NASHUA — The Londonderry and Pinkerton Academy of Derry baseball teams faced each other twice this season. The teams will meet again in Saturday’s Division I championship game.
Fifth-seeded Londonderry advanced by beating ninth-seeded Bedford 6-0 in Wednesday’s Division I semifinals at Holman Stadium. Earlier in the day third-seeded Pinkerton received a dominant pitching performance from senior Chris Gerossie and defeated seventh-seeded Alvirne of Hudson 4-1.
Londonderry and Pinkerton split their two regular-season meetings. The rubber match will be played at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, and is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Tom Corey provided the key hit in Londonderry’s victory over Bedford. His bases-loaded double allowed three runs to score in the bottom of the fourth inning.
That was more than enough offense for Londonderry starting pitcher Rob Del Signore, who held the Bulldogs to two hits. He struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter. Del Signore, who entered the game with a 0.49 ERA, has 117 strikeouts in 64 innings this season.
Del Signore, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year this season, also had an RBI triple that scored Brett Evangelista in the fifth, and scored on a wild pitch that handed the Lancers a 5-0 lead later in the inning.
Londonderry finished its scoring when Nick Salcito scored from second on Ben Byerly’s single in the sixth.
Londonderry (16-7) will be seeking its first state championship since 2010, when the Lancers beat Salem 5-2. Londonderry lost to Exeter in last year’s title game.
Grayson Jennings and Kyle Andersson had the only hits for Bedford (11-10). Both hits were singles.
Jennings pitched 5 2/3 innings. He allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked three. Three of Londonderry’s six runs were unearned.
Pinkerton (16-6) advanced to the Division I championship game for the first time since 1995, when it dropped a 3-2 decision to Manchester Central. The Astros last won the Division I championship in 1986 by beating Keene 3-2.
Gerossie held Alvirne to two hits: a solo home run by Greg Emanuelson and a single by Dan Brown. Alvirne’s only other baserunner reached on an error. Gerossie struck out seven, including the final two batters in the game.
“Gerossie was outstanding,” Alvirne coach Mike Lee said. “We just didn’t have any offense. He brought his A game and good pitching is going to beat any kind of hitting. As a coach your hands are tied. Didn’t have many baserunners, so I couldn’t put any pressure on him. Not much you can do.”
The Astros made the most of their six hits against seventh-seeded Broncos (12-9). Pinkerton scored a run in the first, one in the third, one in the fourth and one in the sixth.
Gerossie also reached base three times (hit, walk and an error) and drove in Joe Murphy with a single to left that gave Pinkerton a 2-1 lead in the third.
“I knew to throw strikes,” Gerossie said. “Pitching ahead in the count has been a key for me all year. I’m at my best when I throw first-pitch strikes.”
Designated hitter John Polichetti had two hits for the Astros, who also received hits from center fielder Joe Murphy, catcher Nate Rossi, first baseman Connor Donahue and right fielder Chace Spears. Murphy scored twice. Polichetti and Ben Curry scored the other Pinkerton runs.
Tyler Brown started on the mound for the Broncos, but was pulled after he walked Murphy to lead off the fifth. Brown surrendered three runs on four hits, walked four and struck out four. Matt McKinley allowed one run over the final three innings. Four of Pinkerton’s six hits were doubles.
Gerossie raised his pitching record to 7-0 this season.“Chris has been one of our go-to guys all year,” Pinkerton coach Steve Campo said. “He’s a big-game pitcher and he stepped up for us.”