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Winning the close ones

Baseball

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • WLC junior Pat Martin posted five wins with a 1.15 ERA and also batted .409 with two home runs.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough baseball team defeated Portsmouth Christian Academy 4-2 on Monday, May 20, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Anytime Wilton-Lyndeborough junior Pat Martin takes the mound, the Warriors feel it’s a game they should win.

Martin has proven to be one of the better pitchers in Division IV. Monday’s 4-2 win over Portsmouth Christian Academy was his latest addition to a season that is becoming worthy of Player of the Year honors. It was the Warriors’ fourth win in a row — all coming by two runs or fewer — to improve to 8-6 overall.

“I feel he can beat any team in our division and a lot of times we only need to score a couple runs to do it,” said coach Paul Trombley. “He’s going to hold most any team to one, two maybe three runs.”

It did not matter to Martin that the Eagles pushed two across in the top of the first on two WLC errors. The second error would have ended the inning, but instead plated both runners after shortstop Kyle Pratt’s throw sailed over the outstretched glove of Connor Melrose. Martin and his teammates knew there was plenty of game left.

“We’ve come from behind a lot this season. They just don’t give up,” said Trombley.

Errors have plagued WLC at various points this season, including the first meeting with PCA when Martin suffered the loss despite not allowing an earned run. But lately they have been able to work around the miscues.

“We got the outs when we needed them,” said Trombley. “They worked out of some mistakes.”

And Monday was one of those days. The first inning didn’t come back to haunt them, and a lot had to do with Martin’s ability to shut down the Eagles over the final six frames.

As for the offense, it took little time for the Warriors to battle back. Junior catcher Brendan Hussey, who was coming off a week to remember at the plate, led off the bottom of the first with a triple to deep center. Martin helped his own cause with a one-out single to score Hussey.

Pratt doubled down the right field line to give the Warriors two in scoring position. And with two outs, freshman Christian Seeley blooped one over PCA’s shortstop Ryan Lemire to score both runs and give WLC a 3-2 edge.

“It’s always nice to be able to get those runs back right then,” said Martin.

The Warriors had a runner on third in both the second and third innings, but could not push either across. Then in the fourth, Martin collected his second RBI single of the afternoon, putting WLC up two.

After the first, the defense stepped up. Pratt and freshman second baseman Peter Bickerton turned a double play in the second, Hussey threw out the potential tying run trying to steal third in the fourth and following two errors in the sixth, Martin got a strikeout and induced fly balls to Pratt and Seeley in center.

Martin finished with five strikeouts, two walks and allowed just four hits. He improved to 5-2 — having beaten both DIV champion Sunapee and runner-up Newmarket this season — and has pitched five complete games.

“He’s only had one off day and other than that he’s solid,” said Trombley. “We’ve relied on him a lot and he’s come through.”

The top four batters in the WLC lineup accounted for five of the team’s six hits and scored all four runs.

For a team that lost six starters to graduation, has no seniors and starts four freshman, the Warriors have exceeded expectations.

“At the end of last season, the guys who were still here were a little concerned with how the team was going to go and that it would be more or a rebuilding year,” said Martin. “But after the first couple wins and the stretch of games we’ve had, we’re feeling really confident.”

WLC hosted winless Hinsdale on Wednesday and will close out the regular season versus Derryfield on Friday.

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