3, Coe-Brown 0
Coe-Brown (4-5) fell to Timberlane (5-3) in straight sets, 25-17, 25-19, 25-15. The Bears were led by Beau Pingree with five kills, Mike Leduc with seven assists and Devin Merchant with five assists.