CONCORD — The Concord High baseball team, the No. 1 seed in the NHIAA Division I tournament, did what it does best again Saturday afternoon at Doane Diamond at Memorial Field.
The Crimson Tide made their three hits count, got ahead early and held on for a 2-1 win over No. 9 Goffstown in a quarterfinal matchup.
Concord improved its record to 17-3 and advanced to a semifinal matchup against No. 4 Londonderry on Tuesday night at 7 at Holman Field in Nashua.
Goffstown, which moved up to Division I this year, finishes at 11-9.
“It’s what we’ve been doing all year, just scrapping out the little runs, getting ahead, staying ahead and pitching and defense,” said Concord senior captain Zach Miles, who played shortstop for six innings.
Miles came on as the closer for senior starter Eric Sullivan and shut the top of the Grizzlies lineup down in order in the top of the seventh.
Those 17 Tide wins?
Miles has one of the pitching wins. And nine saves.
“He comes in handy,” said Concord coach Scott Owen. “He’s pretty electric. And he’s such a competitor.”
The first batter Miles faced in the top of the seventh was Goffstown’s outstanding junior shortstop Connor Hujsak, who has already accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Rutgers University.
Hujsak drilled a ball deep, but senior center fielder Adrian Kennedy tracked it down for the out.
“We pitch and we play defense,” Owen said. “That’s what we do and we hit a little bit.
“Today we hit just enough. We’re not a powerful offensive team but we seem to get it done.”
Miles, Concord’s first batter of the game, walked and then scored on Kennedy’s fielder’s choice. He also played a role in the Tide’s run in the third inning.
Kyle Hill had an infield hit and Miles bunted for a single. Hill later scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by sophomore catcher Trevor Smith.
The Grizzlies cut Concord’s lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a hard Hujsak single to left that scored Myles Green, who had walked.
The Crimson Tide caught a break on the play. The ball got through the left fielder, but rolled under the fence and officials conferred and the ground rule kept a second runner from scoring.
Sullivan got out of the inning on a fly ball to right field.
“He has an excellent ability to make pitches when he needs to,” Owen said. “A couple of times he got in tight spots and he came out and made big pitches and got out of them.”
Sullivan struck out five, allowed five hits and walked three and hit a batter.
The Grizzlies left seven baserunners on through the first four innings, but had only a single runner over the final three.
Goffstown senior Clay Campbell pitched all six innings and allowed the three hits and struck out nine with three walks and hit a batter.
“I’m proud of our guys,” said Goffstown coach Adam Lawrence. “Clay’s been lights out the last few days. Defensively, our guys played awesome. They showed some heart today.”