Baseball/softball roundup: ConVal seeks improved pitching, leadership and first win

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal baseball team hosted Souhegan on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/3/2021 1:10:29 PM

The ConVal baseball team is still searching for someone to step up and lead them, first-year coach Matt Harris said after Friday’s 14-4 loss to Souhegan. Whether it’s on the mound or in the dugout, the sophomore-heavy Cougars’ inexperience after missing last season is showing, and it’s the biggest reason ConVal is still winless after five games.

“We’ve definitely got some talent, especially hitting-wise,” Harris said. “We’ll figure out patience. They’ll learn by trial by fire. I think this year is going to be a good experience for them, so they understand what needs to happen; then as they become juniors and seniors, I’m hoping we can really build off that.”

ConVal’s sophomore pitching staff was under fire Friday, as Brady Carpentiere took to the mound at South Meadow School. No matter who’s been on the mound this year, the Cougars have dug themselves into early holes, and Friday was no exception, as Carpentiere hit three straight Saber batters and walked another; ConVal was down 4-0 after the first inning.

“We put ourselves in a big hole,” Harris said. “We put our heads down and then it builds on the plate. You can’t hit the ball or anything like that. It’s a frustrating game, you’re going to see games where things aren’t going your way, but you’ve got to pick yourself up.”

Carpentiere gave way to Wyatt Beaulieu; Ollie Theriault stepped up to pitch with very little warmup when Harris pulled Beaulieau, and Sam Scheinblum finished out the game. When all was said and done, Souhegan had put up another 14 runs after scoring 17 on the Cougars earlier in the week.

It’s the pitching that needs improvement; ConVal’s fielding was relatively solid on the damp diamond, with Austin Knight making a few nice plays at short and Joe Gutwein making a diving web gem of a catch in center. Toward the end of the game, ConVal starting putting it together at the plate, too. The Cougars, who’d scored a total of five runs up until that point in the season, scraped together four runs in the fourth and fifth innings, led by left-fielder Zack Boyd (2-3), who tripled and scored on an Elias Niemela single to open the fourth.

“He got his foot down like we’ve been working on,” Harris said, “and he trusted his hands – he’s got very fast hands.”

Owen McGuire drove in Niemela and then scored himself. Eric Stapelfeld was hit in the fifth inning, stole second and then scored on a Boyd single to conclude ConVal’s scoring. 

It was a nice change of pace for the Cougars, who’ve have been hitting the ball hard across the lineup – but usually, right at fielders, Harris said, some bad luck that will likely statistically correct itself.

“I'm hoping that this little stretch that we had the last couple of days where we were smashing the ball around is what we can be able to build on,” Harris said.

As the experience comes, so too should the leadership – or so Harris has to hope. The team, which only has one senior, has not selected any captains, and Harris hasn’t assigned one. 

“So far, there really has not been somebody that's actually stepped up and taken that leadership role,” Harris said. 

ConVal (0-5) is at Hollis-Brookline Tuesday. 

SOFTBALL

Conant 10, Monadnock 9

Kaylee Karns knocked in the winning runs for the Orioles in the top of the seventh inning Friday, holding off a would-be Husky comeback after Conant squandered an early 6-0 lead.

The Orioles’ early lead was erased in the span of two innings, as Monadnock scored five runs in the fourth inning to chase starter Graecen Kirby from the mound and then took the lead on a three-run double in the fifth.

Conant trailed 9-7 entering the final frame before Teagan (2-4, 3B) and Graecen Kirby (2-4, 2 RBI) reached on singles; Bella Hayes (2-2, 3 R, RBI)drove in Teagan and then stole second before scoring the winning run on Karns’ single.

Karns went 2-4 at the plate with a triple and three RBI; Mylie Aho (1-4) also drove in a run for Conant.

Becca Thibaudeau (2.1 IP, 0 ER) got the win in relief for Conant.

The Orioles (2-2) host Hinsdale Tuesday.

BASEBALL

Monadnock 3, Conant 2

The Orioles looked much improved Friday afternoon in Swanzey but came up just short. Conant, who’d lost by the mercy rule to the same team Tuesday, kept the scoring low, thanks to solid games from starter Garrett Somero (3 IP, 2 2B, 2K, 2 ER) and reliever Luke Lambert (3 IP, 5 K).

Hayden Ketola and Griffin Labonte drove in Conant’s runs.

Conant (0-4) hosts Hinsdale Tuesday.


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