MANCHESTER — Sweeney Post starting pitcher Kevin Gonzales was in control for the first five innings Monday night, but the Goffstown Post 16 offense took over after that.
Goffstown scored five runs in the sixth inning, two more in the seventh and one in the eighth en route to a 9-4 District A American Legion victory over Sweeney at Gill Stadium.
Gonzales, who pitched for Manchester Memorial High School, held Goffstown to a run on two hits through five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Goffstown sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, and scored five runs to erase a 3-1 deficit.
Gonzales allowed six runs on five hits, struck out seven and walked three. He also hit a batter.
“He’s thrown good for us for three years, but the third time around (the batting order) they got to him,” Sweeney coach Dave Flurey said. “They hit some good pitches. Their big bats came up with big hits at the right time.”
First baseman Tyler Perron collected four hits (two singles and two doubles) and three RBIs for Goffstown, which raised its District A record to 3-5. Goffstown shortstop Dave Nelson drove in three runs.
Nelson had a two-run double in the five-run sixth. Goffstown’s first seven batters reached base in the inning.
“I told the kids to jump on his fastball, because once Gonzales gets that curveball working he’s tough to hit,” Goffstown coach Lenny Pappas said. “I thought the kids did a better job of pitch selection in the later innings and the game turned our way.”
Chris Hood pitched a complete game to earn the victory. Hood held Sweeney to four hits: singles by Peter Abood and Ethan Howland, and doubles from Ryan Boldwin and Gonzales. Hood struck out three, walked four and hit a batter.
“He was outstanding,” Pappas said. “He’s been a leader. He was part of that state championship team at Goffstown. It’s his second win on the mound for us. He was at 100 pitches in the eighth inning and he said, ‘I can do it.’ He wasn’t lying.”
It was the first loss of the season for Sweeney, which fell to 7-1 in District A.
Sweeney scored two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh. Pat Barry replaced Gonzales on the mound with no outs in the sixth and allowed three runs over the final three innings.
Goffstown lost five of its first six games, but has now beaten Sweeney and Manchester’s Jutras Post on consecutive nights.
“It’s what we needed,” Pappas said. “We were struggling earlier in the year when we didn’t have our entire roster here. We’re much better than our record.”