Zensky, Stockman lead Pittsfield past Sunapee, 4-3, in 11-inning D-IV baseball semifinal

Monitor staff
Published: 6/4/2019 11:23:39 PM

DJ Zensky had three thoughts as he watched his fly ball sink closer and closer to the right-field line with the score tied at 3 against Sunapee in the bottom of the 11th inning.

Please stay fair. Please drop fast like the plummeting temperatures before the Sunapee outfielder can make the catch. And please let the Pittsfield baseball team win this Division IV semifinal matchup so it could move to Saturday’s championship game, something it failed to do last season.

Check, check and check.

The ball landed with the bases loaded and one out, pinch-runner Ben Stopyro scored from third and the Panthers had themselves a 4-3 win and another chance to win their first state title since 2013.

“It was a fastball right down the middle,” said Zensky, a junior first baseman. “I was hoping, trying to make it stay fair and not be caught. I was happy with the way things turned out.”

Pittsfield was a powerhouse this season, trailing just once during its rise to the top of the Division IV standings. In this one, though, at Robbie Mills Field in Laconia, the Panthers fell behind Sunapee by two runs after four innings and by a run heading into the bottom of the 10th inning.

Then, after coming back to tie the score both times thanks to Kyle Stockman’s mighty bat, Zensky’s single won it in the 11th, giving Pittsfield a measure of revenge as it beat the only team it had lost to this season while compiling a 17-1 record and earning the No. 2 seed heading into the semis.

“We came back twice,” said Pittsfield coach Rob Stockman. “I was real proud of them today.”

If the coach’s last name sounds familiar, that’s because Kyle is his son and was named the D-IV Player of the Year last season. On Tuesday, the senior smashed a two-run homer in the sixth inning, a laser beam over the advertising billboards attached to the left-field wall, to tie the game at 2.

Then, trailing 3-2 with last licks in the bottom of the 10th in this seven-inning game, the coach’s son ripped a single to the gap in right-center field to tie the game yet again and set up Zensky’s heroics as clouds and cold began to make their presence felt.

Kyle Stockman’s two hits and three runs batted in were no surprise. Not after he led the team with a hefty .491 batting average and five home runs this season.

And, after posting a 6-1 record and an earned run average of 1.06, no one was shocked when Stockman relieved starting pitcher Devin Bedell, who was named D-IV Player of the Year this season, in the fourth inning and pitched through the 10th before handing the ball over to Devin’s brother, freshman Gavin Bedell. He worked a clean, three-up, three-down 11th inning to earn the victory, upping his record to 6-1.

The victory was extra sweet for the Panthers after they suffered their one loss of the season to No. 3 Sunapee, 11-3. Pittsfield held a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning of that one and had just beaten then-undefeated Newmarket – the team Pittsfield lost to in last year’s semifinals – to improve to 12-0.

But the Panthers committed five errors in the sixth inning against Sunapee and had eight overall in an 11-3 loss that Rob Stockman said he sensed was coming after the huge win against Newmarket.

“I could see after we had a big win over Newmarket that they got a little cocky, and I truly believe that,” the coach said. “That was a very good loss for us. We needed it just to regroup.”

And the Panthers did. Now they have another shot at revenge, this time a title shot against rival Newmarket on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.




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