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Another day, another no-hitter in Legion baseball tourney in Nashua

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 29. 2012 11:14PM
Portsmouth pitcher Kyle DiCesare, right, is congratulated by catcher Conor Trefethen after getting Salem's Joseph Morin (9) to ground out for the final out of his complete game no-hit victory in the American Legion state tournament Sunday afternoon at Holman Stadium in Nashua. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

NASHUA - It was as if lightning struck twice in the American Legion state tournament. Portsmouth Post 6 pitcher Kyle DiCesare threw a no-hitter against Salem Post 63, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Nashua's Holman Stadium.

The loss eliminated Salem (1-2) from the double elimination tourney. Salem fell into the losers' bracket when it was no-hit by Manchester Post 79's Carmen Giampetruzzi Friday night.

'I can't recall one no-hitter in (state) tournament play, so having two in one weekend is unbelievable,' said Gary Webster, the tournament director whose tourney involvement dates back to 1986. 'Even (present day St. Louis Cardinals) Chris Carpenter didn't throw one back in the '90s.'

Webster wondered if wooden bats played a role in the recent no-hit fever. Aluminum bats weren't allowed in Granite State American Legion play this summer.

DiCesare, who walked six, hit two batters and conceded an unearned run in the second inning, realized he hadn't allowed a hit when looking up to the scoreboard to check a pitch count in the sixth inning.

'I got really nervous with two outs in the ninth. I didn't want to hear it from the guys that I couldn't finish one,' said the righty. He fell one out shy of recording his first career no-hitter while pitching for Portsmouth High School this past spring.

'He had it going in pregame warmups and told the team he had this one,' said Portsmouth coach Scott Pafford after his club improved to 2-1 in the tourney. 'His fastball had movement and his change was working.'

DiCesare earned the other victory, pitching in relief of Jordan Bean, on Saturday.

'He was throwing his curve for a strike on any count. That made him dangerous and unpredictable,' said catcher Conor Trefethen, also the pitcher's high school battery mate. 'I didn't want to do anything to mess this up in the ninth.'

DiCesare struck out nine and had plenty of defensive help. Center fielder Sean Michael Fitzgerald and shortstop Billy Hartmann gloved potential hits and the defense turned two double plays.

Offensive support was tough to come by. A bases-loaded walk forced Connor McCauley home in the second. Ben Gareau scored from third on a wild pitch in the third, and Rick Holt crossed the plate when Trefethen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Salem refused to yield Portsmouth a big inning, turning two double plays when the bases were loaded.

'Pitching and defense can take you a long way in a tournament, but I'd like to get some more offensive production,' said Pafford.

Goffstown 5, Manchester 4: Goffstown Post 16 played like Houdini to win a second-round winners' bracket game rescheduled to Sunday morning because of rain. The winners committed eight errors, including two placing the potential tying run with one out in the bottom of the ninth.

Rain forced the clubs to play a Sunday doubleheader.

'It got a little scary out there,' said Goffstown shortstop Jake Glauser, He finished second in Little East Conference Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .288 as an outfielder with the University of Southern Maine. He took on the shortstop position this summer.

After surviving an error-plagued half inning - getting out of a bases-loaded jam while surrendering just one run - Goffstown tied the game with a three-run eighth inning. Ryan Beal and Ryan Smith smacked back-to-back RBI doubles. Adam Routhier drove in Smith and then preserved the tie score by making a diving, two-out catch down the left field line as two Manchester runners raced toward home.

Goffstown (2-0) took its first lead of the game in the top of the ninth when Reese Easton scooted home on an errant pitch. The winning run scored on an errant pitch in three of the first eight games.

'Once we went ahead, I told the team to relax and stay calm so you can make the big play when it comes your way,' said Glauser. He committed a miscue in the ninth but made the big play, throwing a runner out at third.

Pat Viviers' second inning single was the first hit Manchester Post 79 conceded in the tourney, with Giampetruzzi pitching a no-hitter on Friday. Goffstown, which beat Post 79 in a 15-inning game the last time they played, snapped the scoreless streak at 14.

Both starting pitchers turned in quality performances. Manchester's J.R. Poissant allowed five hits and three earned runs in eight innings. Tanner Putnam, a high school varsity pitcher as a freshman this past season, allowed two earned runs and eight hits in seven innings of work.

Londonderry 3, Manchester 2: Snake bit by two unique double plays, Post 79 (1-2) was eliminated from the tournament.

With the score deadlocked in the top of the sixth and teammates on first and second, Manchester's Zach Mitsopoulos hit a bomb that seemed destined to clank off the left field wall. Londonderry Post 21's Dan Kinnon made a fabulous running catch and fired a strike to second, completing a double play that preserved the 2-2 tie.

Still tied with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Londonderry (2-1) had the bases loaded when Casey Carollo - who had previously banged a hit off the left field wall and doubled to center - struck a fly ball to right.

Mitsopoulos caught the ball, but dropped it transferring the ball from his glove to his throwing hand. He threw the ball to second, and that's when the diamond turned into a courtroom. Manchester coach Eddie Poisson and Londonderry's Rick Brothers took turns making oral arguments about whether or not a run scored.

The three umpires conferred and ruled that a catch was made in right field, Rob DelSignore tagged at third and scored while Cody Caron left second base early and was called out on an appeal by the defense, giving Londonderry a 3-2 lead.

'I don't usually win arguments,' said Brothers with a laugh. 'This was a nice win. Tom Corey pitched a heck of a game.'

Before the game, Corey, 16, proclaimed he would give the team eight strong innings. He fell one out shy of pitching a complete game, giving up nine hits while walking three and striking out six.

Manchester pitcher Chris Lekkas matched Corey's tenacity and endurance, going the distance while allowing eight hits and one walk. He struck out five.

Goffstown 4, Concord 1: Sparked by a strong pitching performance by Chris Hood, Goffstown Post 16 (3-0) guaranteed itself a spot in Tuesday's championship round with a win over previously undefeated Concord Post 21 (2-1).

Hood threw seven shutout innings, limiting a team that had scored 10 times in its previous two wins to just three hits. He struck out one, walked six and got great defensive help from shortstop Jake Glauser and right fielder Tucker Allard.

Goffstown swiped its first two runs. One pitch after Allard stole second, Reece Easton singled him home. A Ryan Beal double plated Easton on pitch after he swiped second, and Goffstown led 2-0 after five innings.

In the seventh, Allard fouled an attempted suicide squeeze bunt and then fouled three two-strike pitches before singling home Adam Routhier to record his fourth RBI of the tourney. An out later, Connor Shaw gave Goffstown a four-run lead.

Concord, which plated three runs in its last at-bat to beat Londonderry, 4-3, in the tourney opener, brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth inning before reliever Ryan Smith ended the game with a strikeout.

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