Since it started the 2016 campaign in superb fashion by winning six of its first seven contests, the present season has been something of a peaks-and-valleys affair for the Londonderry High School baseball squad.
But veteran coach Brent Demas’ charges had a good week during the span that started May 16, winning two of three contests to bounce into this week with a 10-8 record.
The locals defeated Manchester Central in Londonderry, then lost to Dover on the road before heading out to Keene and rolling home with a victory to settle in at 10-8 in tough Division I.
Following the 9-3 walloping of Central at LHS on Monday, May 16, the Lancers saw a tough 2-1 decision get away to the Dover High Green Wave on the seacoast two days later.
The host Green Wave grabbed a 2-0 lead in the latter half of the third inning and held the Lancers to a single marker in the top of the fifth frame.
Londonderry smacked out nine hits in the losing effort, in which the locals also got a strong pitching effort from southpaw standout Nick Musto. Ricky Perry, Jonny Meskell, and Xander LaPlante each thumped two hits for the LHS side.
But the Lancers regained their footing two days later on the Keene High Blackbirds’ home diamond, snagging an 8-5 victory in a contest in which they raced out to a 3-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.
The Blackbirds got one of those markers back in the latter half of the second, but Londonderry made it a 4-1 game by scoring once in the top of the fourth.
Keene knotted the score at 4-4 by scoring three times in the latter segment of the fifth, but the Lancers responded beautifully by scoring three times themselves in the top of the sixth to make it a 7-4 game.
The hosts got one of those markers back in the bottom of that inning, but Londonderry scored once more in the top of the seventh to reach what would be the final tally of 8-5.
Jimmy Zimolka, Perry, and Meskell each bashed two hits in that May 20 battle, with LHS collecting nine total hits in a second straight game. Noah Tavano got the pitching win.
The Lancers then sought to solidify their D-I record further this past Monday when they played host to the Crusaders of Manchester Memorial High.
But rather frustratingly, things didn’t work out quite right for the locals in a 10-8 loss.
The Lancers raced out to a 4-1 lead in the first inning and grasped advantages of 6-1 after two and 8-1 after four frames.
Memorial plated seven runs in the top of the fifth and single markers in the sixth and seventh in collecting the 10-8 victory.
The hosts bashed out nine hits on the tough day, with Tim McEacharn lacing three and driving in four of the LHS runs, and Meskell collecting two hits and driving in one teammate.