NHIAA Baseball: Goffstown, Plymouth earn D-II title game berth
HOOKSETT — No. 1 Goffstown gets another shot at the NHIAA Division II baseball championship, but will have to get past Plymouth on Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium to win it.
Junior right-hander Tanner Putnam shut down defending champion and No. 4 seed Portsmouth down, 3-0, on one hit in the semifinals at Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday night to give the Grizzlies some revenge and put them back in the title game.
Putnam struck out seven and walked two batters.
Portsmouth beat Goffstown 5-2 last year for its fifth title in the last six years.
Left-handed pitchers Jacob Scheinman and Steven Southard teamed up for a three-hit shutout to lead No. 3 Plymouth to a 3-0 win over No. 2 Hollis/Brookline in the first semifinal.
The Bobcats are going back to the state championship game for the first time since 2007.
“It was the pitching,” said Plymouth coach Tom Underwood, who is in his 42nd year as head coach. “Pitching has been our thing all year. Jacob comes right at you and gets teams off balance.”
Plymouth and Goffstown wrap up championship day at 7 on Saturday.
The Grizzlies rallied for a 4-2 win at home against Plymouth on May 27.
The Bobcats led 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth before Goffstown strung together four straight hits and took control of that game.
Goffstown broke out for three runs in the fourth inning to open the scoring in Wednesday’s nightcap.
Sophomore center fielder Mike Bailey, the No. 9 hitter, delivered the big blow with a two-run triple to right field. Chris Hood and Ryan Pinard, who had each singled, scored on the triple. Bailey then scored on an infield error.
The Grizzlies is 19-2 and Portsmouth finished 14-5.
Plymouth improved to 15-4 with its win.
The Cavaliers close out at 15-4.
For hits, Scheinman allowed only a leadoff double to open the Hollis/Brookline first and then a pair of singles with one out in the sixth before giving way to Southard.
“I try to throw it in there for strikes and let the defense help me out,” Scheinman said. “That’s my philosophy, throw strikes around the plate and let them hit it.”
Scheinman worked his way out of a couple of jams, too, after hitting a batter and walking one in both the third and fourth inning.
“Nothing bothers him,” Underwood said. “And he’s only a junior.”
So is Southard.
“There are some good things to look forward to,” Underwood said.
The Bobcats struck early in the game.
Senior shortstop Silas Murray walked with one out in the top of the first inning, went to second on a single by John Thomas and eventually scored on a passed ball to get the Bobcats on the board.
They added single runs in the third and fourth innings for their three runs.
Murray singled with one out in the third and scored on a triple off the fence in right center by Thomas.
Justin Robinson reached on an error with one out in the fifth and came across on a Collin Sullivan single.
The Bobcats made the most of their four hits: Each one figured in a run.
“We got some hits and we run the bases aggressively,” Underwood said.
“But we’ve got to work on our bunting the next couple of days. We usually do better with that.”
The Bobcats turned back each Cavalier threat.
Emmett Craggy doubled to lead off Hollis/Brookline’s first inning, but was stranded there.
The Cavaliers had two runners reach in the third, fourth and sixth innings, but Scheinman and Southard shut them down each time.
Scheinman had only one inning left to pitch per NHIAA rules when he took the mound in the bottom of the sixth.
He got a pop out to the infield and then Hugh Devlin and Shea Whalen delivered back-to-back singles.
Southard came on for Scheinman and got the next two batters on foul outs to senior catcher Jacob Buford.
In the bottom of the seventh, Southard induced three outs to senior first baseman Thomas, the first on a pop foul, the next on a fly out and then the final out of the game on a ground out.
Now it’s on to the finals.
Southard will start for the Bobcats and has “plenty” of innings to go, Underwood said.