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Bow baseball team falls in extras after staging dramatic rally in semifinals

  • Bow's Nate Corriveau reacts at the mound after Somersworth scores the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Division III semifinal game on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Corriveau's teammate Evan Vulgamore (right) falls after playing through the game with a cramped calf. Bow lost, 8-7. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Nate Corriveau reacts at the mound after Somersworth scores the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Division III semifinal game on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Corriveau's teammate Evan Vulgamore (right) falls after playing through the game with a cramped calf. Bow lost, 8-7.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Evan Vulgamore screams while racing home in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Evan Vulgamore screams while racing home in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Nicholas Kruger holds up a golden Buddha from the team's dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Nicholas Kruger holds up a golden Buddha from the team's dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Brendan Winch pitches in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Brendan Winch pitches in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Sebastian Strong tags a player out at first in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Sebastian Strong tags a player out at first in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Evan Vulgamore scores the tying run in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Evan Vulgamore scores the tying run in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Nate Corriveau hugs coach Ben Forbes after their loss the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Nate Corriveau hugs coach Ben Forbes after their loss the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • The golden Buddha sits in the Bow team dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    The golden Buddha sits in the Bow team dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow players shake hands at the end of the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow players shake hands at the end of the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Christopher Fournier hugs his teammate Sebastian Strong after the team's loss in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Christopher Fournier hugs his teammate Sebastian Strong after the team's loss in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bow's Nate Corriveau reacts at the mound after Somersworth scores the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning during the Division III semifinal game on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Corriveau's teammate Evan Vulgamore (right) falls after playing through the game with a cramped calf. Bow lost, 8-7. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Evan Vulgamore screams while racing home in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Nicholas Kruger holds up a golden Buddha from the team's dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Brendan Winch pitches in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Sebastian Strong tags a player out at first in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Evan Vulgamore scores the tying run in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Nate Corriveau hugs coach Ben Forbes after their loss the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • The golden Buddha sits in the Bow team dugout in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow players shake hands at the end of the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Christopher Fournier hugs his teammate Sebastian Strong after the team's loss in the Division III semifinal game against Somersworth on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow lost 8-7 in the eighth inning. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

MANCHESTER – They used three pitchers in the first two innings. They trailed by six runs after three. And twice they were down to their last strike. But the Falcons refused to cave.

Freshman Brendan Winch settled down Bow’s pitching situation with his third stellar outing of the postseason. Seniors Chris Fournier and Nate Corriveau sparked the offense. And sophomore Evan Vulgamore, despite a cramping calf, raced home on a wild pitch to score the tying run with two outs in the top of the seventh to force extra innings. It was a stirring comeback, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

No. 2 Somersworth (17-2) withstood Bow’s rally and the dramatic momentum shift and pieced together a run in the eighth for an 8-7 win in yesterday’s Division III baseball semifinal at Southern New Hampshire University. The Cinderella playoff run is over for the No. 14 Falcons (12-8), but they appreciated the ride.

“It was definitely a nice way to end the season playing like this,” Corriveau said. “It was good to see all the hard work pay off and show teams what we can really do.”

“I feel good now,” Bow Coach Ben Forbes said. “We were 9-7 in the regular season, but we showed late against No. 1 Campbell, we lost to them 5-4, and then we came out and beat the No. 3 team, beat the No. 6 team and here we are we lost in extras to the No. 2 team. Yeah, our regular-season record might not have been great, but we can hang.”

The Falcons were hanging by a thread after the first two innings. Starter Jeff Bell lasted just four batters after giving up three walks and a hit that eventually led to three runs for the Hilltoppers. Sebastian Strong came on in relief, but he didn’t make it out of the second inning after allowing three loud hits that turned into three more runs (although all those were unearned) and a 6-0 Somersworth lead.

“Short leash on everybody today,” Forbes said. “We knew what (Somersworth) was going to do. They’re very capable of stringing a bunch of hits together and having a big inning. We tried to stop that, but they still had a couple pretty big innings.”

