Londonderry 8-U Baseball Stars Stay Active, Successful

The Londonderry 8-U all-star baseball squad has remained busy of late, getting tuned up for the state tournament by playing in a variety of tournaments.

Head coach A.J. Marsh’s young men competed in Massachusetts tourneys in North Andover and Dracut recently in prepping for the New Hampshire tournament on the road in the Granite State last weekend. And while the youthful locals did both winning and losing on the way to the states, they managed to acquit themselves well.

Highlights of the Dracut tournament included an 8-4 thrashing of Chelmsford Monday, July 20, with Jameson Keaton producing three singles and Ryan Williams doing superb pitching work.

Three days later in the North Andover event, the locals gave top-seeded 9-U North Reading a tough time before dropping a 12-8 decision. Casey Marsh was a stalwart for Londonderry, reaching base twice, scoring twice, and driving in a run as well.

Last Saturday, July 25, the Londonderry crew began its involvement in the state tourney in Rochester with a victory that will no doubt be difficult for the locals to forget anytime soon.

The locals managed a 4-3, walk-off win over Seacoast after stepping into the latter half of the sixth frame trailing by a run.

Londonderry tallied a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first when Zach Mantegari singled and was plated moments later by Jayden Hamilton’s double.

Hamilton also did key work for his side on the pitcher’s mound, hurling the first four innings impressively.

But Seacoast responded for three runs of its own in the fourth frame, despite some strong defensive efforts by Londonderry, and all of a sudden the locals were trailing 3-1.

Londonderry trimmed its deficit down to 3-2 in the fifth when Jonathan Wilson stroked a one-out double and rode home on Boden Belanger’s single.

Brady Gillis took over the pitching duties for the locals in the fifth frame and kept the score right there until the climactic bottom of the sixth.

In that decisive frame, Carter Browning singled and Joseph Santiago then walked with one man out. Seacoast snared the second out, but Zach Mantegari followed with a single that scored Browning with the tying run and moved Santiago to second base.

Casey Marsh then legged out an infield single to fill the bases with two outs, and Hamilton became the hero when he thumped an infield safety of his own that allowed Santiago to head home with the winning run.

Hamilton finished up with two hits and two runs batted in, and Mantegari contributed two hits and one RBI.

Hamilton also recorded seven strikeouts during his four innings on the hill, and reliever Gillis earned the pitching victory.

The local hardball crew moved to 2-0 in the state tourney in Rochester Sunday with an unqualified success in the form of a 12-0 trouncing of Claremont.

Londonderry plated  nine runs in the first three innings and the locals then rolled on to the win.

Early hits from Jameson Keaton (two-run double), Gillis (two-run single), and Browning (RBI single) handed the local crew five runs right away.

Ryan Williams gave the winning side a dominant starting pitching performance, allowing one hit while striking out six batters in three frames.

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