M/cloudy
63°
M/cloudy
Hi 66° | Lo 57°

Baseball

Post 11 finding the right chemistry

Jaffrey Legion takes home opener 10-0

  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Post 11 starter Shawn Marsh dominated Milford on Tuesday night. Marsh allowed just two hits and no walks and struck out five over his five innings of work. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Second baseman Kyle Dupuis prepares to field a first inning grounder that ended the inning. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Jaffrey Post 11 shortstop Shane Rautiola ropes an RBi single to left field during a four-run second inning on Tuesday night at Humiston Field. Rautiola went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in and a run scored in Post 11’s 10-0 mercy rule victory over Milford.  (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Jaffrey Post 11 Junior Legion team defeated Milford 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Post 11’s Ian Morris connects for a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth that gave Jaffrey a 10-0 lead in Tuesday’s mercy rule victory over Milford. (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

The summer of 2012 saw the return of Legion baseball to the Jaffrey area for the first time since the 1970s.

And all the Post 11 squad did was dominate its way to the Junior District B regular season title.

But with a lot of last year’s team aging out of the Junior Legion ranks, coach Mike Clark had some work to do in the offseason to get enough players for this summer. Clark, who was an assistant last year and did a lot of the behind the scenes work to help get the program off the ground, did not want to see the program fall by the wayside after just one season.

“I didn’t want to see it go away just because Eddie moved up,” said Clark of his son, who played on the team last year.

So he talked to some players from Conant and Mascenic, and got the word out to the private and home schooled students in the area. And the Post 11 team looks like they have not missed a beat.

“I think they’re coming together really well,” said Clark. “When you first put a team together you’re concerned that it’s just a group of kids wearing the same hat, but they’ve really bonded.”

Jaffrey returned four players from the 2012 team that played three games in the state tournament and have built a squad that once again looks like a group that will be in the mix for the top spot in Division B.

“We’ve got some really good ball players for 14 and 15 year olds,” said Clark. “We have a young team, but they’re a very talented group of kids.”

With a 10-0 win over Milford in five innings on Tuesday — the second mercy rule victory of the season — Post 11 improved to 5-1 overall entering Wednesday’s home contest with Bedford. Bedford is the only team to hand Jaffrey a loss this season, 8-0 last Saturday.

“After that loss, we knew what we were missing and today it all came together,” said Shane Rautiola after the game. “It’s better to lose now early in the season then really late and I think we learned a lot.”

Tuesday’s victory, which was the first shutout of the season for Post 11, was also the first home game of their 15-game schedule after five straight road contests where they went 4-1. Following Wednesday’s rematch with Bedford, Jaffrey will play three more at Humiston Field before traveling for another game.

“They want to play. They want to be here,” said Clark. “And I think they’re getting better and better as they go along.”

Post 11 had already defeated Milford 5-3 in the season opener on June 17, but this one was not nearly as close.

With Shawn Marsh making just his second appearance on the mound and first in a starting role, Clark did not quite know what he’d get out of him. But he was pleasantly surprised.

“After today, Shawn’s proven himself as a starter,” said Clark.

Marsh picked up his first win of the season after allowing just two hits, no walks and striking out five — including all three batters in the third — over his five innings of work. He did not allow a runner to reach second base.

“I was just working the ball in and out and throwing strikes,” said Marsh.

After setting Milford down in order in the first, Marsh got all the run support he would need. Kyle Dupuis’ liner to right field scored Matt Cyr, who led off the first with an infield single.

Post 11 would strike for four runs in the second and all with two outs. Cyr’s grounder up the middle made it 2-0 and Ryan Carey’s triple to deep left plated two more. Rautiola’s single made it 5-0.

“The bats had slowed down some, but they picked up today,” said Clark.

In the fourth, hits by Marsh and Cyr and a walk to Carey loaded the bases with no outs. Rautiola drove in two with a single and Ryan Aho’s grounder to short produced a run. Ian Morris’ deep shot to left-center plated Jaffrey’s final two runs.

“With 10 runs in five innings, we definitely smashed the ball,” said Rautiola.

And a 1-2-3 fifth inning from Marsh gave Post 11 the victory.

It has been a strong start for Post 11. They have outscored their opponents 36-15 thus far, but Friday will be a big test. Jaffrey hosts Nashua, which entered play on Wednesday undefeated, and it will truly tell them just where they stand.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.