After beginning its 2016 season with three consecutive losses, the Londonderry Senior American Legion Greeley-Parmenter-Harrington Post 27 baseball squad found its footing and won six of its next eight games to place its record above the .500 mark at 6-5.
The wins began with a 10-6 defeat of Portsmouth and continued with a 2-0 edging of Merrimack, an 8-2 trouncing of Nashua, a 17-10 blasting of Nashua, and a 16-7 slapping of Salem.
On Wednesday night, July 6, co-coaches Rich Salcito and Brian Meskell saw their charges fly into high gear against the youthful Hudson Legion side at Alvirne High School in an 18-4 mauling of that host that only went seven innings.
It took the Londonderry side a little while to bust the game open, with the score sitting at 3-2 in the locals’ favor after one inning and at 5-2 after three full frames.
Londonderry plated three runs in the top of the first frame when a fielder’s choice scored Jimmy Zimolka and Alex Boucher pounded a triple that plated two more teammates.
Hudson struck back for two runs on two hits and one Londonderry error in the latter half of the first, but the local nine got those two runs back on four hits in the top of the second.
Jonny Meskell drove in the first of those runs with a single and Brody Dupuis thumped a sacrifice fly that plated the second of them as Londonderry bagged a 5-2 lead.
The score remained there until the top of the fourth when Londonderry scored three more times on three hits, with the first run coming across on a fielder’s choice, the second scoring on a wild pitch, and the third scoring on a double steal.
However, the pesky youngsters in Hudson uniforms showed that they still had some life in them in the bottom of the fourth by scoring twice on three hits and one error to turn an 8-2 game into an 8-4 game.
The hosts had already gone through four pitchers by the end of the fifth inning, but Londonderry pitcher Nick Salcito was standing up well against the inconsistent and frustrating umpiring.
And Londonderry busted the contest wide open with an absolutely huge top half of the seventh inning. The locals scored 10 times on seven hits and two Hudson errors in that frame to quickly make the score 18-4.
The big smacks for the winners in that decisive inning – in which Londonderry sent 13 hitters to the plate – included an RBI single and two-run triple by Boucher and RBI singles by Meskell, McEacharn, and Ricky Perry.
When Hudson proved unable to score any runs in the latter half of the seventh, the 10-run rule officially went into effect and the game was over.
Londonderry finished with 18 hits, with Zimolka smacking four, Meskell and Boucher each drilling three, and McEacharn and Salcito each collecting two.
In his complete-game pitching victory, Salcito allowed nine hits and three walks while striking out three.
“In the last couple of games we’ve really been coming together as a team, which is key. And we’re getting really good wood on the ball,” said Salcito. “
The Post 27 squad finds itself with an extremely busy end-of-season schedule with games slated on Thursday, July 14 at Salem, and on Friday, July 15 against the rival Derry Post 9 contingent at home.
Then on both Saturday and Sunday the locals are slated to play double-headers in attempts to make up contests which were postponed by rain.
CAPTION: Londonderry Legion third baseman Jonny Meskell is all concentration as he fields this grounder during his team’s recent blowout victory over Hudson. Photo by Chris Pantazis