×

Baseball/Softball: ConVal optimistic early, Conant loses after controversial inning

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Lebanon on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:31PM

You’ve got to have hope in April, and the ConVal baseball team is brimming with it after winning their first two games of the season. 

The Cougars (2-0) pounced on Lebanon early on Wednesday afternoon, scoring six runs in the first two innings as the Raiders struggled to find the strike zone against the patient ConVal lineup. Spring’s promise of a fresh start has helped the Cougars put last season’s struggles behind them.

“It’s in the rearview, absolutely,” said ConVal head coach Mike Marschok. The Cougars dropped eight in a row down the stretch in 2018 and finished at 5-11, but they look like a whole new ballclub this season.

“I think the kids are more mature, they’re more experienced, so they’re more focused,” Marschok said. “The little things hopefully don’t bother them.”

“We’re all friends here, we’re all one,” said senior pitcher Jack Plourde, who threw nine innings in ConVal’s 1-0 win at Saint Thomas Friday and then closed out Thursday’s win in relief. “There’s no senior top dog, we’re all one solid team.”

It’s an eclectic bunch of kids up and down the lineup. In earshot of the bench, the chatter ranges from complex math problems (“Let’s go, square root of 144!” rings out when Plourde, No. 12, is at the plate) to socio-political structures (“All anarchists are socialists”) to the benefits of joining the military, but baseball unites them all.

“We’re a different variety of people,” Plourde said. “Some of us are three-sport, some of us just play this one, some of us are joining the armed services, some of are going to college, some of us are going to college for baseball, some are in really high classes in high school already. We’ve been playing together ever since we were younger, it’s nice to be here in high school playing together again. ”

ConVal played down on the fenceless South Meadow School field on Wednesday, to the chagrin of Casey Jordan, whose sixth-inning bomb to right (would it have been out of Bishop Field?) turned into a ground-rule double and kept Duncan Cahoon from scoring an insurance run. But at that point, the Cougars were already up 6-4, as Lebanon’s pitchers issued three straight walks in the first inning before a Connor Buffum sac fly and a Dylan Pipher single plated ConVal’s first two runs.

The whole ConVal infield got on base in the second, as first baseman Ben Garfinkle second baseman Matt Aho singled, shortstop Manny Bowman got plunked in the top of the head by a lazy curve and third baseman Duncan Cahoon found his way on as well; all four scored. 

Buffum started the game on the mound after closing out Plourde’s gem on Friday; the sophomore right-hander worked well, going six innings with one strikeout, six hits and three walks. The majority of Lebanon’s four runs stemmed from ConVal’s uncharacteristic seven fielding errors. 

“We shouldn’t make that many,” Marschok said. “One or two, that’s good, but we stunk up the place today. But that’s okay, we won the game, and on that point, last year we lose that game. Absolutely. We lose it.”

ConVal’s newfound chemistry has the Cougars happy and hopeful this spring.

“Hopefully we can keep it rolling,” Plourde said. “Hopefully we don’t let off that gas pedal.”

ConVal hosts Oyster River (1-2) Friday at 4:30 p.m.

 

Mascenic 8, Newport 1

The Vikings tore it up against Newport Wednesday, taking the lead for good in the second inning and then scoring six in the fifth to seal the blowout.

Sean Agonis, Dylan Vaillancourt, Jackson Cocozella, Shea Zina and Ethan Bilodeau had hits for Mascenic. 

Zina pitched six innings with eight strikeouts and Landen Vaillancourt pitched a scoreless seventh.

Mascenic (1-2) hosts Prospect Mountain (1-0) Friday at 4 p.m.

 

Conant 4, Winnisquam 3

Nick Germano singled and scored in the seventh inning to give new Conant head coach Arric Mather his first win on Wednesday. Silas Seppala and Cam Feyrer also singled and scored in the game.

Jerome Olin started and pitched well aside from a three-run fourth that saw Conant make two errors. 

The Orioles (1-1) host Monadnock (2-1) Friday at 4 p.m.

 

SOFTBALL

ConVal 22, Lebanon 2

 

ConVal piled up ten hits and 22 runs as they dispatched Lebanon with ease on Wednesday afternoon. Rachyl Parslow (4 hits), Hayley Cheviot (2 hits), Bre Hutchinson, Marin Burgess, Jaden Hubbard-Lemay and Julielle Cabana all had hits on the day. Hubbard-Lemay pitched four inning with ten strikeouts, two hits and no walks for the win. Ashley Chandler also pitched one inning and got one strikeout.

ConVal (1-1) hosts Oyster River (2-2) Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Winnisquam 5, Conant 4

Conant’s loss at Winnisquam Wednesday featured one of the strangest innings you’ll ever see. The umpiring crew told both teams they were in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Conant up 4-3; Winnisquam loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a walk to tie the game. Centerfielder Silas Bernier fielded a fly ball and fired a missile to home plate, where freshman catcher Tessa Spingola caught the ball and tagged out the runner for a double play. 

“It was the best play I’ve seen in a while,” said Conant head coach Wiley Billings.

Caught up in the excitement of the moment, the Orioles thought they had three outs, and they left the ball on the field and walked off. Alert, Winnisquam’s Ashley Deshaies took off from second and scored to give the Bears a 5-4 lead.

Wild enough for you? Hold on. Winnisquam began celebrating what they thought was a walkoff win, the umps headed for the parking lot and Conant headed to the dugout, where the Orioles consulted the scorebook and came to an alarming conclusion: it was actually the sixth inning and the game wasn’t over. The umpires and coaches agreed, and the problem compounded itself, as Winnisquam’s runner on first base, who’d left the bag to celebrate and then gone to the dugout, had to be ruled out.

Conant got runners to second and third in the actual top of the seventh before a groundout ended the game for real.

Brenna Welch started on the mound for Conant and threw a complete game with six strikeouts and six walks, allowing three earned runs. She’d also go 2-4 at the plate with a triple and three RBI. Teagan Kirby went 2-4 with an RBI.

It was the second straight come-from-behind 5-4 loss for Conant. 

“It’s two tough losses, but I think we can win enough games to get into the playoffs and then who knows what will happen?” Billings said. 

Conant (0-2) is scheduled to host Monadnock (1-0) Friday at 4 p.m.

Mascenic 15, Newport 3

Senior pitcher Madison Labrie capped off Mascenic’s big win with an over-the-fence grand slam homer on Wednesday. Labrie finished 3-4 with six RBI and pitched four innings, striking out eight, allowing one earned run, three hits and a walk. Becka Staton was 2-4 with three RBI and Shelby Babin went 3-4 with one RBI.

Mascenic (2-1) hosts Prospect Mountain (1-1) Friday at 4 p.m.

Wilton-Lyndeborough 22, Derryfield 0

Lexi Balam and Sam Yurcak combined for a five-inning one-hit shutout as the Warriors destroyed Derryfield on Wednesday, 22-0. 

Balam threw three innings with eight strikeouts and went 4-4 with four RBI and a walk. Yurcak threw two inning with five strikeouts and went 3-4 with three RBI.

Janel Bachand went 4-5 with three RBI in the blowout win. 

WLC (4-0) has outscored opponents 77-6 on the year so far. The Warriors were scheduled to travel to Hinsdale (1-0) Thursday afternoon.