Less than a year after the Londonderry American Legion Post 27 baseball squad had to suspend its 2016 season, the locals took aim at recharging their program with a strong 2017 campaign this spring and summer.
The Post 27 crew got rolling recently with a blowout loss followed by a blowout victory to start up at 1-1. But, co-coaches Rich Salcito and Brian Meskell then saw their team drop a one-run decision to undefeated Rochester and an 8-4 game to Nashua, with the Londonderry crew having led by decent margins in both games before seeing their hosts bounce back to bag wins.
The locals took to the road for their 2017 season-opener on Tuesday, June 13 to play the tough Exeter team. The hosts tallied a convincing 8-2 win.
But, six days later the Londonderry crew was on its home diamond playing host to another seacoast opponent, and the local side thumped its way to a 7-0 victory.
Three nights later, the local hardball side made the lengthy ride out to Rochester and raced out to a 5-0 lead, which later withered into a 6-5 defeat.
The next evening, Friday, June 23, Londonderry was on the road for a trip to Nashua and Bishop Guertin High School’s Elliott Field to play Nashua Post 124 in the first game of a home-and-home mini-series between the crews. And both teams stepped having 1-2 records.
The Post 27 bunch scored once in the first inning and then twice more in the second, but the Nashuans would go on to score eight of the final nine runs of the game to snag an 8-4 victory.
Londonderry’s lead-off hitter Pat Rauseo, who has played his high school ball at Alvirne High in Hudson, helped his own pitching cause by scoring the first run of the game after being hit by a pitch. And he eventually scored on a wild pitch.
His offense supplied him with a 3-0 lead by scoring twice more, with two outs in the top half of the second inning after Nashua left two runners on base without scoring in the bottom of the first.
Matt Brickley led off the second by lacing a solid single to left field, but the next two Londonderry batters made outs. However, Matt Minton then sent Brickley scurrying home with a double, and Minton scored moments later on a single by Jake Bolduc.
The Nashuans got one of those runs back without the benefit of a hit in the latter half of the third to make it a 3-1 game, and the hosts took the lead for good by scoring four more times on three hits in the bottom of the fourth.
As the stifling weather in which the game started gave way to cooler temperatures with some dark clouds overhead, Nashua advanced its lead to 6-3 by scoring once in the latter half of the sixth.
Londonderry got that run back in the top of the seventh when Bolduc, who had led off with a walk, scored on a grounder off of the bat of Andy Ross.
However, it was the host Gate City side which would put the final runs up on the scoreboard, scoring twice more in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 8-4.
Londonderry finished up with a decent total of seven hits, with Brickley and Minton each collecting two of them. But the local crew also stranded eight runners on base.
The local team and Nashua came into this week looking at completing their home-and-home set with a game at Londonderry High this Tuesday, June 27, after Londonderry Times press time.