NASHUA — It would be difficult to put forth a better performance than the one Boden Driscoll turned in on the Holman Stadium mound on Wednesday.
Driscoll allowed one hit — and faced the minimum 21 batters — to lead Portsmouth Post 6 to a 4-0 victory over Nashua’s Coffey Post in the American Legion Baseball senior division championship game.
Isaac Zhang’s one-out single in the seventh inning was the only hit Nashua could muster against Driscoll, who will be a junior at Portsmouth High School. Driscoll struck out six and tossed 75 pitches in the win.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting this,” Driscoll said. “The first game against them (a 4-2 Nashua victory) we really got hurt by walks. Foxie (Owen Fox) threw a great game, but walks were really the thing that made the difference and that’s why it was such a close game, so I just felt like first-pitch strikes and then mixing in curveball/fastball was a big deal.
“(The hit) was a little disappointing, but we were still up 4-0, so that was the main goal. I felt good (in the seventh). I felt just as good as when I started.”
The path that led Portsmouth Post 6 to this year’s title was a difficult one. Post 6 had to win five elimination games, including Tuesday’s 9-7 triumph over Nashua to force Wednesday’s winner-take-all championship game. Post 6 went 6-1 in the double-elimination tournament.
“We won five games in four days,” Post 6 coach Geoff Jablonski said. “They battled. It’s been like this all year with these guys. They just battle, they don’t give up and they play for each other. They play to win.”
Wednesday’s victory handed the Post 6 program its second state championship. The first one came in 2008, when Mike Fransoso (Maine) and Mike Montville (Maryland) led Portsmouth to the state title. Portsmouth will represent New Hampshire in the Northeast Regional, which will be held Aug. 3-8 in Shrewsbury, Mass.
Portsmouth scored two runs in the first, one in the second and one in the fifth. Second baseman Will Hindle had two hits and scored twice for Post 6, which also received hits from Max Lalime, Colin Marshall, Fox, Bailey Wright, Jacob Carlisle and Brandon Kady. Lalime and Carlisle scored Portsmouth’s other runs.
Post 6 planned to use Driscoll on the mound Tuesday night, but that game was postponed by rain. That gave him an extra day of rest.
“He exceeded all expectations,” Jablonski said. “Cool as a cucumber, too. As everything was going on he was just doing his thing and getting outs.”