Lebanon makes most of chances in Legion baseball tournament
CONCORD — Defending champion Concord Post 21 had nine hits and Lebanon Post 22 managed just three in a winners’ bracket matchup at the state American Legion tournament on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Field.
Didn’t much matter.
Lebanon made the hits count and took advantage of several Concord mistakes, including three wild pitches, to post a 5-3 win and improve to 2-0 in the tournament.
“This is a big win for more reasons than one,” said Lebanon coach Rob Woodward, the former Red Sox pitcher. “For our Post, it’s the furthest we’ve had a team go. And it’s big to win against Concord. We knew they have the arms to do it. They’re a great team, but today is our day.”
Lebanon plays Nashua, which improved to 2-0 with a 4-2 win over Rochester on Sunday morning, today at 1.
Concord played Laconia in an elimination game on Sunday night.
Also on Sunday, Rochester came back after losing the Nashua game and came from behind to beat Londonderry, 4-2.
Rochester plays either Nashua or Lebanon, whichever team loses the 1 p.m. game, today at 4.
Londonderry scored single runs in the second and sixth inning to go up 2-0.
Ryan Maloney had a bases-loaded single to score the first run and Jake Welch an RBI single in the sixth.
Rochester got one back in the bottom of the seventh on Ricky Kramer’s run-scoring single to left field.
Rochester jumped in front with three runs in the seventh. One run scored on a bases-loaded walk and Anthony Diprizio knocked in a pair with a bases-loaded single to left.
“It started with a single and we executed a couple of bunts and before you know it, the bases are loaded with nobody out,” said Rochester coach B.J. Gagnon. “We’ve been pretty good offensively all year and it kind of went away early in the tournament. It looks like we found ourselves a little bit in the seventh.”
Mark Leahy pitched a complete game nine-hitter for the win.
“He gave us an unbelievable outing,” Gagnon said. “We needed that. To not have to get into your bullpen is huge in a short tournament.”
Leahy walked four and struck out none.
“He pounded the strike zone and let the defense make plays,” Gagnon said. “The defense played real good today.”
Lebanon 5, Concord 3
The sixth inning told the story.
Down 3-2, Concord tied it on Shane St. Onge’s RBI single to right field. Concord wanted more with runners on first and third with one out. But Brandon Smith popped a suicide squeeze bunt attempt into the air and Lebanon turned it into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Lebanon took the lead right back with a two-out rally.
A single and a walk set things up for Jordan Levin’s two-run double to right field which ended the scoring in the game.
“Jordan came up huge for us today,” Woodward said.
Isaac Steinberg went 6 1/3 innings and got the pitching win. He allowed eight hits and three runs, struck out four and walked three.
Liam Gantrish went 2 2/3 and allowed just one hit, struck out three and walked one.
Lebanon center fielder Cyrus Ferraris ended the fifth inning by throwing a Concord runner out at the plate.
Dillon Emerson and Christopher Fournier each had a pair of hits for Concord coach Bryan Caruso’s team left nine men on base to Lebanon’s four.
“We’ve got to be a little tougher if we’re going to win a tournament like this,” Caruso said. “We didn’t execute the little things and those things add up. But they were better than us and they played well. Their pitchers threw strikes.”
Nashua 4, Rochester 2
In the first game of the day, Mathew Moraia allowed one run on six hits through seven innings to earn the win. Jacob Burbank picked up a save.
Nashua scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie.