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NHIAA Baseball: North supports Barrett, tops Alvirne

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 20. 2018 11:27PM

HUDSON — The first five innings of Friday’s Division I baseball tilt between Nashua North and Alvirne had pitchers’ duel written all over it. The two clubs combined for five hits while North carried a one-run lead into the sixth.

Things changed in a hurry in the final two innings, when the Titans spouted off for 12 runs on the way to a 13-1 rout of the Broncos. North (3-1) plated seven runs in the sixth and tacked on five more in the seventh to finally support starter CJ Barrett, who hurled six innings of one-hit ball.

“We’re sitting there and I said ‘Hey, now is the time. This is the inning we put the nail in the coffin and get after this guy,’” first-year North coach Zach Harris said. “We had hard-hit balls all day ... but it was all about finally stringing them together.”

The late outburst for North came by way of 11 hits in the final two frames. The Titans started the sixth with four consecutive hits, including a two-run double by Jack Gould. After adding two more runs on an fielder’s choice and an error, Casey Lane capped North’s sixth with another two-run double.

North’s fun continued in the seventh as its first six hitters reached and five of them scored. Barrett, Trevor Kelly, Varun Lingadal and Jon Rivera each had an RBI in the seventh.

Kelly had a team-high three hits while Lingadal joined Lane and Gould with two RBIs.

The momentum really swung North’s way in the bottom of the fifth when Lane cut down Alvirne’s Zach Reddig at the plate on a Evan Beals single to left field, which was the only hit of the game for the Broncos (0-4). Lane’s outfield assist ended the inning and preserved a one-run edge that North extended as soon as it got back to the plate.

“It was outstanding,” said Harris of Lane’s heave. “Once again, Casey Lane making a big play. No real surprise there. He’s always going to show up, work his hardest and make plays for us.”

Since Beals’ hit was one of just three balls the Broncos hit out of the infield all day, Alvirne coach Mike Lee had to send Reddig home.

“It was our only hit. I couldn’t wait around for another one,” Lee said. “You’ve got to try and make something happen.”

Barrett had the Broncos’ number throughout the day tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings to start his outing. The righty set down the first nine batters he faced before working around a leadoff walk in the fourth. Alvirne finally got to Barrett on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but that was all he would surrender as he finished six strikeouts.

“That’s the CJ Barrett we expect,” said Harris, who admitted Barrett was far less effective in his first outing last week against Salem. “We talked yesterday between me, CJ and catcher Will Brooks about how we could attack their lineup. He came out and did that the first three of four innings. Every time he steps out there for us, we’re going to expect to win.”

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