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NHIAA Baseball: Oyster River gets the big hit, tops John Stark


WEARE — From the third inning on, the ballgame’s setting begged for a one-hit hero to take center stage.

Ben Isaak took charge, fouling off a tough two-strike pitch before smacking a two-run single to right in the top of the sixth. And pitcher Owen Tonkin didn’t allow a hit in five innings of relief as Oyster River of Durham defeated John Stark of Weare, 5-2, Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve been looking for someone to come up with the big hit, and Ben took care of that today,” said Craig Walfield, Oyster River’s coach. The club lacked a clutch hitter in its first two games of the season and lost to Seacoast rivals Portsmouth and St. Thomas of Dover by 3-2 scores.

“I’m happy with our performance today, but disappointed that we lost,” said John Stark coach Dennis Pellitier. “We want to prove we are capable of contending for the title. No more consolation losses. We want to win these close games.”

The Bobcats took advantage of three walks to score two runs in the first inning while putting one ball in play: an infield popup. Isaac scored on a double steal from third while John Stark attempted to throw out Brennen Oxford.

Oxford then swiped third and scored on a throwing error. Overall, Oyster River swiped eight bases.

The Generals tied the game in the bottom of the second. Derek Goldrick skyrocketed a solo homer down the left field line. Brett Patnode singled and scored on Ryan Rothdiener’s sacrifice fly.

Generals starter Goldrick worked his way out of jams in the third and fourth innings. Oyster River sophomore Tonkin no-hit John Stark over five innings while striking out seven without issuing a walk. He threw strikes by cutting his curve and slider across the corners.