CONCORD — Rochester coach B.J. Gagnon said he has yet to see anything close to his team's best offensive effort during this year's American Legion state baseball tournament, but what he saw Monday night was good enough.
Catcher Alex Gray came up with a bases-loaded single that broke 3-3 tie and ended up being the difference in Rochester's 4-3 triumph over Lebanon at Concord's Memorial Field.
Gray's single scored Andrew Langdon from third. Gray, who batted .445 and had 26 RBIs in 18 regular-season games, had two hits in the victory.
"We got a couple big hits late, but ironically enough I'm still waiting for the (offensive) team we've been all year to show up," Gagnon said. "We've done a great job on the mound, but we're an offensive club. We just haven't shown it in the tournament."
Rochester improved to 2-1 in the tournament and will face Laconia today at 4 p.m. The loss eliminated Lebanon from the double-elimination tournament.
Laconia defeated Nashua, 10-5, Monday night The winner will face Nashua for the state title at 7 p.m.
"Still waiting for that offense to show up," Gagnon said. "Tuesday would be a good time for it."
Lebanon trailed 3-1 until Cam Blewitt hit a two-run triple in the top of the seventh that scored Nick Baily and Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris.
Lebanon was held to four hits by three Rochester pitchers, but Rochester also committed four errors. All three Lebanon runs were unearned.
Cam Blewitt pitched all eight innings and took the loss. He allowed nine hits, walked three and struck out two.
Lebanon qualified as the No. 2 seed from District A despite losing its first six games.
"I think once everything sinks in they'll understand just how far they came," Lebanon coach Rob Woodard said. "We were fighting the errors a little bit, but we came together. Then when we came down here, the bats really came alive."
In Monday's earlier games, Laconia defeated Concord 8-4 in the completion of a suspended contest; and Nashua beat Lebanon 11-6. Nashua and Laconia were scheduled to play Monday night.
The championship will be decided today. The first game is scheduled for 4 p.m., and, if necessary, a second game will be played beginning at 7 p.m.
Nashua 11, Lebanon 6
Nashua received three hits from designated hitter Mathew Moraia and raised its record to 3-0.
Nashua trailed 6-3 until it scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lebanon committed five errors in the loss.
Jason Ferlan surrendered nine hits and six runs in eight innings to earn the win. He struck out six and walked four. Nashua's Eric Damphouse, Jeff Lunn and Tim Donovan each had two hits in the victory.
Laconia 8, Concord 4
A four-run fifth inning helped Laconia eliminate Concord, last year's state champion. First baseman Dominic DeBlasie and shortstop Gunnar Stecher each collected three hits for Laconia, which raised its record to 2-1.
The first seven innings of this game were played Sunday, but the contest was suspended by rain with Laconia leading 8-2 in the seventh inning.
Matt McCormack drove in two runs for Concord, which trailed 4-2 until Laconia scored four times in the bottom of the fifth.
Laconia winning pitcher Steve Levasseur allowed eight hits and five runs in a complete game effort. He walked three and fanned six.
Laconia scored eight runs in the ninth inning to snap a 2-2 tie. Ryder Arsenault, Brian Baca, Trevor Chapin, Brandon Kruger and Levasseur each had two hits for Laconia. Jeff Lunn had two hits and two RBIs for Nashua.