Londonderry 9-U Stars Remain Hot, Take East District Title

Stepping into a game against the Londonderry 9-U All-Star baseball squad these days is akin to walking in front of a speeding train – not a good idea.

The local hardball team continued to pile up the victories recently by winning the East District tournament – posting a perfect 4-0 record in the process – in Rochester before discovering still more success soon thereafter in the Salem tourney.

The locals made their district record 3-0 on Friday, July 8 when they bagged a five-inning, 14-4 mercy rule victory over Quintown.

That massive, semifinal-round success set the local squad up against Hudson in the title game, but that contest wouldn’t be played until the evening of Monday, July 11, due to inclement weather.

“Hudson would have to beat us twice as it’s a double-elimination tournament,” said team media liaison Natalie Cook following the Quintown success.

In the crushing of Quintown, the Londonderry crew scored 11 times in the first three innings and left little doubt as to which side would walk away victorious.

Jayden Hamilton racked up three runs batted in on three hits for the locals, and pitcher Jonathan Wilson was nothing short of dominant, striking out 14 batters in tallying 15 total outs. He allowed one earned run on just two hits and two walks over five innings of work.

Cole Metivier, Zach Mantegari, Ryan Williams, and Boden Belanger also made significant contributions to the local squad’s stellar offensive effort. Belanger and Metivier each drove in two runs.

Then in the district tourney championship contest against Hudson on Monday, July 11,  the locals bumped their season record up to 12-3 and won the district crown with a 12-8 defeat of Hudson.

“We came from behind to win and beat our arch-rival Hudson, who we’ve not beaten before,” said Natalie Cook.

Hudson sprinted out to a 4-0 lead, but Londonderry trailed by just one run in the fourth inning when Belanger strode to the plate and laced a two-run double that plated Williams and Hamilton. And the local side wound up scoring a total of eight runs in that decisive frame to take the lead for good and all.

The teams combined for 17 hits and the 20 total runs, with the victors getting two hits and some strong relief pitching work from Brady Gillis and a run-scoring single stung by Casey Marsh.

Pitchers Hamilton, Marsh, and Gillis had three double-plays turned behind them.

That overwhelming success at the district tourney assured the Londonderry bunch that it would make it into the state tournament along with East rivals Quintown, Hudson, and Exeter.

But there was no time for the East District champs to rest on their laurels, as they got right back down to work at the Salem tourney the next night, Tuesday, July 12.

The 13-3 locals played the North Andover, Mass. entry to what looks like a football score, winning a 20-12 decision in four innings.

The victorious hardball crew smacked out 11 hits including two extra-base bashes, and the locals never trailed after scoring five runs in the first.

Londonderry then scored six runs in the second inning and another half dozen in the fourth frame, in which it received an RBI single from Gillis, a two-run single by Marsh, an RBI triple by Hamilton, an RBI single by Zach Mantegari, and yet another RBI single by Belanger.

Gio Nevares went a perfect 2-2 at the plate for the winning side, singling in the first inning and doubling in the third inning.

Metivier, Mantegari, and Carter Browning handled the pitching in the successful Londonderry effort, and Marsh tallied a total of five runs batted in in pacing his squad’s potent offense.

Then this past weekend on its own home diamond, the Londonderry bunch began its involvement in the state tournament by trouncing its first two opponents.

The locals thumped Nashua by a 13-4 tally in game one on Saturday, July 16, and then beat up on the Quintown contingent by a 9-4 score the next day. The state tourney continued this week, after Londonderry Times press time.

District Champs 176Caption: The state East District champion Londonderry 9-U all-star baseball squad includes, in the back row from left, assistant coach Dave Hamilton, head coach A.J. Marsh, assistant coach Brian Belanger, and assistant coach Matt Williams. In the middle row from left are Carter Browning, Casey Marsh, Boden Belanger, Brady Gillis, Devin Boles, and Jayden Hamilton. In front from left are Zach Mantegari, Cole Metivier, Frankie Jarek, Jonathan Wilson, Ryan Williams, and Gio Nevares. Courtesy photo

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