Ben Robinson’s walk-off single plated Chase Hussey with the winning run in the ninth inning to lead Lebanon past Derry 1-0 in the opening round of the New Hampshire State American Legion Baseball Tournament Thursday at Holman Stadium in Nashua.
In other action, Hudson outlasted Sweeney Post of Manchester, 1-0, and Dover upended Concord, 7-2.
Friday in a losers’ bracket doubleheader, Concord plays Derry at 9 a.m. and Sweeney Post meets the loser of Thursday’s late game between Rochester and Bedford at noon. In the 4 p.m. winners’ bracket game Friday, Lebanon will face Dover, and in the 7 p.m. nightcap, Hudson will play the winner of Thursday’s late game.
In the home ninth for Lebanon, Hussey reached on an infield two-base error and advanced to third on a bunt single by Caleb Broughton. Hussey remained at third when Noah Skarin also reached on an infield hit.
After a strikeout, Robinson worked the count to 2-2 2-2 before belting his game-winning single down the right field line.
Lebanon survived the eighth inning when Derry had runners on second and third base with no outs.
But Lebanon starting pitcher Ben Bates bore down and struck out the next three batters to escape that dilemma. On 124 pitches, Bates went eight innings and allowed six hits and fanned seven batters. He walked three hitters and hit one. Hussey pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning and earned the win.
Taking the tough loss was Derry starter Chase Spears, who, on 91 pitches, allowed six hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
“Both starting pitchers threw well,’ said former Boston Red Sox pitcher and Lebanon Post manager Rob Woodward. “Some baserunning mistakes on our part cost us a chance to put a few runs on the board. Derry also had chances, but Ben was able to make the big pitches when he had to and stopped them from scoring, too.”
Derry left 10 men on base. Broughton and Robinson each had two hits to pace Lebanon’s six-hit attack.
“This was a big win because you don’t want to fall into the losers’ bracket after the opening round,” said Woodward. “Derry is a very good team and we’re facing another strong team (today) in Dover.”
Ryan Glendye went the distance for the mound win in Hudson’s 1-0 win against Sweeney Post.
“Hudson got great pitching, but we also wasted some scoring opportunities,” said Sweeney Post head coach David Flurey. “We just couldn’t get any timely hits and we ended up with a very frustrating loss.”
Jackson Musco drove in the winning run for Hudson in the fifth inning. Hudson third baseman Jason Hudson had a productive defensive game with eight assists. The tough-luck losing pitcher was Nolan Flynn, who lasted 8 1/3-innings for Sweeney. He allowed five hits, all singles, and walked five with five strikeouts on 94 pitchers. Glendye allowed six hits and fanned six and walked two. Sweeney stranded nine runners.