The dog days of summer

Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth: Keeping the games going

  • Harrison LeFlem made his first start of the summer on Tuesday and held Londonderry to just two runs over four innings, as Monadnock picked up its sixth win of the season.(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Harrison LeFlem made his first start of the summer on Tuesday and held Londonderry to just two runs over four innings, as Monadnock picked up its sixth win of the season.(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth shortstop Lou Salzberg waits for a first inning ground ball in Tuesday’s 13-2 rain shortened victory over Londonderry. Salzberg knocked in the game's first run with a double and later added an RBI single.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth shortstop Lou Salzberg waits for a first inning ground ball in Tuesday’s 13-2 rain shortened victory over Londonderry. Salzberg knocked in the game's first run with a double and later added an RBI single.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Mathias Fressilli connects for a two-run single in the top of the third inning on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Mathias Fressilli connects for a two-run single in the top of the third inning on Tuesday.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Monadnock first baseman Joe Edwards fields a ground ball <br/>during Tuesday’s 13-2 win over Londonderry.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Monadnock first baseman Joe Edwards fields a ground ball
    during Tuesday’s 13-2 win over Londonderry.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Harrison LeFlem made his first start of the summer on Tuesday and held Londonderry to just two runs over four innings, as Monadnock picked up its sixth win of the season.(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth shortstop Lou Salzberg waits for a first inning ground ball in Tuesday’s 13-2 rain shortened victory over Londonderry. Salzberg knocked in the game's first run with a double and later added an RBI single.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Mathias Fressilli connects for a two-run single in the top of the third inning on Tuesday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth baseball team squared off with Londonderry on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at South Meadow School in Peterborough.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Monadnock first baseman Joe Edwards fields a ground ball <br/>during Tuesday’s 13-2 win over Londonderry.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Tom Newbury has spent a better part of the last seven years recruiting players for the Monadnock Senior Babe Ruth team.

He has filled the role of head coach, assistant coach and coordinator for the team. And while Newbury’s sons have already gone through the system, he feels an attachment to the program.

“I want the program to stay alive,” said Newbury.

After the high school baseball season is over, the options in the area are limited for players who fall between the ages of 16-18. If not for the Monadnock team, players would have to drive at least 30 minutes for home games and that is only if they connected with a team.

It is not always easy to fill out the 16-player roster. Newbury makes a lot of calls and has to deal with the juggling of summer schedules. Some nights like Tuesday, the team has to play without a few players and it is not always easy trying to make things work.

But so far this season, Monadnock has done quite well.

“We have a very good group of kids,” said Newbury. “The 16 kids I have on the roster are just a pleasure to coach. They’re all athletic and very good baseball players.”

After winning just two games all of last year with a relatively young roster, Monadnock stood at 6-2 entering Wednesday night’s home game and in second place overall. They also beat Salem for the first time in Newbury’s tenure.

“What a difference a year makes,” said Newbury.

The team’s two losses have both come by 5-4 scores against Hollis/Brookline, who is tops in the league, and Nashua when they were not at full strength. All in all, it has been a fun season so far and Newbury expects it to continue. With seven games left, Newbury believes his group has its best baseball in front of them. With a pitching staff littered with arms that did not see much action during the high school season, Newbury sees Monadnock setting up well for the final push toward the playoffs.

“We could be a very good second half team,” said Newbury.

With trying to deal with family vacations, other commitments and summer jobs, Newbury is constantly switching up his lineup.

“Sometimes I’ve had trouble rounding up nine guys for a game, but that’s how it goes,” said Newbury.

On Tuesday against Londonderry, Newbury sent recent ConVal graduate Harrison LeFlem to the mound for his first start of the summer. And it worked out, as Monadnock posted a 13-2, four inning win over Londonderry in a game that was cut short by heavy rain.

“I was out of arms and I needed him desperately and he pitched four marvelous innings,” said Newbury.

Monadnock was without the services of Devin Drouin and Johnny Ciarcia, both recent Conant graduates who helped the Orioles win the school’s first baseball title since 1956 and were honored at the night of champions by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, as well as ConVal’s Will McPhee. But Newbury made some adjustments and it worked as Monadnock cruised.

Some of the players are still in high school, like ConVal’s Tyler Aborn, Joe Edwards and Mathias Fressilli, while other like Lou Salzberg and Dan Bednarski wouldn’t have a place to play after graduating from ConVal in 2012.

“I do this for guys like Lou,” said Newbury.

Not all the players are from the immediate area. In recent years, Newbury has gone to Milford in order to fill out the roster and currently has four on the team.

It is a short season for the Monadnock squad, as they play 16 games over the course of five weeks. The double elimination playoff tournament begins on July 14 and the hope is for a home playoff game or two and a run toward the state title.

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