Roger Brown's Diamond Notes: North’s win streak just keeps growing
BY ROGER BROWN New Hampshire Union Leader
Nashua North pitcher Kyle McCarthy throws to a Bishop Guertin batter during their game at Holman Stadium in Nashua Monday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
STRANGE as it may sound, the 33-7 beating the Londonderry baseball team handed Nashua North last month may have been just what the Titans needed.
North (12-4) has won six games in a row since that loss, and has climbed to No. 2 in the Division I standings.
“In a lot of ways we needed that game,” Nashua North coach Kyle Harvell said. “It’s definitely fair to say we benefited from that game.
“We walked in there that day thinking we were pretty good. We thought we could just go through the motions. It refocused us on the way we’re supposed to play. We’ve always been good physically. We’ve really grown up mentally.”
North stretched its winning streak to six games by beating Bishop Guertin 5-1 Monday night. Kyle McCarthy pitched six innings and struck out seven to collect the win. Mike Robert pitched a scoreless seventh.
“Nobody’s been playing over their head,” Harvell said. “Everybody’s contributing. (The Londonderry loss) had to be a teaching tool. You can’t forget about it because it did happen.
“We’ve learned something in all four of our losses, and that Londonderry game put us in a pretty good place mentally. We told the kids that sometimes the scoreboard lies and that they should only worry about what they can control. They don’t need to worry about the outcome. They need to worry about playing the game the right way.”
Londonderry (11-3) is the only team ahead of North in the Division I standings, so a rematch in the Division I tournament — perhaps even the Division I championship game — is a possibility.
“We have two pitchers (McCarthy and Robert) who I would put up against anybody else,” Harvell said. “I feel good about what we have for a team. It’s a long year and a tall mountain we’re trying to climb.”
GREAT WHITE: You can look long and hard, but you won’t find any major flaws in the White Mountains Regional softball team.
White Mountains, which improved its Division III record to 13-0 by beating Kennett of Conway 5-1 Monday, is the only unbeaten high school softball or baseball team in the state. The Spartans of Whitefield have dominant pitching, a .460 team batting average and have been playing solid defense as well.
“I feel we’re a complete team,” White Mountains coach Forrest Hicks said. “These girls have played together a lot.”
White Mountains has 10 players on its roster who played in more than 100 games for the Way North summer league team last year. Junior pitcher Erica Millett is among those players. Millett is 11-0 with a 0.56 ERA this spring. Sophomore Rebecca Hicks, Forrest’s daughter, hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings.
White Mountains, which beat Stevens of Claremont in last year’s Division III championship game, has surrendered 13 runs in its 13 games.
“If Erica’s not the best pitcher in the state, she’s probably very close,” Forrest Hicks said. “She throws multiple pitches, she throws hard and she has great control.”
All but one player in the White Mountains starting lineup is batting over .400. Hicks is batting a team-high .547, followed by Kaylee Savage (.523) and Chelsea Payer (.517).
Forrest Hicks said he expects Gilford and Campbell of Litchfield to be among the major obstacles between White Mountains and another state title.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I’m really not surprised by how the girls have been playing,” he said. “We were competitive against a lot of good teams in the summer. The only real surprise has been the consistency of our defense.”
MONEYBALL: Proceeds from today’s Bow at Pelham baseball game will benefit the American Cancer Society. The Pelham players will wear pink jerseys that were donated by the Pelham Police Department. Fans are encouraged to wear pink as well to show their support. Admission is $1 and donations can also be made during the game, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
NOTEWORTHY: Derryfield stole 19 bases during its six-inning, 15-5 victory over Epping on Monday. Chris Rizos and Noah Goldstein each had five stolen bases. ... Adam Routhier had eight hits in 10 at-bats, drove in seven runs and scored five times in Goffstown’s three victories last week. ... Hanover’s Joe Cravero followed up last week’s no-hitter against Lebanon by pitching a complete game to help Hanover defeat Coe-Brown of Northwood 3-2 Monday. Cravero (4-1) struck out 12 and allowed four hits. ... The NHIAA softball tournaments in all divisions will begin May 29. The Division III NHIAA baseball tournament is scheduled to start May 28, and the Division I, Division II and Division IV baseball tournaments will start May 30. The preliminary-round games and quarterfinal-round games in each sport will be played at the home of the higher-seeded team. ... Alvirne’s 11-1 triumph over Salem on Monday was career victory No. 300 for Mike Lee, who is in his 30th season as Alvirne’s head coach.
“Diamond Notes” appears Wednesdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter Roger Brown at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @603SportsMedia.