GOFFSTOWN — What will Jason Matthews remember most about his first game as Windham High School’s baseball coach?
“The grit is really what stuck out for me,” said Matthews, who watched his team overcome an early five-run deficit to post an 11-9 victory over Goffstown on Monday in the Division II opener for each team at Sullivan Park. “The kids didn’t get down after those first couple innings when our pitchers struggled.”
It was a 9-9 game entering the seventh, but Windham took the lead when Will Bresnahan scored from third on a passed ball. Riley Magee added an RBI single that scored Chris Murphy. Magee, Windham’s cleanup hitter, had four hits, all singles.
Matthews was an assistant coach on the Windham staff under Derek Lee last season, but was elevated to head coach when Lee resigned after leading Windham to the Division II semifinals. His first inning as head coach was one to forget.
Goffstown scored six runs in the bottom of the first against Windham’s two best pitchers: Jeff Peterson and Adam Dolan.
“Both of our horses, Peterson and Dolan ... neither could throw strikes, “Matthews said.
Peterson started but was removed from the mound after he failed to retire any of the first five batters. Dolan allowed four runs before he was pulled in the sixth. Dolan did hold Goffstown scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings, which allowed the Jaguars to climb back into the contest.
“He kept them in the game so they could chip away,” Goffstown coach Adam Lawrence said. “He did a good job.”
Tanner Putnam started for Goffstown and allowed seven runs in four innings, but six runs were unearned. Windham scored five unearned runs in the fourth, when Goffstown committed two errors.
“Tanner pitcher well,” Lawrence said. “We just need to make plays behind him.”
Bresnahan picked up the win for pitching 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Pat Viviers and Chris Hood each collected two hits for Goffstown, which lost to Portsmouth in last year’s Division II championship game.
“This is a huge game,” Matthews said. “That’s a good team. Anytime you can beat these guys its a huge win.”