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Previews of local schools’ NHIAA playoff matchups

High school tournaments today


Division I first round

No. 15 Trinity (6-12) at No. 2 Concord (12-6), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Concord beat Trinity, 5-3, in the season-opener.

Notes: The Crimson Tide returns to the postseason a year after bringing home its first title since 1980, but enters with question marks after a 6-6 finish tempered a 6-0 start. Concord seemed to regain its rhythm, however, with a come-from-behind 5-4 win in 10 innings over Spaulding, and it’ll send junior lefty Josh Partridge to the hill as it looks to move toward a second championship. Partridge (5-1, 1.65 ERA) is tough and he should have help, as a lineup featuring Ben Bengtson at the top, Cody Ferns and Braden Smith in the middle and Seimou Smith on the bottom can hit 1 through 9.

Division II first round

No. 14 Manchester West (6-10) at No. 3 Pembroke (13-4), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Pembroke routed West, 12-0, on May 10.

Notes: After years spent in the middle of the Division II standings, the Spartans blossomed into a top-tier program, sealing their position near the top of the standings with impressive wins over No. 6 Windham and No. 7 Merrimack Valley. Even though Pembroke’s first postseason test comes against a Blue Knights team that it handled easily earlier in the year, Coach Joshua Coughlin is taking no chances with the matchup. Senior ace Autrey Gates, who went 5-2 with a stingy 1.22 ERA, will take the mound for the Spartans, who will look to continue getting production from Shane St. Onge, Mike Martinez and Seth Gonya in the heart of the lineup.

No. 10 Souhegan (8-8) at No. 7 Merrimack Valley (10-6), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: There’s an encouraging omen at hand for the Pride today. MV is facing Souhegan for the first time since 2010 – when the Pride, a 12th seed, knocked off the No. 5 Sabers in the first round. MV has more than karma on its side, though, as fireballing right-hander David Drouin (3-3, 1.40, 74 strikeouts in 40 innings) will take the mound. Drouin also will need to contribute in the heart of the order along with outfielder Cody Barton, while second baseman Scott Schoffield and shortstop Brady Wentworth have been consistent at the top of the lineup.

No. 16 Coe-Brown (5-11) at No. 1 Goffstown (17-1), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: The season got away from the Bears late, as they dropped their final five games, and though they still managed to sneak into the postseason fray, their late slump meant a matchup with a Grizzlies team that hasn’t lost since mid-April. Coe-Brown looked good in wins over No. 7 Merrimack Valley and No. 9 Oyster River, however, and to score their biggest upset yet, the Bears, who have struggled to hit consistently all year, will need an exceptional showing by a pitching staff led by senior Brennan Riley, who threw a no-hitter against Merrimack Valley in April.

Division III second round

No. 14 Pelham (9-8) at No. 3 Bow (13-3), 4 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Pelham defeated No. 19 Mascenic, 4-3. Bow received a bye.

Head to head: The Falcons swept the Pythons, earning a 6-1 win May 10 and a 10-3 win May 15.

Notes: Few Division III teams have enjoyed pitching as hot as the Falcons have gotten recently. Bow has held 10 of its last 12 opponents to three runs or less, and with seven or more runs in six games, the Falcons have shown they can hit a little, too. The matchup is also in Bow’s favor, as it handled the Pythons with ease in both head-to-head contests during the regular season, and a lineup led by Nate Corriveau, Hunter Berke and Matt Murray will make it tough for Pelham to break through in its third try.

No. 9 Farmington (11-6) at No. 8 Winnisquam (11-5), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: For the Bears to advance to the next round, they’ll have to have the upper hand in what is shaping up to be a pitchers’ duel. Coach Fred Caruso said he expects the Tigers to throw ace Kevin Radcliffe, who’s sporting a 9-1 record, and Winnisquam is countering with Austin Hunt, who’s 4-3 with a 2.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 43 innings. The Bears have the punch to prevail, however, with a lineup led by Parker Normand and Dom DeBlasie (.404 average each) and Curtis Archibald, a .340 hitter who’s been one of the team’s hottest bats of late.

