Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: Was it the strangest NHIAA inning ever?
WHEN Londonderry's Tim Jennings was sent to the plate to pinch-hit in the fourth inning of Monday's game against Nashua North, little did he know he would have two more at-bats in the inning.
In what was perhaps the strangest inning ever played in NHIAA baseball, Londonderry sent 28 batters to the plate and scored 23 runs in the fourth inning of its 33-7 victory. At one point, 17 consecutive Londonderry players reached base, and all 17 scored.
"I really did the best I could in terms of holding runners and that sort of thing," Londonderry coach Brent Demas said. "I really don't know what to say about that game. You try to do the best you can without offending the other team. I was uncomfortable out there coaching third base."
Londonderry collected 12 of its 20 hits in the inning. The inning also featured seven walks, one hit batter and four errors. North used four pitchers in the inning.
Londonderry starting pitcher Ryan Moloney, who has committed to play baseball at the University of Massachusetts, pitched all five innings despite the fact that he had to wait nearly 50 minutes while the Lancers batted in the fourth.
"It definitely stiffened up my arm a lot, but I went in back of the dugout to play some catch while it was happening," Moloney said. "After that, I couldn't get my fastball over for a strike. I just had to pitch to contact to get those last couple outs.
"I've only been in a few games where a team just batted around once. It doesn't happen often."
It wasn't like Londonderry steamrolled a struggling North team, either. The Titans entered the contest with a 6-3 record in Division I.
"I don't want to say we quit, but it's difficult to play defense in that situation," North coach Kyle Harvell said. "It's tough to go make a play, but you have to do it. You didn't see a kid step up and say, 'I'm going to get us out of this,' and get the other kids moving."
It's been an interesting spring for Harvell, who is in his first season as North's head coach. His first game was a 14-inning contest against Exeter that was postponed after 13 scoreless innings and completed 15 days later (Exeter won, 1-0), and then he had the ultimate day of frustration Monday.
"It happened, it's over and we have to move on," Harvell said. "And we have to grow from it."
ALONE ON TOP: Timberlane established itself as the team to beat in Division I softball by defeating previously unbeaten Dover 12-3 Monday.
Freshman Kate Hoadley held Dover to two hits and picked up her seventh victory. Caroline Salvaneschi had two of Timberlane's 10 hits, and also scored twice. Amy Freeman drove in three runs.
Timberlane, which trailed 3-0 after one inning, raised its record to 9-0 and is the only unbeaten team in the division. Dover dropped to 7-1. Division II ConVal of Peterborough (6-0) and Division III White Mountains (7-0) are the only other unbeaten softball teams in the state.
NOTEWORTHY: The Keene baseball team turned a game-ending triple play in its 10-2 triumph over Alvirne on Friday. ... Merrimack (6-2) at Bishop Guertin (7-3) baseball, and Salem (6-1) at Concord (5-1) softball are among the appealing games on Thursday's schedule. ... Hollis/Brookline baseball improved to 5-0 by beating ConVal on Tuesday. The Cavaliers are the only unbeaten team in the state.
"Diamond Notes" appears Wednesdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter Roger Brown at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @603SportsMedia.