NHIAA Baseball: Tide edge Astros
DERRY - Pitching and defense was the recipe that carried the Concord High School baseball team to a 2-1 victory over Pinkerton Academy on Wednesday.
The Crimson Tide, last year's Division I champion, received a complete-game pitching performance from left-hander Josh Partridge and turned three double plays to raise its record to 6-0, the only remaining undefeated team in their league.
"We're six games in - a third of the way through - and I'll take where we're at," Concord coach Scott Owen said. "How we've done it doesn't surprise me because we have kids who are very competitive. I don't know if that changes where we'll be at in the end, and that's not something we're concerned with. We're concerned about getting better in practice (today) and going to play North on Friday."
Partridge improved his record to 3-0 by tossing his third complete game of the season. He struck out seven and allowed five hits. He has 28 strikeouts and five walks in 21 innings.
"He's around the strike zone consistently and he's not going to give you any free bases," Pinkerton coach Steve Campo said. "He doesn't get down in counts and he trusts his defense."
Concord trailed 1-0 after three innings, but tied the game in the fourth and took the lead for good in the fifth when pinch-runner Seimou Smith scored from third on Nate Strozewski's one-out single.
Smith ran for Nate Mullen, who reached on a two-base throwing error. A Mullen single drove in Cody Ferns with Concord's first run in the fourth.
Pinkerton scored its run in the second. Ryan Day singled, stole second and raced home on Connor Donahue's single.
Concord turned inning-ending double plays in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
"We've been playing very good defense" Owen said. "We've turned eight double plays in six games. It's a game of outs. Anytime you can get two with one pitch - that keeps your pitch count down too."
Donahue had two of Pinkerton's five hits. The loss dropped Pinkerton's record to 2-5.
The Astros, who turned two double plays, used three pitchers. Rick Casey started and went the first four innings. Chris Gerossie pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief before Nico Alicea recorded the final out. Gerossie took the loss.
"The kids are playing hard and they'll come alive," Campo said. "If we can keep our heads up through the first half of the season I think we can turn a corner about halfway through.
"Concord has a lot of kids who were part of that run last year who know what they're supposed to do and they're going out and doing it. They don't make mistakes. That's a team that executes in every situation."