No. 10 Hopkinton (10-6) at No. 7 Somersworth (11-5), 4 p.m.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: The Hawks have been playing like defending champions recently, with wins in eight of their last nine games, and Collin Paraskeva will get the ball as they begin their quest for a second straight title. The junior’s pitched well, with a 2.31 ERA while pitching in some of the team’s toughest games, but with 25 walks in 30 1/3 innings, he’ll need to harness his control for Hopkinton to advance. The Hawks will likely face a tall task at the plate in figuring out Hilltoppers ace Evan Marquis, an All-State selection a year ago, which means Wes Rose (.350), Collin O’Keeffe (.365) and Steve Auger will be counted on to produce.

Division IV first round

No. 14 Portsmouth Christian (6-12) at No. 3 Pittsfield (13-3), 4 p.m.

Head to head: Pittsfield swept the series, winning both easily, 19-1 and 11-0.

Notes: Few teams enter the postseason as pitching-rich as the Panthers, who as a team posted a 1.49 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 98 innings. Chris Farr will be the one taking the mound for Pittsfield in the opener, and the junior is coming off a regular season in which he went 5-0 with three shutouts and a 1.97 ERA. Farr’s support will come largely from the Panthers’ dangerous top of the order, which features leadoff hitter Tyler Stockman, Max Tuttle and Wes Ward, who finished the year with a .390 average.

Boys’ lacrosse

Division I quarterfinals

No. 7 Concord (7-9) at No. 2 Bishop Guertin (14-4), 6 p.m.

Head to head: Concord fell to Bishop Guertin, 15-2, early in the season.

Notes: Concord was up against it early in the season, facing the toughest part of its schedule when it lost to BG. But in the month of May, the Tide went 6-2 and began to click. Players like Tyler Martel and Tyler Hatch have been integral parts of the offense, along with Sean Mamos, Adam Resnick, Ian Scura and Austin Erickson. The defense, anchored by goalie Nick Zavorotny, will need to be on top of its game to limit the chances of a BG team that lost just once in-state (to top-ranked Pinkerton).

Division II quarterfinals

No. 5 Portsmouth (10-5) at No. 4 Bow (10-4), 5 p.m.

Head to head: The teams split a pair of tight games, with Bow winning on April 9, 8-7, and Portsmouth taking the rematch, 7-5, on May 17.

Notes: The rule of thumb (with but one exception) this season is when the Falcons score in double digits, they win. Portsmouth, however, has been able to limit Bow’s attack in the two previous defensive games. The Falcons will look to break out in the rubber match behind players like Matt Sanford, Devin Calkins, Mike Fanaras and Dan Crisman. Another key will be the faceoff work of Riley Keenan. Goalie Travis Beauchain anchors a stiff Bow defense that has held its opponents to single digits in 10 of 14 games.

Division III quarterfinals

No. 7 Kearsarge (10-6) at No. 2 Hopkinton (15-0), 5 p.m.

Previous tournament games: Kearsarge edged No. 10 Trinity, 12-10. Hopkinton ousted No. 15 Con-Val, 8-4.

Head to head: The teams did not meet during the regular season.

Notes: Both teams put together solid wins in the opening round, but both also were tested enough to keep them on their games, with Kearsarge leading by 3-4 goals most of the way, and Hopkinton staving off a Con-Val comeback after taking a 7-1 lead. Though the teams didn’t meet during the season, they did scrimmage in preseason and are familiar with each other. The Hawks put together an undefeated regular season on the strength of a balanced attack, and that held true in the first round, with Ned Metcalf, Henry Merrow and Austin Cowan each scoring two goals. Ollie Gallo and Peter Allen are the catalysts for Kearsarge, combining for eight goals in the opener. This game could come down to ball control; in that case, look for the work of Metcalf and Kearsarge’s Robbie Lutz on faceoffs.

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