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High Schools: Concord baseball kicks off season with victory over Alvirne

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  • Concord High shortstop Zach Miles (4) chases Alvirne’s Grady Hudson (2) in rundown sequence at White Park in Concord on Wednesday. The Tide won its season opener, 9-4, over Alvirne. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord High third baseman Eric Sullivan (11) chases down Alvirne’s Grady Hudson in a rundown sequence at White Park on Wednesday in Concord. The Tide won, 9-4. GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff

  • Concord High third baseman Eric Sullivan (11) chases down Alvirne’s Grady Hudson in a rundown sequence at White Park on Wednesday in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff

  • Concord pitcher Adrian Kennedy (left) pleads his case to the umpire on a close play at home as Alvirne’s Kyle Boulanger (center) looks on during Wednesday’s game at White Park in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff

  • Concord High pitcher Adrian Kennedy (9) finally tags out Alvirne’s Grady Hudson (2) during a rundown sequence at White Park on Wednesday in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff

  • Concord pitcher Adrian Kennedy (left) tries to tag Alvirne’s Kyle Boulanger at the plate on Wednesday at White Park in Concord. Boulanger was called safe, but the Tide won, 9-4. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 4/10/2019 8:59:33 PM

For as amped up as the Concord baseball team was for its first game of the season, it wasn’t so easy to get loose on a day like Wednesday.

“Of course it takes a little bit and you have the long innings like we did today with a long game,” Concord senior Zach Miles said. “It’s all about staying positive with the guys and paying attention to the game the whole time. It helps take your mind off that cold a little bit more.”

It turned out Concord’s hot bats were more than enough to remedy the temperatures, helping spark the Tide to a 9-4 Division I victory over Alvirne in a frigid season opener at White Park.

“I thought our pitching was excellent today. It’s tough to pound the strike zone and I thought we had some good hits,” Concord coach Scott Owen said. “We have to clean some things up defensively, but for opening day, I’ll take this.”

Concord, which made it all the way to the semifinals last season, had some major question marks up and down the lineup heading into the opener with a handful of unproven hitters. But against Alvirne, scoring runs wasn’t an issue.

Miles plated the first run of the contest after leading off the game with a walk before stealing second for one of his three stolen bases on the afternoon. He eventually came around to score on a base hit from Sean McDonough as the Tide engineered at least one run in each of the first four frames.

“Up and down the lineup I thought we worked the count and swung at pitches in the zone,” Owen said. “I thought that was what we did best today other than our pitching.”

But Alvirne was up for the challenge – at least early on.

The Broncos scored twice in the second inning off Concord starter Adrian Kennedy before the Tide came back to tie it in the bottom half on a wild pitch. Alvirne again went up in the third, this time benefiting from a wild pitch on Concord’s end. But the Tide tied went up 4-3 in its half of the third when Alvirne starter Corey Cormier was called for a balk with runners at the corners and Tommy Duhaime drove in run on a fielder’s choice.

Alvirne managed to tie it the very next inning, but was unable to fully contain the Concord bats any longer.

The Tide sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth, plating five runs on RBI from Cam Thompson (2-for-4, two runs), Kennedy (2-for-2, two runs), McDonough (2-for-3, two RBI), Tyler Bruns and Miles (two runs).

“The guys looked great today,” Miles said. “A lot of inexperienced guys at the varsity level but they filled their role, stayed calm and composed and stepped up to get the job done and do what they needed to do. They didn’t try too hard and just got it done.”

While Kennedy allowed the four runs over his four innings of work, most of the damage didn’t come off hard contact as the senior allowed five hits with four strikeouts in 79 pitches.

“We talked earlier about all these guys, this early in the season, no one is going too long,” Owen said. “We have a bunch of guys that can throw and we need our pitching at the end of May. We knew we would be around an 80-90 pitch count with anybody today. But (Kennedy) is just a bulldog. He battled and pounded the strike zone.”

With a five-run lead after Concord’s fourth-inning outburst, Owen called on McDonough to finish the game out. McDonough tossed three scoreless innings, struck out two and surrendered one hit to close out the Broncos.

“It looks good for things to come and I’m excited for the rest of the season if our guys can pitch like that,” Miles said.

Next up for the Tide is a trip to Bedford on Friday, the same team that knocked Concord out of last year’s tournament. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)


Bow 13, Pembroke 3

Key players: Bow – Conner Blandini (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3B, BB); Matt Hamilton (2-for-3, 4 R, 2 BB), Kyle Martin (2-for-4, 2 RBI, R) Ben Harris (1-for-3, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 3B); Pembroke — Jeff Wagner (2-for-4), Hayden Drew (2-for-3, R, HBP), Nate Cassidy (2-for-4)

Highlights: Bow took advantage of five PA errors in the second inning to score seven runs and take control. Bow’s Martin impressed in his varsity debut, finishing with three putouts and two assists at second base in addition to his two hits.

