LONDONDERRY — If you arrived 20 minutes late to the Londonderry High School baseball team’s 3-0 victory over Keene on Monday, then you missed most of the action.
After Keene loaded the bases but failed to score in the top of the first, Londonderry did all of its scoring in the bottom half of the inning. Each team collected three hits in the game, and four of those six hits came in the opening inning.
Lefty Rob Del Signore went the distance for the shutout. He walked four and fanned eight.
The game’s biggest play may have come when Lucas Lower hit a fly ball to left with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the first. Londonderry’s Brett Evangelista made the catch for the second out, and turned the play into an inning-ending double play by throwing out Joey Fenuccio at the plate.
“We let them off the hook in the first inning and in hindsight, looking back at it, that was the turning point in the game,” Keene coach Dan Moylan said. “We have to do a better job putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position with less than two outs.”
Londonderry improved its record to 6-1 and trails only Dover (6-0) in the Division I standings. Those teams will meet in Londonderry on Friday (4 p.m.).
The loss dropped Keene’s record to 5-2.
Doubles by Evangelista and Colby Joncas, plus walks to Geoff Kayo and Mike Ryan, highlighed Londonderry’s three-run first. Del Signore hit a sacrifice fly that scored Evangelista, Joncas doubled in Kayo and Ben Byerly’s sacrifice fly to left allowed Ryan to score from third.
Del Signore issued two walks in the second, but limited Keene to two baserunners after the second inning. Del Signore, who will pitch for Southern New Hampshire University next season, improved his record to 2-0.
“Maybe it’s his pregame warmup and something has to be tweaked, but the main problems he’s had have been right out of the gate,” Londonderry coach Brent Demas said when he was asked about Del Signore’s performance. “If you’re going to beat Rob you have to do it early. He settled in after that.”
Keene’s Mason Blanchard pitched into the fourth. The Blackbirds received three innings of scoreless relief from Neal Robinson.
“Mason Blanchard labored into the fourth, but he kept us in the game and gave us a shot,” Moylan said. “That’s all you can ask.”
Fenuccio, Stephen Bianco and Alex Parenteau had Keene’s hits, all of which were singles. Del Signore had Londonderry’s other hit, a single in the fifth.
“Del Signore has a good breaking pitch, but I thought the difference was his ability to locate his fastball as the game went on,” Moylan said. “It was basically a one-inning game.”