For a number of years, there was no Londonderry Junior American Legion baseball squad. But a local entry was added at that level this summer with youthful former Londonderry hardball players Jason Parker, Nick Flanders, and Ben Byerly leading the crew as its coaches.
The Londonderry Post 27 bunch had a peaks-and-valleys kind of campaign, starting out well enough with a 2-2 record in New Hampshire District A after four completed games. But, the locals were just 4-10 – having gone 2-8 in their next 10 contests – rolling into their season-ending contest at home at Londonderry High School against Alton this past Sunday, July 23.
After an 0-2 start, the Londonderry crew pulled out pleasing wins over Brookline (a 12-2 blowout) and Weare (5-2) to even its record at 2-2.
The locals then dropped two consecutive decisions before managing a 1-0 nipping of Milford to move to 3-4 overall. But that would be it on the winning for the Londonderry squad until their 10-0 mauling of the Milford mob made them 4-9 some six games later.
The Post 27 crew saw its record slip six games below the .500 mark with a 5-1 home loss to the Merrimack contingent on the evening of Thursday, July 20 despite some strong pitching from standout starter Zach Luongo.
Luongo held the visiting Merrimack crew scoreless on two hits through the first three frames – leaving the bases jammed with opposing players in the first inning – and then gave his team a 1-0 lead in the latter half of the third himself when he laced a double which plated teammate Chris Tutt from first base.
Luongo lasted six innings on the hill, allowing Merrimack two runs (both unearned in the fifth inning) and nine hits while striking out six would-be hitters. The visiting side later scored three times on four hits in the sixth in making it a 5-1 contest.
The hosts finished up with a total of just five hits, with Sean Cavanaugh smacking three of them (all singles).
“The whole season the offense has been slim,” lamented head coach Parker. “Zack (Luongo) has been our ace, and he’s been so consistent. He came up against one of the top teams (Jutras) recently and shut them down.”
Along with the aforementioned Cavanaugh, Luongo, and Tutt, the squad’s players included Alex Cafaro, Luke Marsh, Nick Cote, Tyler Kayo, Nolan Lincoln, Alex Peters, Jacob Slide, Anthony O’Donnell, Nick O’Connell, and Josef Guerrette.
The Londonderry squad won its final game over Alton by a lopsided 10-5 tally, thus ending up at 5-11 on the campaign.