Lancers Baseball Head to Semis After Extra Innings Win

By Chris Paul

The Londonderry High School Baseball team’s quarterfinal game in the Division I Championship against the Bedford Bulldogs concluded in the second extra inning, with a dramatic, game ending base hit, by senior Drew Heenan leading to a 2-1 victory.
The game was played at Lancer Park, in cold, wet conditions on Saturday afternoon, June 3, and had both teams struggling to get base runners as pitchers Connor Fennell (LHS) and Aiden O’Connell (BHS) kept the game scoreless until the final regular inning.
Fennell pitched nine innings for the Lancers, striking out 12 batters and allowing just six hits and one run.
O’Connell was equally tough on the Bedford mound, striking out 10 LHS batters, walking two, and allowing just three hits.
The wet field conditions led to two errors for both sides.
In the first inning, a one-out single by Bedford turned out to be harmless after two pop-up outs ended the first frame.
Londonderry’s only base runner was junior Johan Pena, who got to first with a walk.
The second inning had Fennell pitching his way out of runners on the corners with two out.
In the fifth, a Lancer error resulted in a man on second, with no one out, but a fly ball out and two dramatic catches by Heenan behind the plate kept the game scoreless.
The first run of the game came in the top of the seventh, after a leadoff line-drive single to left field. Fennell struck out the following two batters, but gave up a single to the fourth batter of the inning and LHS trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the final inning.
Pena started the inning with a single to left for Londonderry’s first hit of the game.
O’Connell then struck out the following LHS batter, but senior Kevin Rourke came in as a pinch-hitter to smack a line-drive single to center and drove in the game-tying run.
Rourke also factored into the final game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
The senior reached on an error by the Bedford shortstop and advanced to second with one out. He remained on second through the second strikeout of the inning, but then was brought home by Heenan, who singled to left for the walk-off win.
The dramatic win game LHS their 20th win and their 16th consecutive victory of the season.
They are now headed into a semi-final game against the Goffstown High School Grizzlies on Wednesday, June 7, at Holman Stadium in Nashua starting at 7 p.m.
The Grizzlies finished the regular season at 14-4 and were seeded as the #4 team in the championship.
Goffstown is also coming off an exciting one-run win in the quarterfinals, beating Winnacunnet 1-0.

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