action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

April 07. 2013 1:09AM

Top Division I teams all have a good pitcher

Change was the theme in the New Hampshire high school baseball offseason. At least that was the case in Division I, where five schools will enter the 2013 season with a first-year head coach.

Dan Moylan, who played for the University of North Carolina and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, was hired as the head coach at his alma mater, Keene High School. Kyle Harvell (Nashua North), Nick Jaskolka (Merrimack), Steve Campo (Pinkerton Academy of Derry) and Kevin O'Leary (Manchester Central) are the other new faces in Division I.

In terms of identifying the Division I contenders, that discussion starts with defending champion Concord. The Crimson Tide lost four starters from last year's team, but appears capable of making another strong postseason run.

"We have some quality young pitchers," Concord coach Scott Owen said. "How they develop will tell us where we are.

"I think we're in the second tier of teams, behind Trinity, BG, Londonderry, Timberlane and Spaulding. Division I baseball is as hard as anything to pick because everyone has a good pitcher. That's why you see a lot of upsets in the first round."

Division II has been dominated by Seacoast teams in recent years. Portsmouth won four consecutive titles, but that streak came to and end with a loss to Lebanon in last year's semifinals. St. Thomas of Dover defeated Lebanon in the Division II championship game, but the Saints must replace all but one starter (senior outfielder Jon Nartiff).

"I really don't think that starting the season there's any team that's head and shoulders above everybody else," Portsmouth coach Tim Hopley said. "There's no team that I can say is the favorite, and that's different from years past when you could say St. Thomas will be at the top or Portsmouth will be at the top."

Campbell of Litchfield and Conant of Jaffrey figure to be two of the top teams in Division III. Campbell returned six starters from the team that lost to Hopkinton in last year's title game. The returnees include pitcher Connor Sahlin and shortstop Christian Bourgea.

Conant will feature a strong one-two punch on the mound with Devin Springfield and Josh LeBlanc.

Hopkinton graduated six starters, five of whom have been regulars in the lineup since they were freshmen.

"I would say Campbell is as close to a clear-cut favorite as you can get," Hopkinton coach Dave Chase said. "And with those two pitchers back Conant will be pretty tough to beat."

Lisbon had four all-state players eligible to return from a team that reached the Division IV semifinals last year, but shortstop Chad Knighton didn't come out for the team, and center fielder Zach Sweeney moved outside the school district.

"With those kids back I feel we could have been one of the best teams in the division," Lisbon coach Jeremy Aldrich said. "I told the team we can't worry about who's not here.

"I think things are wide-open. I think Newmarket is the team, but if certain things happen there are a lot of teams that could be there at the end."


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!