Londonderry Legion Nine Surges Ahead in Standings

Londonderry American Legion Post 27 baseball coach Rick Brothers saw his charges surge solidly ahead in tough New Hampshire District B recently by winning four of its five most recent contests.

The team bounced their way to a slim defeat of Nashua early last week and then had a weather-induced break until the weekend. And the locals played a pair of doubleheaders during the weekend, winning three of the four contests to drive their District B record up to a very solid 6-3.

The Londonderry crew continued to make its push toward a winning streak last Tuesday night, July 1, when it handed the visiting Nashua Legion contingent an only-moderately satisfying 4-2 defeat.

Londonderry scored all of its runs in one inning – the fifth – and met with a fair amount of frustration in other frames due to some base-running miscues and the fact that it stranded seven runners on bases.

The hosts also committed three fielding errors, but the pitching of 2014 Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year Rob Del Signore and that one significant offensive inning helped Brothers’ bunch to the victory.

Nashua snagged a 1-0 lead in the top half of the second inning thanks to a leadoff triple and a fielder’s choice, but the score remained at 1-0 until that highly-significant latter half of the fifth frame when the Post 27 side scored four times on five hits.

Zack Byers started the fun by lacing a lead-off double, and Connor Sahlin followed by ripping a double himself to send Byers scurrying home.

Jonny Meskell then produced a single which plated Sahlin, and moments later Chris Bourgea thumped a double which scored two runs to make it a 4-1 game. But the Londonderry crew ended up leaving two runners on base without scoring any more runs in that frame.

The visitors sliced their deficit down to 4-2 in the top half of the eighth inning – star hurler Del Signore’s final frame of work – by taking advantage of two Londonderry fielding errors. But the hosts survived a few scares – in the form of some hard-hit balls by Nashua batters – in the top of the ninth as relief pitcher Dylan Cole fought his way through some tense moments to snare the save.

“We couldn’t quite close out our last two games, so being able to do it tonight was big for us,” said Brothers. “Overall, we’re hitting the ball pretty well. We had a few base-running mistakes tonight, but we haven’t had time for any practices. Having a few practices will help us to be able to do some of the fine-tuning we need to do.”

Winning pitcher Del Signore struck out 12 batters – walking just two and holding Nashua to four hits – in his eight strong innings of mound work. His offense rapped out nine total hits in his support, with former Campbell High standouts Bourgea and Sahlin each collecting two.

Thanks to lousy weather, the Post 27 bunch didn’t see the field again until the weekend, and on Saturday, July 5, the locals split a doubleheader with Exeter with a 5-4 loss (in eight innings) and an 11-1 blowout victory (in five frames).

The next day, the Post 27 contingent managed an extra-inning win over Merrimack (10-9 in 10 innings) and a 14-0 throttling of that opponent to slap together a three-game winning streak as well.

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