Londonderry High Baseball Wins One of its First Three

Londonderry’s Jackson Leavitt lofted this ball to deep left field against Pinkerton, but the long shot was caught. Photo by Chris Pantazis

A blowout victory against the Winnacunnet High Warriors of Hampton sandwiched between defeats at the hands of the Spaulding High Red Raiders and the Pinkerton Academy Astros late last week brought the Londonderry High baseball team into this week contemplating a 1-2 record at the start of the 2017 season.

The Lancers travelled to Rochester to play Spaulding on Thursday, April 14 and were dealt a slim loss. But back at home the next afternoon the LHS contingent overpowered the visiting Winnacunnet Warriors to move to 1-1.

However, the team then lost in extra innings to the arch-rival Pinkerton Astros on Saturday in slipping below the .500 mark in the short term.

In the 7-5 loss to Spaulding, Londonderry put forth a spirited effort in rebounding from an early deficit, but the Lancers ended up dropping the decision.

The locals snagged a 1-0 advantage in the top half of the first frame, but their hosts tallied four runs in the latter part of that inning.

Londonderry got one of those runs back in the top of the second to make it a 4-2 game, but Spaulding answered with one of its own in the bottom of the frame to make it a 5-2 game.

However, the Lancers scored three times in the top of the sixth to knot the score at 5-5 before the Raiders busted that deadlock with two runs in the bottom of the frame.

Dylan Walsh and Ricky Perry each smacked out two hits for Londonderry, which collected seven safeties on the day. Walsh also drove in two runs.

But the Lancers claimed their first win of the young campaign in their first home game against Winnacunnet on Friday April 14. And the locals placed an exclamation point on that success by pounding the visitors by an 11-2 score.

Londonderry scored twice in the first and once in the second, but then saw its guests push two runs across in the third to make it a 3-2 game.

The locals then scored eight unanswered runs – with four each in the third and fourth frames – to claim the lopsided success.

Shane McNamara had two hits for the victors, with Nate Sullivan driving in three runs and Jonny Meskell and McNamara each driving in two.

But the Lancers wound up on the down side of a 7-6 score against Pinkerton in a barn-burner of an extra-inning game played at home on Saturday April 15.

Highly-touted PA freshman Asa Runge was the story early for his unbeaten crew, thumping a two-run double in the first inning and looking strong on the pitcher’s mound as well. But the Lancers rebounded for four runs on three hits and two Pinkerton errors in the latter half of the third, with two runs scoring directly on errors, one coming across on a wild pitch, and the other scoring on Xander LaPlante’s single as the hosts grabbed a 4-2 advantage.

The bad news in that frame was that the Lancers left the bases loaded, and leaving runners stranded would be a significant problem for the hosts, who would leave 13.

Pinkerton got back into the lead in the top of the fourth by scoring three times on three hits and one LHS defensive miscue, making it a 5-4 game.

Londonderry tied the score at 5-5 on an Andy Ross single in the bottom of the sixth, and the score remained right there until the top of the eighth frame when the visiting Astros scored twice on two hits and a Londonderry error.

Now trailing 7-5 and apparently down to their final three outs, the Lancers continued to battle hard and got to within a run of the lead when Meskell scored on a wild pitch with two outs. But the hosts left two more men stranded on base and dropped the tight decision.

“When you get guys on base you have to have the mentality that you can get the big hits to bring them home. But we weren’t able to do that today,” said coach Demas.

Londonderry finished with eight hits, Perry, Ross, and LaPlante each knocking two.

The busy Lancers then savored just Easter Sunday off before returning to action in Manchester on Monday where they took on the host Trinity High Pioneers.

The Lancers returned to the winning path with an 11-9 victory over their hosts in a hit-packed hardball contest in the Queen City.

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