Londonderry ices rival Pinkerton to claim NHIAA Div. I baseball title
MANCHESTER - Unlike a year ago, things broke right for the Londonderry High School baseball team on the final day of the 2014 season.
The Lancers, who were upset by Exeter in last year's Division I championship game, claimed this year's Division I title by beating rival Pinkerton Academy of Derry 4-1 Saturday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
"There's no comparison," Londonderry coach Brent Demas said. "Last year was pure hell. This year is pure heaven."
Senior Tom Corey pitched a complete game and limited the Astros to five hits. Corey, who entered the game with a 3-2 record, one save and a 2.28 ERA, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.
Even when it looked like the Lancers had surrendered a run on a balk in the fifth inning, the call was overturned and Pinkerton's Riley Cahill was ordered back to third. Corey, who will pitch for Franklin Pierce University next season, then recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
"Coach (Demas) made it clear this year that we were practicing to win a championship," Corey said. "The seniors and a couple juniors on this team know what it felt like when we fell short last year. We wanted this game."
The Lancers scored two runs in the third and two more in the fourth. Londonderry collected three hits in each inning against Pinkerton starting pitcher Connor Donahue, a senior who was replaced by sophomore John Polichetti with one out in the fourth. Polichetti pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Fifth-seeded Londonderry completed its season with a 17-7 record, and won the program's first state title since 2010. Third-seeded Pinkerton finished with a 16-7 record.
First baseman Rob Del Signore and right fielder Ben Byerly each had two hits and an RBI for Londonderry, which also received two RBIs from left fielder Jimmy Zimolka. Del Signore reached base four times (two walks).
Corey also contributed with a double that drove in pinch runner Jonny Meskell with Londonderry fourth run.
"We had runners on we just couldn't get a big hit when we needed to," Pinkerton coach Steve Campo said. "You have to tip your cap to (Corey). The kid stepped up and won the game for his team."
Catcher Nate Rossi had two hits for Pinkerton, which scored its only run in the sixth. Chris Gerossie's single scored Rossi from second. Chase Spears and Mike Albetski had Pinkerton's other hits.
Londonderry also turned two double plays.
It was the third meeting between the teams this season. The Lancers and Astros split two regular-season games, each prevailing at home. Corey was also the winning pitcher when Londonderry beat Pinkerton 4-2 in Londonderry.
"We worked too hard to get to this point," Corey said. "This feels great."