Rochester captures first state American Legion baseball title since '90
CONCORD — Rochester's Post 7 entered this year's American Legion state tournament seeking its first championship since 1990.
That drought came to and end Tuesday night at Concord's Memorial Field, where Rochester beat Nashua 4-3 to claim the 2013 state title.
Nashua had the tying run on second in the ninth, but reliever Zach Poisson struck out Nick Reed, Nashua's No. 3 hitter, to end the game.
Rochester, which beat Laconia 6-3 earlier in the day to reach the final, will represent New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional, which will be played Aug. 8-12 in Middletown, Conn. Bedford (2011) is the last New Hampshire team to win the Northeast Regional.
Rochester scored a run in the first, one in the third and two in the seventh. Nashua did all of its scoring in the seventh.
Luke Roberts pitched 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. He held Nashua to one hit through the first six innings, but surrendered three runs on two hits and two walks in the seventh.
Roberts collected three of Rochester's 11 hits. Alex Gray and Mac Struthers each had two hits in the victory.
Jeff Lunn surrendered four runs (two earned) on 10 hits and took the loss.
Nashua had five hits — singles by Eric Damphousse, Michael Habibi, Nick Reed, Jason Ferlan and Chaz DeWitt.
Roberts opened the scoring when he tripled and scored on Gray's sacrifice fly in the first. Rochester doubled its lead in the third. Struthers doubled and scored on Mike Bellio's single to center.
Struthers also had an RBI single in the seventh and allowed Mark Leahy to score from second. Bellio scored Rochester's fourth run when he reached on a fielder's choice, took second on a throwing error and raced home on Zach Miller's single to right.
Nashua did its damage in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-runner Matt Dietrich scored from third on Matt Morais' sacrifice fly to center to make it 4-1; Dewitt made it 4-2 when he scored on a Habibi single, and Reed singled in Damphousse to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Rochester posted a 5-1 record in the tournament. The team's only loss came against Nashua.