Baseball: Bow survives late comeback attempt from John Stark in critical late-season game

Monitor staff
Published: 5/26/2022 3:56:08 PM

A battle for NHIAA Division II baseball playoff seeding was decided by just one run Wednesday at John Stark.

The Generals went into the game with the No. 3 seed while the visiting Bow Falcons held the fifth. After surrendering their 4-0 first-inning lead, the Falcons kept their heads and managed to small-ball their way to a 5-4 victory and clinch any potential tiebreaker with the defending champions.

“I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t pay much attention to (playoff seeding),” Bow coach Ben Forbes said. “I’m in the moment. Let’s play this game. Let’s beat this team. What happens happens; we’ll worry about who we play later.”

Forbes was mostly positive about his team’s performance against John Stark. He mentioned the lack of runs from the second through the sixth innings but was quick to point out that his hitters were getting the bat on the ball and just couldn’t put it in the right place.

Ultimately it was a bunt, stolen bases and some walks that got the Falcons across the plate in the second. Not the usual formula for a side with a lineup that mashes the ball and averages over 7.5 runs a game.

“It was a great game to give (the team) an opportunity to see how important it is to be able to play small ball effectively,” Forbes said. “It got us out of that jam.”

For John Stark and coach Dennis Pelletier, a comeback win was tantalizingly close before it slipped out of grasp.

“We definitely had our fair share of mistakes today. But we also showed some resiliency coming back like that. And, you know, I really thought we had it,” Pelletier said. “It was a tough one for sure, because, you know, we fought back, but we didn’t play our best today.”

Pelletier said he isn’t going to focus on the loss of seeding to Bow or what it could mean for who his starting nine faces in the playoffs.

“It’s just about the next game honestly,” Pelletier said. “We’re right there. Like I said to these guys, we graduated six starters, seven players off a championship team. We had a very young team, and if anyone told me to begin the year, ‘Hey, you’re going to be 11-4 going into the last game of the year,’ I would have been out-of-my-mind elated.”

John Stark will face Hollis-Brookline to end their regular season while Wednesday’s matchup was the final game for Bow before the tournament. Forbes said that it was anyone’s championship to win this year.

“The phrase any team on any given day could not be more true,” he said

The Division II tournament begins on June 2, with the preliminary rounds taking place at higher-seeded teams.

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