DERRY — April wasn’t good to the Bedford High School baseball team, but May has been much, much kinder.
Bedford lost five of its six games in April, but is unbeaten in its five games this month. Bedford’s latest victory came Monday, when the Bulldogs knocked off Pinkerton Academy of Derry, 9-7, in eight innings.
Bedford’s AJ Schiappa produced a one-out single against reliever John Polichetti in the top of the eighth that scored Ryan Lang and broke a 7-7 tie. An outfield error allowed Nick Angelini to score on the play and gave Bedford a two-run lead heading to the bottom half of the inning.
Angelini retired Pinkerton in order in the bottom of the eighth. The loss dropped Pinkerton’s Division I record to 8-4.
“If you consider what type of team Pinkerton is, that’s definitely our biggest win of the year, but it’s the regular season and we can’t be satisfied with this one,” Bedford coach Billy Chapman said. “We’re not the most talented team. We’re not the most skilled team, but we have a lot of grit.”
It was likely Bedford’s most improbable victory of the season as well, since the Bulldogs trailed 7-1 after three innings. Bedford climbed back in the contest by scoring five runs in the fourth, and tied the game when Spencer Pratt doubled and scored on Angelini’s two-out triple in the sixth.
“We fell behind but fought back with some great defense and clutch hits,” Schiappa said.
Pinkerton sent nine batters to the plate in both the second and third innings. The Astros led 4-1 after two innings and 7-1 entering the fourth.
“We’ve had a problem of going into cruise control when we get a lead,” Pinkerton coach Steve Campo said. “The story of high school baseball is you make the plays, you win the game. We didn’t make the plays when we needed to.”
Bedford relievers Kyle Anderson and Angelini held Pinkerton to four hits and no runs in the final four innings.
“I have a lot of pitching,” Chapman said. “I won’t say I have aces like other teams do, but I have a lot of twos and threes who are willing to go out there and throw strikes.”
Chapman said improved defense has been the key to his team’s five-game winning streak, which has pushed the team’s record to 6-5.
“A lot of errors in the beginning of the season, and now we’re not making those errors,” he said. “Now the kids are believing in themselves. Before they were questioning themselves.”