After posting victories over teams from the Seacoast and Claremont in its first two games at the state Cal Ripken Tournament in Rochester, the Londonderry 8-U baseball squad took consecutive losses on the chin early last week and got knocked out of the double-elimination tournament.
The locals dropped a 12-5, lightning-delayed decision to Hudson Monday night, July 27, in suffering defeat number one, and they were cast out of the tourney by a 10-7 defeat at the hands of the revenge-minded Seacoast crew the next evening.
Zach Green and Zach Mantegari stood out for the Londonderry hardball bunch, with each winning a Commissioner’s Player of the Game award for their considerable efforts.
In the Hudson contest, the locals started to play at 8 p.m. but needed to endure a 40-minute lightning delay. It was 11:30 p.m. by the time the game was over, with the Londonderry players and their parents still needing to make the ride back from Rochester.
Londonderry smacked out seven hits in the game, but those weren’t enough in the lopsided, 12-5 loss.
Zach Green rapped two of his team’s hits, connecting for singles in the fourth and sixth frames en route to Londonderry’s Commissioner’s Award for that evening.
The locals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Mantegari singled, stole second, and sprinted home on Jameson Keaton’s sizzling triple.
But Hudson scored twice in its half of the first, twice more in the second, five times in the third, and twice more in the fourth to take the contest over.
Londonderry staged a comeback attempt in the top of the fourth, tallying four runs, thanks in part to a two-run hit by Green and a two-run single by Gio Nevares to make the score 9-5. But the locals would get no closer.
That loss lowered Londonderry into a loser’s bracket match-up with a Seacoast team looking to avenge its earlier 4-3 loss to the locals.
In order to play in that state tourney game, the Londonderry bunch had to drop out of the Dracut, Mass., tournament, where it was slated to play a semifinal contest that evening.
And in the state game, Jonathan Wilson’s fine individual work wasn’t enough to get the locals past Seacoast, which bagged a 10-7 win.
Wilson went a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate for the local side, slapping singles in the second and sixth innings.
In his pitching role, Seacoast only managed one hit off Wilson the hurler, who allowed no earned runs, walked just one, and struck out three during his one strong inning of work.
Londonderry notched a 2-0 lead in the top of the first frame as a double by Jayden Hamilton plated Mantegari, and Hamilton scored himself on an RBI single by Brady Gillis.
But Seacoast stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the latter segment of the first.
Carter Browning, Keaton, Devin Boles, and Mantegari (2-for-2 at the plate) all made significant contributions in the tough defeat.