But they might have been too big, and too quick, for the Hilltoppers.

“It seemed like they felt too comfortable for a bit,” Somersworth Coach David Kretschmar said. “That’s going to be a lesson learned for them, too. That’s something we’ll address in the next couple of days.”

Complacency may have slowed the Hilltoppers some, but Winch also deserves credit. The freshman began his season on the JV team, but he’s been the varsity ace in the postseason. He started and earned the win in the first-round against Belmont, threw a complete-game two-hitter to beat No. 6 Pelham in the quarterfinals and yesterday allowed one run on four hits in 4.1 innings of work.

“He’s been amazing,” Corriveau said of Winch. “It’s fun to watch a young kind on the mound dominate like that. He’s real calm and he knows what he’s doing out there. He’s been a great addition to the team since he came up.”

It looked like the Falcons were going to make a major dent in the Somersworth lead when they loaded the bases with no outs in the third. But they only managed to push across one run against Somersworth starter Drew Colbert (5.2 innings, nine strikeouts, three walks, six hits). And the Hilltoppers came right back with a run of their own in the third to push their lead to 7-1.

Bow finally made up some ground in the fifth when Fournier (1-for-4, two RBI) and Corriveau (3-for-5, double, triple, RBI) hit back-to-back RBI triples and Gavin Lacourciere delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4.

“(Fournier and Corriveau) have been waiting to break out and it was a nice time to see them hit the ball hard,” Forbes said. “That definitely changed the tone of the game a bit.”

Bow kept chipping away in the sixth when Strong (1-for-1, three walks, three runs) walked, took second on a wild pitch and showed great hustle to score from second on a throwing error from the Somersworth catcher.

Strong started the Falcons’ seventh-inning rally when he drew a two-out walk against Somersworth reliever Michael Paquette. Vulgamore followed with a single to center and had to hobble up the first base line, but Forbes left him in the game. Sam Morrow came up with another single to load the bases and then Fournier drew a walk to plate Strong.

Kretschmar made a trip to the mound after the walk to Fournier, but because it was his fifth trip, he had to remove Paquette, even though it was the coach’s first visit to see Paquette.

“After four visits any time you go out (you have to remove the pitcher) apparently, and it was a rule I was not aware of,” Kretschmar said. “I was thinking I had three more visits, but he had to go.”

So Kretschmar brought in freshman second baseman Cody Bryant, who had pitched only one inning all year. Bryant did strike out Corriveau to end the inning, but he uncorked a wild pitch in the process that allowed Vulgamore, bad leg and all, to score the tying run.

“Evan at 70 percent is faster than most of the kids on our team at 100,” Forbes said. “He’s a gamer. He knows how to suck it up and I knew he’d be able to turn around and get it done.”

Corriveau, who didn’t pitch most of the season due to arm trouble, took the mound and retired the Hilltoppers in order in the seventh. But he wasn’t so fortunate in the eighth.

Bryant reached on a one-out single, Paquette (2-for-4, two RBI) was then hit by a pitch and Hunter Kretschmar drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Corriveau then blew his first two pitches past Eamon Smith (3-for-5), but Smith adjusted and lined a high, 0-2 fastball to right to plate Bryant with the winning run.

“He just went for that high fastball,” Corriveau said. “Stuck his butt out, wagged his bat at it and got it. It’s unfortunate, but it can happen.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at tosullivan@cmonitor.com or 369-3341 or on Twittter @timosullivan20.)

Related

Bow baseball team’s unlikely postseason run

Friday, June 13, 2014

The 14th-seeded Bow baseball team went just 9-7 in the regular season, only to turn it on in the D-II tournament on the way to a semifinal defeat: First round def. No. 19 Belmont, 9-2 Second round def. No. 3 Monadnock, 2-0 Quarterfinals def. No. 6 Pelham, 7-0 Semifinals lost to No. 2 Somersworth, 8-7 … 0

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