Just two games into its 2014 summer campaign, the Londonderry American Legion Post 27 baseball squad had already exhibited that it’s going to be able to be plenty resilient.
The hardball squad, which includes a number of players from Londonderry High School’s recent Division I championship team, started the campaign with a disappointing loss to the visiting Cumberland, R.I., contingent at LHS Lancer Park. But the next afternoon, veteran coach Rick Brothers’ Londonderry bunch bounced back with a lopsided win over the Derry Legion 9 crew at Lancer Park.
The 6-5 loss to the Rhode Island team last Friday, June 20, was frustrating because the hosts saw a lead evaporate late and Cumberland walk away with a comeback victory.
But Brothers’ boys had every reason to walk away from their Saturday, June 21 home game with the Derry contingent wearing smiles.
That contest began almost exactly seven days to the minute after some members of the Londonderry Legion crew – at the time wearing Londonderry High baseball uniforms – got started on the Division I hardball title-game win they bagged by besting the Pinkerton Academy baseball team, which included some of the players wearing Derry Post 9 garb in Legion play last Saturday.
It took a little while for the Londonderry offense to kick into gear in the Legion battle, with Derry managing to snag a 1-0 lead – without the benefit of a hit – before the host team began scoring runs in earnest on the way to a 12-2 blowout.
Star lefty pitcher Rob Del Signore – who was the 2014 New Hampshire Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for the LHS team – got the start for the Londonderry side and allowed just two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in four innings of mound work.
Derry snagged a 1-0 lead in the top half of the third inning by plating its run on no hits and one Londonderry error.
But the hosts responded and took advantage of two Derry fielding errors in the bottom half of the fourth frame.
Londonderry plated four runs on two hits and those Derry miscues, with youngster Johnny Meskell thumping a run-scoring single and Christian Bourgea hammering a two-run home run to right field.
Campbell High School stalwart Bourgea had a superb day for the winning side, reaching base all five times he batted with his homer, a two-run double, and a single accounting for four RBI.
The two-run double by Bourgea came in his team’s five-run sixth inning, during which Austin Marino contributed an RBI single and Jake Welch drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
With the score sitting at 9-1 in Londonderry’s favor going into the top of the seventh inning, Derry managed to bag its second and final run of the game. But the host team plated three more markers on four hits and another Derry error in the latter half of that frame to make the score 12-2 and kick the 10-run rule into effect.
All in all, Londonderry pitchers Del Signore and Bobby Baril (from Campbell High) held Derry to a paltry four hits while striking out 11 would-be hitters. And the hosts’ offense produced 13 hits, with Bourgea, Welch (three hits, 2 RBI), and Del Signore (two hits) all thumping multiple runs.