PLAISTOW — Five starting position players graduated from the Dover High School baseball team that reached the Division I semifinals last season, but you wouldn’t know it but looking at this year’s results.
Dover improved its record to 8-0 and remained the only unbeaten team in Division I by dispatching Timberlane of Plaistow, 3-1, Monday.
The Green Wave collected this victory by using a familiar recipe: superior pitching, solid defense and just enough offense.
“We do just enough to win,” Dover coach John Carver said. “We pitch just well enough to keep ourselves in it, Then we do just enough offensively to put pressure on the other team.”
Left-hander Anthony Lupi picked up the win for pitching the first five innings. Lupi allowed nine hits, but didn’t walk a batter. He struck out five.
Michael Wasserman came on in relief of Lupi and tossed two scoreless innings. Wasserman allowed his only hit in the seventh, but Dover sealed the win by turning a game-ending 4-6-3 double play. It was the second double play the Green Wave turned in the game.
“I knew we had a solid group of kids,” Lupi said. “We all get along and work hard. We like being around each other and we like playing baseball.”
Timberlane, which fell to 6-4 with the loss, collected 10 hits, but stranded 11 runners on base. Six of those runners were left in scoring position.
“They’re solid, and against a good team you can’t leave runners on like we left on today,” Timberlane coach Jamie Fish said. “Clutch hitting has been a little bit of a problem for us.”
Dover’s Jordan Goss delivered the game’s biggest hit, a two-run triple that made it a 2-1 game in the third inning. Connor Gaffney scored Dover’s other run on an infield error in the fifth.
Timberlane starter Sam Fay held Dover to four hits and struck out seven, but he walked five and hit a batter.
The Owls scored their run in the second, when Jake Perkins scored from third on a Travis Hall single. Tyler Cameron had three of Timberlane’s 10 hits. Fay finished the game with two hits.
Dover pitching has allowed 14 runs in its eight games.
“We knew we had a number of pitchers,” Carver said. “How effective they’ve been to this point has been pretty impressive.
“It feels good (to be unbeaten) — and we’re playing well. That feels even better.”