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WLC baseball toughs out win against rival Sunapee

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team hosted Sunapee on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, April 16, 2018

The Warriors were up 4-2 over Sunapee in the top of the fourth Friday afternoon when those old familiar Lakers crept back into the game. Starter Neal Brennan, who’d been cruising after a two-run first, gave up a walk, a double and a single and Wilton-Lyndeborough’s longtime nemesis tied it up and got back in the Warriors’ heads.

“We struggle with [Sunapee] because of mental mistakes and self confidence and intimidation,” said WLC head coach Dave Finch. “And when we let them back in it, the same thing started to happen. We took them aside and said ‘This has to end. You have to show them who you are.’ And they took it.”

WLC came right back out in the top of the fifth and took the lead back. Brennan singled, Cody Johnson and Sean Brennan walked and then catcher Owen Hughes ripped a huge double to break the game wide open and put the Warriors in front for good.

Sunapee had scored twice in the top of the first, but Laker starter Matt Nangeroni plunked three Warriors in the bottom of the frame and handed over the lead in the process. Sunapee would use three pitchers on the day; Finch, however, ended up only needing one.

“I had no intentions of having [Brennan] pitch the whole game,” Finch said, and as his pitch count grew on the sunny, 60-degree day, it seemed inevitable he’d need a reliever. But, the junior pitcher convinced his coach he was good to go the distance, and his performance on the mound was equally convincing.

“He got a little stronger toward the later innings,” Finch said.

Brennan sat down the last nine Sunapee batters in order, striking out the side in the sixth, and the Warriors won it 9-4.

“Big, big win for us,” Finch said. “Boosts our confidence.”

Brennan pitched a complete game with six strikeouts and went 2-3 at the plate. Jake Levert went 1-3 with a triple; Cody Johnson was 1-4 with a double and Hughes went 1-2 with a double.

Wilton-Lyndeborough is now 3-0, as they’d already beaten Hinsdale earlier in the week. In that one, Hughes pitched and went five innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts and one earned run as the Warriors won 8-2.

“He really was in command on the mound,” Finch said.

Levert played “unbelievable” in the field, Finch said.

“He made some real major league plays.”

Levert had three hits and three stolen bases in the game.

WLC hosts Portsmouth Christian Academy (1-2) Wednesday at 4 p.m.