When you’re the member of a baseball team whose offense in struggling to collect hits and runs, the last thing you want to see if the opposing squad’s ace pitcher pounding the strike zone successfully with his powerful offerings.
In the wake of its 10-0 loss to the rival Derry Chase Post 9 hardball squad at Londonderry High School on the evening of Wednesday, June 27, the Londonderry Post 27 American Legion baseball team had to have felt like it had just been run over by an 18-wheeler.
Pinkerton Academy 2018 Division I All-Stater George Welch – a big left-hander – got the mound start for the Derry Legion side and twirled an impressive no-hitter which included some 10 strikeouts and just two walks.
The skilled southpaw’s defense and offense both supported him well, and about all Londonderry coach Brian Meskell and his charges – who have to scratch and claw and steal bases and have things roll their way on offense – could do was keep working hard and try to appreciate the superb performance their opponents were putting on.
“We made four or five errors in the first two innings, and you can’t have that happen if you’re playing a good team like them,” Meskell said, admittedly looking forward to his squad’s double-header with a struggling Salem squad two nights later.
The Derry victory left that contingent just over the .500 mark at 3-2 in New Hampshire District B play, while Londonderry slipped to 2-5 in the same league with the distinct downer of a decision.
The Chase Post crew plated runs in all but one of the six innings which were played in the Londonderry contest, which lasted just six full frames with the 10-run-rule kicking in in the sixth.
Derry scored once in the first, twice in the second, once more each in the third and fourth frames, and five times in the sixth in making it a 10-0 game.
The host Post 27 squad and starting pitcher Pat Rauseo actually battled their way out of big trouble in the first inning, leaving the bases loaded after allowing just that one aforementioned run. And as things worked out, Derry left some six men on the base paths through the first three frames as the score sat at a reasonably manageable 4-0 after three had been completed. But there was that big lefty Welch standing between Londonderry and any comeback attempt.
The pivotal defensive play which kept the Welch no-no intact came in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Londonderry’s Ethan Sullivan lofted a little pop-up into the hole between first and second base, and Derry second-sacker Christian Allaire (from Timberlane Regional High of Plaistow) made a beautiful sliding grab of the ball while it was still in the air.
In the wake of that tough night of baseball, Londonderry looked to change its fortunes at Michele Park in Salem on the night of Friday the 29th against a Salem Legion crew which had gone 0-4 in its first games of the still-young 2018 campaign.
However, the host team discovered the winning path and Post 27 remained off of it as Salem claimed slim double-header game victories of 3-1 and 4-2. As a result of those decisions, Salem became 2-4 and Londonderry slipped to 2-7.
With a number of its players committed to helping out with the running of a softball tournament over at the Londonderry Athletic and Field Association complex on Friday, July 6, the Londonderry senior squad wound up short-handed for its scheduled game against Merrimack and had to forfeit that contest.