Coach’s quote: “The second inning changed the landscape of the game. Minus this inning, our guys played decent baseball. We managed 10 hits and played relatively clean defense and look to build off of this day and play seven innings moving forward.” – Pembroke’s Josh Coughlin

Records: Bow 1-0; Pembroke 0-1

Hollis Brookline 10, MV 8

Key players: MV – Matt Renfors (1.1 innings of scoreless relief), Caleb Heath (3-for-5, 3 RBI). Griffin Wheeler (2-for-5, 2 runs), Dillon McCarthy (2-for-4, 3 runs), Cal Chevarie (2-for-4, RBI)

Coach’s quote: “We battled. We need to clean up the defensive side of the ball to help our pitching staff out. We gave too many extra outs.” – MV’s Sean Wheeler

Records: Hollis Hollis Brookline 1-0; MV 0-1

Laconia 16, Hopkinton 5

Key players: Laconia – Cam Haynes (5 IP, 4 H, K, 2 BB; 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB); Hopkinton – Larsen Burack (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Peyton Marshall (2-for-3)

Highlights: The Hawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, but they saw the lead disappear in the top of the third when Haynes hit a two-out, three-run home run over the left field fence.

Coach’s quote: “We were cruising and things were going well. After Haynes hit the home run, we fell apart and proceeded to walk nine and make six errors over the next four innings. The more mistakes we made the colder it got. We will regroup and come back ready on Friday.” – Hopkinton’s Dave Chase

Records: Laconia 1-0; Hopkinton 0-1


Concord 9, Alvirne 5

Key players: Concord – Alice Rosenberg (7 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 4 K; 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB), Carly Torrance (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R, great defense at 2B), Abby Corbett (hit, R), Lillian Rienstra (3B, R, RBI), Anna Brock (hit, 2 R), Nicole LeBrun (hit, RBI), Elizabeth Blinn (hit, RBI, 2 BB), Sydney Plante (hit), Elise O’Neil (hit)

Highlights: Concord batted around in the third, scoring six times to set the tone early. In her first varsity start, Rosenberg took a 2-hitter into the seventh before Alvirne strung together several bloop hits to make it a bit closer. Rosenberg also blasted a leadoff homer in the fifth to put the Tide up 7-0.

Coach’s quote: “For not having been on our field yet, we played pretty well. It was great to have contributions up and down the lineup.” – Concord assistant coach Sandy Smith

Records: Concord 1-0; Alvirne 1-1

Bow 12, Pembroke 7

Key players: Bow – Lauryn Colby (CG, W, 9 K; 4-for-4, 2 doubles), Katelin Howe (2-for-4. double), Maddie McSweeny (2-for-4, double), Kelly Harris (2-for-4, double), Annika Geiben-Lynn (2-for-4)

Coach’s quote: “So much energy to start the season, these girls came to play! We came out swinging and the defense helped the cause. ” – Bow’s Emily Crompton

Records: Bow 1-0; Pembroke 0-1

Merrimack Valley 14, Hollis Brookline 0

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Sadie Barton (5 IP, 0 R, 5 K, 5 H), Molly McLaughlin (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI), Sadie Merrow (3 hits), Lauren McLaughlin (3 hits), Miah Boucher (2 hits), Jadyn Holmes (2 hits). Alani Ramas (3 RBI )

Highlights: The Pride took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first of its season opener, and when Hollis Brookline tried to answer with runners on first and third in the bottom of the first, Merrow threw out the runner trying to steal second and the runner from third did not score. MV then opened things up with four runs in the second and four more in the fourth.

Coach’s quote: “Great way to open the season. The bats came alive in the cold and Sadie (Barton) was in control all game. ” – MV’s Sam York

Records: Merrimack Valley 1-0; Hollis Brookline 0-1

Hopkinton ahead with 3, Laconia 0 runs bottom of third, game suspended

Key players: Hopkinton — Megan Blanchette 3 IP, 6KKatie Meserve 1-2, RBI, RBrooke Carlson 1-2, 2BJulia Baer 1-1

Highlights: Although Blanchette was in control on the mound, the game was scoreless in the 3rd. Back-to back singles by Megan Kimball-Rhines and Blanchette and a walk loaded the bases for Meserve. She singled, scoring a run, an overthrow scored another run, and Meserve scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Carlson lofted a fly ball to the right-center gap and there was a massive collision between the outfielders. After a lengthy delay to treat the players, the game was suspended.

