LONDONDERRY — There were two outs in the top of the fifth inning and no one on base when things began to unravel for the Londonderry High School baseball team Friday.
Londonderry starter Tom Corey hadn’t allowed a run to that point, but Dover’s next five batters reached base. Dover scored four runs in the inning and then had to survive some scary moments in the seventh, but held on for a 4-3 victory.
Dover improved its record to 7-0 and is the only unbeaten team in Division I.
“To this point in the season we’ve been pretty successful trying to grind out at-bats that are positive for us, even if we’re out,” Dover coach John Carver said. “I would put forth the argument that in the first round of hitting we ground out some at-bats. Tommy got us out, but they were positive for us in that we got to see a couple of his pitches and got to feel a little more comfortable against him. It benefitted us with the two outs, for sure.”
Dover’s four-run fifth included a Connor Gaffney single, an RBI double from Anthony Lupi, a Ryan Hayden RBI single and Jake Bishop’s RBI single. In addition, Mike Wasserman drew a bases-loaded walk that allowed pinch-runner Brad Bishop to score Dover’s fourth run.
The Lancers helped out by making an error that made two of the four runs unearned.
“The book on Dover is that they don’t beat themselves,” Londonderry coach Brent Demas said. “The don’t stand out in any one area, but they’re solid in all areas. Sometimes that’s all you need. They’re obviously undefeated for a reason.”
Dover, which trailed 1-0 entering the fifth, tried to give its lead away in the bottom of the seventh, when two errors and a single made it a 4-3 game and put the game-tying run on second base with two outs. Lupi, who came on in relief of starter Robby Sheldon in the sixth, retired catcher Colby Joncas — Londonderry’s cleanup hitter — on a fly ball to center field for the game’s final out.
“I called timeout and we might have had a little bit of a one-sided conversation about how we were going to try to take care of business,” Carver said. “They obviously regrouped.”
Londonderry dropped to 6-2 and is tied for second place with Timberlane of Plaistow.
Sheldon entered the game having allowed one run (unearned) in 16 innings this season. He walked five, but held the Lancers to four hits to collect the win.
“For us, he’s a known quantity,” Carver said. “Maybe for others not so much.”
Corey surrendered seven hits, walked three and struck out six in 4 2/3 innings. Geoff Kayo prevented Dover from adding to its lead the rest of the way.
“I still think they’re the team to beat,” Carver said. “Tom is certainly as good a pitcher as anybody has, and they have Robby (Del Signore) too, so that makes Londonderry very tough. We feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win.”