High schools: Pittsfield baseball wraps regular season as No. 2 seed for D-IV tourney

Monitor staff
Published: 5/23/2019 10:33:18 PM

It’s been a hectic final stretch for the players on the Pittsfield baseball team. They’ve played seven games in nine days dating back to May 14, including contests against two of the top four teams in Division IV in Sunapee and last year’s runner-up Newmarket.

After Thursday’s 9-3 win over Concord Christian in the regular-season finale, the Panthers can finally rest.

Pittsfield wrapped up its campaign with a 17-1 record and will be the No. 2 seed when the D-IV tournament opens with the preliminary round on May 30. The Panthers won’t host their first playoff game until the quarterfinals begin on June 1 – giving the team plenty of time to recharge.

“We earned that bye, which I really like,” Pittsfield coach Rob Stockman said. “I think the boys are beat up, and a lot of teams are, I’m not just saying that for us, but we definitely need some rest.”

As for what comes after that rest?

“I like our chances as good as anybody else,” Stockman said of the postseason. “With our pitching and our three, four, five guys producing (in the lineup), I think we’ve got as good of a chance as anybody. But a 17-1 record doesn’t mean anything now. Everybody is 0-0 going in.”

With Devin Bedell on the mound in the finale against Concord Christian and its D-IV standout pitcher Nicholas Ritchie, Stockman had a feeling runs would be at a premium. So Pittsfield used a little small ball to grab an early lead.

Kyle Stockman reached base on a walk in the first inning, stole two bases to reach third and came around to score when Bedell put a ball in play that Concord Christian couldn’t field cleanly.

Kyle Stockman would later homer in the fourth – the only hit allowed by Ritchie in his five innings of work – to put the Panthers ahead, 2-0.

“That kid is a good pitcher and they’re tough,” coach Stockman said of Ritchie. “He struck out 18 against Sunapee and had 14 or 15 against Newmarket when they played. We battled him tough.

“We put the ball in play most of the time and we tried to force some guys across the plate.”

Bedell was also sharp for the most part in this one, giving the Panthers six innings and 12 strikeouts without allowing an earned run. He did have six walks, but managed to work himself out of trouble each time he allowed a free pass.

“He got us out of some jams but he also put us in some as well. But he did what he had to do,” coach Stockman said.

The rest of Pittsfield’s production came in the final frame, highlighted by a two-run triple from Bedell to put the game safely out of reach

Now, the Panthers await their playoff fate.

“I think we’re battle-tested and it’s just going to come down to, ‘Can these young guys step up it’s crunch time?’ ” coach Stockman said. “That’s going to be the key. They’ve done it so far but the playoffs are a different animal.”

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

Franklin 4, Winnisquam 3

Key players: Winnisquam– Michael Allard (HR); Franklin – Harrison Clark (CG, 12 K; hit, RBI), TJ Laramie (2 hits, 2 RBI)

Highlights: The Bears took an early lead when Allard homered in the first inning, but Franklin rallied back in the fifth with four runs to go up, 4-1. Winnisquam battled back to pull within a run in the sixth, but fell short after stranding two runners on base in the seventh as Clark struck out the final two batters of the game.

Coach’s quote: “Tonight’s win is one to remember for these seniors. Playoffs on the line, crosstown rival and a packed house. Doesn’t get much more fun that. Huge confidence boost for us and I like both our seniors lefties in any matchup we get in the playoffs.” – Franklin’s Mason Roberge

Records: Franklin 6-10; Winnisquam 6-10

Kennett 5, Pembroke 2

Key players: Pembroke – Jeff Wagner (5 IP, 5 R – all unearned), Cal Michael (2 IP, 0 R)

Highlights: Pembroke held a 2-1 lead after three frames but couldn’t make it stick. The Spartans had five errors in the field, opening the door for Kennett to plate four runs in the fifth.

Records: Pembroke 6-9; Kennett 11-6

Softball

John Stark 15, ConVal 0

Key players: John Stark – Izzy Nelson (shortened game shutout, 11 K), Kaci Kolehmainen (4-for-4, 4 runs), Elizabeth Aubin (4-for-4, 2 runs)

Records: John Stark 12-3; ConVal 1-13

Boys’ Lacrosse

John Stark 14, Man. West 0

Key players: John Stark – Cam Fortin (7G), Kayden Easter (2G, 2A), Peyton Marden (2G, 2A), Aiden Moser (1G, 1A), Brandon Destefano (1G), Chris Mann (1G, 1A)

Coach’s quote: “We’ve been playing a lot of lacrosse the last few weeks. It’s been nice to get another win and for Ethan Konrad to get the shutout on senior night.” – Stark’s Howie Roever

Records: John Stark 8-5

Girls’ Lacrosse

Concord 16, Salem 1

Key players: Concord – Ananya Nadeau (4G, 1A), Erin Doherty (4G), Nicole Toler (3G, 3A); Salem – McKenzie Svenson (1G)

Highlights: Concord’s Erin Doherty started the scoring for the Tide with a hat trick just minutes into the game.

Coach’s quote: “The girls finished the regular season with a convincing win tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of the season we have had. They worked well together in all aspects of the game and really keyed in on fine tuning our transition offense.” – Concord’s Amanda Bacher

Records: Concord 8-8; Salem 2-13

Goffstown 13, Merrimack Valley 3

Key players: Merrimack Valley – Hannah Small (defense), Caitlyn Fortier (groundballs), Kallie Fisher (1G), Anya Dinger (1G), Kaylee Magoon (1G).

Highlights: The first few minutes of the game found the Pride working hard and pressuring a competitive Goffstown lacrosse team.

Coach’s quote: “Girls lacrosse is a physical game and the MV student-athletes gave it their all today. The score does not reflect the hard work and extra effort our team put forth. Kudos to the MVHS team for reaching a few milestones this season.” – MV’s Katherine Bucklin Stearns

Records: Goffstown 8-7; Merrimack Valley 4-10




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