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High School Baseball/Softball Roundup: Conant holds on to beat Monadnock

  • Above: Conant’s Aidan Kirby closes out Monadnock on the mound Friday afternoon. Below: Third baseman Nick Germano hoovers a ball at third before firing to first for an out. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant baseball team traveled to Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant baseball team traveled to Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant starter Corbin Sasner hurls it at Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant baseball team traveled to Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant baseball team traveled to Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant baseball team traveled to Monadnock Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant softball team traveled to Monadnock on Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Saturday, April 21, 2018 11:13AM

Aidan Kirby made the most of his first varsity pitching appearance for Conant Friday afternoon. Despite facing as many batters as he possibly could and still win the game, Kirby held onto the Orioles’ 4-3 lead and closed out Monadnock.

“I was thinking ‘Oh no! We’ve only got a one-run lead, pretty close, I’ll just throw some strikes, defense is behind me, they’ll make some plays,’” Kirby said after the game.

Conant manager Josh Heaphy said that no matter the score, he was bringing Kirby in for the seventh. Of course, he’d have preferred to give the senior a little more cushion, but after Monadnock struck twice off Oriole starter Corbin Sasner early, Conant was playing comeback.

The Huskies scored on a Chris Weeks single and a fielder’s choice in the first, and then again on a Dan Heise single in the second. Meanwhile, Monadnock starter Matt Dodd got out of a first-inning jam when Conant senior centerfielder Ryan Smith was called for leaving third base early.

The O’s kept getting good contact off Dodd, and it was just a matter of time. Kirby and his teammates were confident.

“We’ve really got to come together,” Kirby said. “Once one guy gets going, everybody ‘you’re-ups,’ one after another.”

Conant, indeed, got it going in the fourth inning. There, Sasner led off with a single and Colson Seppala walked, setting things up for a Oriole explosion. Senior third baseman Nick Germano crushed a double to center, scoring Sasner, and then Smith ripped another double to left, plating two. Kirby reached on an error that scored Smith and Conant had turned the Monadnock lead on its head.

“They were confident they could hit the pitcher,” Heaphy said. “Eventually the hits were going to fall, and they put a couple together.”

Sasner pitched through the sixth inning on the frigid afternoon, looking good but battling a tiny strike zone along with a tough Monadnock lineup.

“It’s cold, it’s hard for anyone to hold the ball, throw the ball,” Heaphy said.

The Huskies scored once more in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice and Kirby started warming up to close. He’d come in with a 4-3 lead and surrender a leadoff single to Carl Hoden. Conant catcher Gavin Ketola held on to a foul tip for the first out; Dodd then singled to right and advanced on Preston Kirby’s throw to third, which got loose. With runners on second and third, Heaphy handed out a free pass to load the bases.

“That got my heart pumping a little bit, but you just have to take deep breaths and it’s fine,” Kirby said.

Conant executed perfectly. Kirby induced a grounder to Germano, who threw home to force the second out. Hunter Langworthy flew out and the game was over.

“You can never take [Monadnock] lightly,” Heaphy said. “What we get is what we get, a good baseball game for seven innings… It’s a big win to start the season.”

Conant lost their first game to Somersworth on Wednesday, 5-2, after waiting most of the month to get outside and play. 

“It feels great to be back,” Kirby said. “Rust - gone. Now we're ready to go.”

Conant (1-1) was scheduled to travel to Winnisquam (1-2) on Monday and hold their home opener at Humiston Field against Fall Mountain (0-2) Wednesday at 4 p.m.

SOFTBALLConant 11, Monadnock 5

The Orioles went down early at winless Monadnock before coming back to win comfortably, 11-5. 

Senior catcher Skyler Tenney had two hits, including a bases-clearing three-run double to blow the game open. Karissa Oakes and Lexi Gallagher had another two hits each for Conant. Camri Aho pitched and struck out six for the win.

Conant 13, Somersworth 0

Manea Aho held Somersworth to just one hit as Conant made no errors and got a 13-0 win Wednesday. Aho struck out seven and had two hits, as did Skyler Tenney and Camri Aho.

Conant (2-0) hosts Fall Mountain (0-2) at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Mascenic 23, Fall Mountain 4

It was Sydney Letters’ day on Friday, as the senior second baseman led the Mascenic slugfest with three homers – one a grand slam – as the Vikings won 23-4 at Fall Mountain. The Vikings are now 4-0 and are outscoring opponents 87-9 on the season. Mascenic has school vacation next week before returning to action.

WLC 13, Portsmouth Christian 3

Lexi Balam struck out 16 over seven innings, allowing six hits and no earned runs as Wilton-Lyndeborough beat Portsmouth Christian 13-3 on Wednesday. Balam and Rachel Christino had three hits each. Emma Skelly had four RBI and two hits; Janel Bachand, Sam Yurcak and Brooke Lane also had two hits apiece. WLC (4-0) is off for vacation week.

Hollis-Brookline 18, ConVal 6

BASEBALLConVal 10, Hollis-Brookline 3

Believe it or not, this was an extra-innings game. Down 3-0 early, ConVal plated one in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie it. Casey Burgess took over on the mound for starter Jack Plourde; Burgess pitched into the 12th inning, where ConVal exploded for seven runs to win it 10-3.

ConVal 12, Laconia 6

ConVal won at Laconia Friday afternoon, 12-6. Connor Buffum started the before giving way to Casey Jordan, who pitched 1.2 innings for the save.

Jordan had a single and a double and scored three runs; Manny Bowman had three hits and three runs scored.

ConVal (3-1) hosts John Stark (2-0) Monday at 4 p.m.

WLC 4, Portsmouth Christian 3

The bottom of the order set the tone for Wilton-Lyndeborough Wednesday, as the 8-hitter Jacob Boette and the 9-hitter JJ Leblanc both had big hits in the fourth inning to stake WLC an early lead that they wouldn’t surrender. 

Sean Brennan started and gave up one run on three hits through five innings. Kyler Tremblay took over and pitched into the seventh, allowing Portsmouth Christian to creep back and make it a 4-3 game before Troy Brennan closed it out.

Jake Levert had an RBI as well and led the defensive charge; the senior shortstop has no errors through four games and WLC is undefeated at 4-0.

The Warriors travel to Farmington on Friday at 4 p.m.

Mascenic 13, Hinsdale 0

Shea Zina struck out 16 batters in six innings as Mascenic made quick work of Hinsdale on Thursday, winning 13-0. 

Mascenic (2-1) is off for vacation week.