Coach's quote: “We hope their players are ok; it was a great effort on a tough ball and just a freak accident. ” — Dan Meserve, Coach, Hopkinton

Records: Hopkinton ; Laconia

Franklin 19, Derryfield 3

Key players: Franklin – Fayth Kaspzak (triple), Hannah Fife-Huckins (double), Halie Turner (pitching)

Records: Franklin 1-0; Derryfield 0-1

Boys’ Lacrosse

St. Thomas 8, Merrimack Valley 7

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Garrett Hunt (2 G), Max Lacy (2 G), Coby Mercier (G), Liam Chapman (2 G), Jessy Hirwa (goalie)

Highlights: The Pride went down by three goals early before battling back, but the lead was a little too much to overcome.

Coach’s quote: “MV did a great job possessing the ball, but St. Thomas did a great job on the ground balls, controlled the good looks and didn’t give anything up easily.” – MV’s Bobby Berwick

Records: St. Thomas 2-0; Merrimack Valley 1-1

Girls’ Lacrosse

Merrimack Valley 17, Manchester West 3

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Christa DeMichelis (defense, draw control), Anya Dinger (1st varsity goal) Manchester West — Gillian Hunt (goalie), Savannah Parker.

Highlights: The Pride collected its first win of the season and used a total team effort to do so. Eleven different players scored for MV, which continues to focus on team work, on and off the field. The Pride’s field transitions and scoring opportunities were executed well today.

Coach’s quote: “Our players increased game-day intensity today and kudos to Manchester West for not giving up. MVHS will get ready for another game tomorrow against a competitive John Stark.” – MV’s Katherine Stearns

Records: Merrimack Valley 1-1; Manchester West 0-1

Hopkinton 18, St. Thomas 11

Key players: Hopkinton – Amelia Thomas (defense), Annie Higginbothem (defense), Ellie Morrall (3 G, 2 A), Ellie Owen, Sofia Locke and Emily Metzger (G) controlled the tempo and held off a strong St. Thomas midfield. Offense came from Lyndon Flanagan (9 G, 2 A), Amelia Bassett (3 G, 2 A), Sophia Staples-Roy (2G) Elizabeth Berliner with 10 saves in goal.

Highlights: The Hawks opened their season with an impressive road win against a good St. Thomas team. Midfielders Ellie Owen and Sofia Locke helped Hopkinton control the pace of the game and held off a strong St. Thomas midfield.

Records: Hopkinton 1-0; St. Thomas 0-1

Boys’ Volleyball

John Stark 3, Dover 0

Key players: John Stark – Jackson Smith (10 aces, 15 assists), Owen Payeur (7 blocks, 12 kills), Matthew Abbott (defense), Josh Booker (defense)

Coach’s quote: “We were able to step up and get our serves in, played as a team, and had a great time. Dover is a great new program that clearly works hard.” – John Stark’s Kristen Hrubowchak

Records: John Stark 1-0; Dover 0-1

Boys’ tennis

Concord 9, Bishop Guertin 0

Key players: Concord – Liam Grennon (8-3 win at No. 1 singles), Anders Norton (8-3 win at No. 2) Winsor Bean (8-2 win at No. 3), Jon Shamash (8-2 win at No. 4), Matt Burns (8-1 win at No. 5), Philip O’Sullivan (8-6 win at No. 6).

Highlights: After winning the top two singles matches, Grennon and Norton also won at No. 1 doubles, 8-5. Bean and Shamash teamed up for an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles, and Burns and O’Sullivan completed the sweep with an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles as the Tide bounced back from its season-opening loss to Hanover.

Records: Concord 1-1; Bishop Guertin 0-2

Hollis Brookline 8, Bow 1

Key players: Bow – Matt Ferland and Jon Cook (8-4 win at No. 2 doubles)

Highlights: The Falcons struggled against the visiting Cavaliers, who dropped just 11 games in the six singles matches.

Records: Bow 2-1; Hollis Brookline 4-0

Girls’ Tennis

Bow 9, Hollis-Brookline 0

Key players: Bow – Olivia Parzick (8-6 win at No. 1 singles), Emma Conley (8-5 win at No. 2), Lauren Goyette (8-1 win at No. 3), Miah Munro (8-0 win at No. 4), Isabelle Dolcino (8-1 win at No. 5), Alyssa Harpring (8-4 win at No. 6) Doubles Parzick/Conley 8-5; Goyette/Munro 8-3; Dolcino/Harpring 8-0

Highlights: After sweeping the singles matches, Parzick and Conley teamed up for an 8-5 win at first doubles, Goyette and Munro won 8-3 at second doubles and Dolcino and Harpring finished things off with an 8-0 win at third doubles.

Coach’s quote: “The girls all played well today. There were two close matches at the top of the ladder with Olivia and Emma, but both girls were able to pull away for the wins. ” – Bow’s Jonsey Rainville

Records: Bow 4-0; Hollis-Brookline 1-2

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