High schools: Stark baseball unfazed by first loss, bounces back to beat Souhegan

Monitor staff
Published: 5/20/2019 10:07:05 PM

The John Stark baseball team lost its first game of the season on Friday, but in a way, that loss was a relief.

“It did relieve some pressure,” Generals coach Dennis Pelletier said. “When you have an undefeated season going, that’s another thing you’re thinking about.”

With the possibility of an undefeated season out of the way, nothing, not even the pressure of an early error and a 2-0 deficit after half of an inning fazed John Stark (13-1), which recovered to defeat Souhegan (6-9) in Weare on senior night, 9-2.

Just like Friday’s 5-4 loss in eight innings to Merrimack Valley, John Stark committed an early error.

The Sabers followed up with a two-run single to put the Generals behind out of the gate, but just as it has all season, the John Stark pitching staff was the brightest spot on the diamond.

Senior starter Nathan Isabelle went the distance, giving up just one walk and striking out 10 over seven innings of work.

“(Brett Patnode, Isabelle and Austin Hazzard) have pitched tremendously this year,” Pelletier said. “They’re the strength of this team ... They all have an ERA below 2.00. Isabelle is more of a control pitcher, but he still had 10 strikeouts today.”

Despite having the best record in Division II, an average margin of victory of 6.46 runs per game and a strong chance at a postseason top seed entering the final week of the regular season, Pelletier still feels that his squad hasn’t played a “complete game.”

“We have a different group of players stepping up in each game,” Pelletier explained.

On Monday, the Nos. 7-9 hitters – junior Carter Pike, sophomore Brady Philibotte and senior Ben Stogner – hit a combined 4-for-6 (two of those hits were doubles) at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in three.

Philibotte (2-for-3, two runs, RBI) hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the third inning and scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Pike (2-for-3, two RBI, run) doubled in a run early in the fourth inning, tying the game at 2-2, Philibotte singled in what proved to be the game-winning run, three consecutive walks plated three more runs, giving the Generals a 6-2 lead.

Patnode doubled in the sixth and eventually came home to score, while a flyout and a Pike RBI single accounted for the three John Stark runs in the sixth inning, while senior Jake Cole defended well in center field to provide Isabelle with some support.

The victory keeps the Generals in the top spot in D-II over Hollis Brookline (12-2), Bow (12-2) and ConVal (14-3), but Pelletier still sees areas to improve upon in John Stark’s remaining regular-season games this week at Lebanon (7-6) and Pelham (4-9).

“We struggled out of the gate once again,” Pelletier said. “Back-to-back games we had a first-inning error that led to some runs. We’ve had a good season, but in my opinion, we haven’t put it all together. I’d like for us to do that before the playoffs.”


Concord 5, Merrimack 0

Key players: Concord – Adrian Kennedy (win, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB; 2-for-3, RBI triple, run), Sean McDonough (IP, 2 K), Zach Miles (2 runs, 2 walks), Eric Sullivan (RBI double, run), Trevor Smith (hit, run), Ryan Merchant (hit), John Ahlfeld (hit)

Highlights: Concord scored two runs in the first inning on an RBI double by Sullivan and added three more in the third, highlighted by an RBI triple from Kennedy. The Tide turned two double plays defensively.

Coach’s quote: “We got a great performance from Kennedy and turned two double plays defensively. We got some big hits early and were able to get some quality play from our seniors – Tyler Bruns, Cam Thompson, Tommy Duhaime, Andrew Champagne, Chase Langevin, Trevor Upton and Efli Shtino.” – Concord’s Scott Owen

Records: Concord 15-2; Merrimack 3-14


Merrimack 4, Concord 2

Key players: Merrimack – Ellen Knaver (2 hits, 2 runs), Emma Camberlain (CG, 2 ER, 5 K);Concord – Autumn Nudd (2 RBI, triple), Abby Rochette (double), Elizabeth Blinn (double), Elise O’Neil (2 hits; 3 IP, 3 ER), Sydney Plante (hit, run scored), Abby Corbett (hit), Carley Torrance (hit), Alice Rosenberg (3 IP, 0 H, 4 K)

Highlights: The Tide took a one-run lead in the second on a triple from Nudd, but Merrimack came right back to score three runs in the third inning on two hits and two Tide errors.

Coach’s quote: “Tide needs to regroup and get back to our winning ways at Memorial field Wednesday. Up next is a very good Portsmouth team.” – Concord’s Duke Sawyer

Records: Merrimack 9-6; Concord 12-4

Gilford 18, Winnisquam 2

Key players: Winnisquam– Carly Catty 1 for 2 (HR, 2 runs, walk), Ashley Deshaies (2-for-2)

Records: Gilford 7-6; Winnisquam 7-6

Boys’ Lacrosse

John Stark 15, Kennett 4

Key players: John Stark – Peyton Marden (6G, 4A), Cam Fortin (5G, 1A), Kayden Easter (2G), Owen Jones (1G, 1A), Aiden Moser (1G)

Highlights: Marden and Fortin combined for 11 of Stark’s 15 goals as the Generals pushed themselves over the .500 mark.

Coach’s quote: “Our attack distributed the ball well today.” – John Stark’s Howie Roever

Records: John Stark 6-5; Kennett 2-10

Girls; Lacrosse

Coe-Brown 16,
Merrimack Valley 15

Key players: Coe-Brown – Kendall Nester (8G, 4DC); MV– Kallie Fisher (3G, 6DC), Emily Koufos (G), Caitlyn Fortier (G, several GB controls), Kerragan McNeil (G), Christa DeMichelis (2G, great defense), Kaylee Magoon (3G), Reilly Swislosky (2G), Katelyn Levy (G), Sabrina Leblanc (G)

Highlights: The Pride trailed 12-9 at halftime on senior night and put significant pressure on the Bears’ net in the second half, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Coach’s quote: “I am very proud of this team. They work hard and do not give up even when the going gets tough. Kudos to these young student-athletes for their effort and lacrosse passion.” – MV’s Katherine Stearns

Records: Coe-Brown 5-7; MV 4-9

Saint Thomas Aquinas 12, Pembroke Academy 10

Key players: Pembroke Academy – Cierra Hill (5G, 1A), Ali Corriveau (2G), Britney Hill (1G, 1A, 5GBs), Savannah Wallace (1G), Lindsay Hawkins (1G), Chloe Lacourse (13 saves)

Coach’s quote: “It was an exciting match and really an all-out battle for both teams the entire game. The 80-plus degree heat made things difficult for both teams, but the girls fought hard down to the very last second.” – Pembroke’s Kayla Granoff

Records: Saint Thomas Aquinas 9-4; Pembroke Academy 7-6

Kearsarge 10, Campbell 9

Key players: Kearsarge – Emilie Webster (2G, 3A), Brie Von Beren (2G), Caroline Camp (2G), Megan Norris (2G), Ally Wilson (1G, 1A)

Records: Kearsarge 11-3; Campbell 6-6

Boys’ Volleyball

Winnacunnet 3, Coe-Brown 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Derek Capo (9 kills, 2 blocks), Ray Lapiejko (15 assists), Carter Ford (17 digs, 4 kills)

Highlights: The Bears were swept by the Warriors, 25-15, 25-13, 25-16.

Records: Winnacunnet 6-9; Coe-Brown 5-9

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