PLAISTOW — The last piece of the Division I baseball playoff puzzle was put in place Friday, when Timberlane Regional of Plaistow clinched the final berth in the 16-team tournament by beating Trinity of Manchester, 8-2.
Senior Sam Fay pitched a complete game for Timberlane, which received a two-run home run from Jake Damphousse and completed the regular season with a 7-11 record. The victory ended Timberlane’s nine-game losing streak.
“The losing was starting to wear on us,” Timberlane coach Jamie Fish said. “I think we found ourselves in kind of a team-wide slump and it took us a while to get out of it. Hopefully this will catapult us to play better in the playoffs and we’ll take it from here.”
Timberlane moved up to 15th in the Division I standings, and will likely play at No. 2 Keene in Thursday’s preliminary round.
Trinity, which needed a victory to qualify for the tournament, finished its season with a 5-13 record. It was Trinity’s fourth game in three days.
“It’s disappointing because we were in so many games this year,” Trinity coach Paul Lemire said. “We were in six extra-inning games and lost four of them. We lost six one-run games. I just felt like if we made the playoffs we had a chance.”
Fay, a three-year varsity pitcher, held Trinity to five hits, struck out 12 and walked one.
“He’s won some big games for us over the years,” Fish said. “Sam has worked hard and is deserving of everything he gets. I was proud of him today and happy for him.”
The game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes because of an injury to Trinity first baseman Carmen Giampetruzzi, who cut his left hand when he collided with Timberlane’s Tyler Cameron on a play at first base.
Giampetruzzi left the game, and then fainted when an athletic trainer was tending to the cut. He was taken to the hospital in the bottom of the third inning.
“He got kneed in the head as well as getting spiked on the hand,” Lemire said. “He’s going to need a couple stitches, but I really think the knee to the head is what made him pass out over there.”
Connor Walsh and Steve Bator each had two hits for the Pioneers. Cameron collected two of Timberlane’s eight hits.
The Owls scored six runs — three in each of the first two innings — against Trinity starter Colby Fortin.
“Colby has thrown two good games for me this year, he just didn’t have it today,” Lemire said. “He had a couple of bad breaks behind him that opened up a couple of bigger innings. We gave up six runs early and that was the killer.”