Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: Exeter's Ethan Joyce is mowing them down
EXETER'S Ethan Joyce hasn't left much room for improvement this season. At least not when he's been on the mound.
Joyce, a senior, hasn't allowed a run in 21-1/3 innings for an Exeter team that improved to 7-4 in Division I by beating Nashua South 8-5 Monday.
Joyce has a 3-0 record and has also appeared in relief twice. He has allowed 10 hits, three walks and has recorded 31 strikeouts.
"In this league you never expect a kid to go this long and not give up a run, but we're not terribly surprised that he's thrown the ball as well as he has," Exeter coach Kevin McQueen said. "At times he's overpowered people, but he knows how to pitch as well."
Joyce is a four-year varsity player who plays shortstop for the Blue Hawks when he's not on the mound. He has committed to play shortstop for Southern Connecticut State, a Division II school that competes in the Northeast-10 Conference. His father, Bruce, is an assistant coach with the Blue Hawks and used to be the baseball coach at Southern New Hampshire University.
Exeter has received exceptional pitching overall this year. Entering Monday's game, the Blue Hawks had allowed two runs in their six victories.
Joyce, who was the starting quarterback on Exeter's football team, was 7-0 with a 1.51 ERA last season.
"He locates very well," McQueen said. "He's pretty accomplished out there and the key is he's around the plate. He's not going to give you much in terms of walks. He's been pretty solid."
AT A LOSS: The Oyster River softball team's 4-0 loss at Milford on Friday left the Bobcats with an 0-10 record in Division II. Oyster River will not only be seeking its first win of the season when it plays at Portsmouth today, it will be trying to win its first game since the 2007 season.
Oyster River is 0-92 since the start of the 2008 season and has six games remaining on its schedule. Its final regular-season game will be at Kingswood of Wolfeboro, which is currently 0-9.
MARQUEE MATCHUPS: Today's big games including Windham (8-1) at Goffstown (11-1) baseball, and Timberlane (11-1) at Goffstown (9-1) softball.
Goffstown and Windham are the top two teams in the Division II standings, and the Jaguars will enter today's contest on an eight-game winning streak.
Timberlane is alone atop the Division I softball standings. Concord, which has six shutouts this season, is tied with Dover for second place.
NOTEWORTHY: Souhegan's Connor Cinque picked off three of the six Coe-Brown players who reached base in Souhegan's 4-2 victory Friday. ... The White Mountains softball team, which is 9-0 in Division II, is the only unbeaten varsity baseball or softball team in the state. ... The Keene baseball team has won four of its last five after a 1-5 start. ... The Londonderry, Monadnock and Newmarket baseball teams currently own lengthy winning streaks. Monadnock and Newmarket have each won eight in a row, and Londonderry stretched its winning streak to seven games by beating Salem 7-2 Monday. ... Spaulding baseball won its first six games, but is 1-4 since then.
"Diamond Notes" appears Wednesdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Ermail staff reporter Roger Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @603SportsMedia.