Entering the home stretch of the NHIAA spring sports season, there are solid matchups this week that will determine playoff positioning.
In baseball today at 4 p.m. at Lancer Park in Londonderry, the stage is set for a pitching duel between the Lancers’ Rob Del Signore and Trinity of Manchester power pitcher Carmen Giampetruzzi.
Londonderry (9-4) still has enough games to catch Dover (11-2) for the top spot in Division I. Trinity (3-9), coming off a frustrating 9-0 loss to 2-9 Winnacunnet of Hampton last Friday, is battling Manchester Memorial (3-9) and Merrimack (3-9) for the final two playoff berths.
“We’ve got to finish strong and win three or four games if we want to make the playoffs,” said Trinity head coach Paul Lemire. “I still believe in my players, still believe we have a better team than our record indicates to this point.”
Trinity has scored 40 runs and allowed 77 in 12 games. “Errors and walks have hurt us on defense and we’re leaving too many guys on base on offense,” said Lemire. “We’ve been one big hit away from busting games open. We’re still searching for those timely hits.”
Trinity’s offense will be tested today against Del Signore, arguably one of the best pitchers in the state this season. He has four complete games this season and has racked up 17 strikeouts against Nashua North and 15 against Salem the last two Mondays.
“I’m always trying to throw first-pitch strikes, always looking to get ahead of the batters,” said the senior southpaw. “We’re not going to take Trinity lightly. They’ve got Giampetruzzi going for them and he’s definitely one of the best pitchers in our league. I’ve got to be at my best to give my team a chance to win.”
Lemire has had to pull Giampetruzzi early in games this year because of his pitch count. “His pitch count has been high at times,” said Lemire. “He’s been getting into a lot of full counts and hopefully that trend will change down the stretch. He’s definitely our workhorse.”
Giampetruzzi will be pitching for Boston College next season and, after winning a football and basketball championship at Trinity, he said he wants to end his career winning a baseball title with the Pioneers.
In boys’ lacrosse today, unbeaten and two-time Division II state champion Bedford (13-0), winners of 53 straight matches, travels to Bow to face the 7-2 Falcons. Bedford has beaten Division I Exeter (8-5), Hanover (10-8), Pinkerton Academy of Derry (10-9) and Londonderry (7-5) this season. Bedford has scored 174 goals and allowed just 55. Bow enters the match today on a six-game winning streak. The Falcons have won six Division II titles since 2002.
In another boys’ lacrosse showdown for first place in Division III, host and top-ranked Derryfield School of Manchester (13-0) battles second-place Hollis/Brookline (10-0) on Tuesday in the Queen City. Derryfield won the state title last season and has captured two of the last three state championships. The Cavaliers won the state title in 2012 and 2008 and were finalists in 2007 and 2006.
On Friday, Manchester Memorial will host the 2014 Manchester City spring track and field meet. Also Friday, Exeter High will serve as host of the Seacoast Track and Field Championships. On Saturday at noon. the third annual Londonderry Invitational will close out the weekend action ahead of the three state division track and field championships on Saturday, May 31.