The Londonderry 11-U all-star baseball squad put forth a strong showing in the state Cal Ripken tournament at the Londonderry Athletic and Field Association (LAFA) complex last week, ending up fourth overall out of a field of teams from all over the state.
Head coach Jason Parent’s local contingent made it to the tournament semifinals by trouncing Keene in the quarters. But in that semifinal round, the Londonderry boys were narrowly edged by the Seacoast crew in a tough, one-run game.
In the quarterfinal-round meeting with Keene Monday, July 20, the Londonderry bunch pounded its way to more than a dozen runs in a 14-4 victory.
That lopsided win placed the local hardball crew in the semifinals against Seacoast the next night, with the host contingent watching a 3-2 decision go the opposition’s way.
“We took an early 2-0 lead on an Owen MacDonnell home run over the center-field wall in the first inning,” said Parent, who is assisted by Pete Griffin, Tom Killelea, and George MacDonnell.
The Seacoast crew cut its deficit down to just one run in the third frame on a fielder’s choice, and then got the deciding runs across the plate on a two-run homer.
“Those were the only runs (pitcher) Brandon Fish gave up in his five innings of work,” said Parent of the round-tripper.
Now down 3-2 in the fifth inning, Nathan Carroll led off the frame with a walk, which was followed by an infield single by his teammate Fish. Braeden Griffin then sacrifice-bunted both teammates over a base, but the seacoast’s hurler then struck out the next two Londonderry hitters to kill the threat.
In the top of the sixth inning, Gavin Parent hit a two-out single and stole second base, but the next Londonderry hitter struck out to end the game.
The local all-stars had made their final preparations for the state tournament over the weekend of July 18, dropping a 7-6 barn-burner to top-seeded Nashua on Saturday July 18, but rebounding the next morning for a 24-3 demolition of Merrimack.