Before this summer, no Londonderry 8-U all-star baseball squad had made it as far as the New Hampshire State Tournament championship game in that division. But there’s a team representing the town at that level this summer which changed all of that.
The local 8-U crew made it all the way to the state tourney’s title contest against a tough Dover contingent in Farmington on Sunday, July 16, making history in getting there.
Coach Jason Parent’s Londonderry bunch had defeated the Roger Allen (7-1 score) and Hudson (5-2) contingents in the 12-team tournament before falling to the Dover crew by a 12-9 count in the semifinal round. But the locals kept their title hopes alive by nipping Hudson by a 2-1 tally in the loser’s bracket final to advance to the championship game.
Londonderry was bested handily by Dover in a rematch in that title battle, but coach Parent and his crew had a great many reasons to hold their heads high.
“What a thrill it was to watch our boys play so well and make history as the first Londonderry 8-U team to play in the New Hampshire state championship game,” said Parent the day of the big game. “These state title appearances are very rare as it’s difficult to get to this point with so many good teams while playing almost every day. The coaching staff wants this to be a great event no matter what happens, so we’re going to stress doing our best and celebrating the moment. This is going to be a fantastic memory for these boys.”
The youthful but extremely talented Londonderry squad features player names which will doubtless be heard in Londonderry sports for many years to come.
“Our pitching staff has been led by Kam Weeks, Teige Broadhurst, and Brody Labee, with Logan Katz, Liam Parent, and Will Gingrow logging meaningful innings,” said coach Parent. “Kam is also our first baseman, Teige is our shortstop, Brody is our catcher/third baseman, Logan is a versatile utility player, Liam plays center field, and Will plays second base. Our six other players have also been a huge part of our success.”
That skilled sextet includes Cam O’Donnell (2B/OF), Charlie Tharrington (2B/OF), Josh Bartholomew (C/P), Ben Sakellar (OF), Sam Iorio (OF), and Sam Schreniner (OF).
During the same busy span of time in which the state tourney sat, the Londonderry bunch came out on the very top in the Salem tournament.
In that tough tourney, the locals defeated Hudson 11-8, Quintown 10-7, and Lamprey River 7-1 to win their pool with a perfect 3-0 record. They then defeated Quintown again in the semi-finals 6-3 and finished up tremendously with a 10-5 success against Methuen (Mass.), which had previously been undefeated.
In its own Londonderry Summer Classic Tournament back at the Londonderry Athletic Field Association complex soon thereafter, the 8-U crew beat Merrimack 9-4, Quintown 10-0, Litchfield 13-4, and then Quintown 5-0 on the way toward the tourney’s championship contest.
Head coach Jay Parent got both the 8-U and 14-U teams to state title games, winning lots en route.