MANCHESTER — This year’s NHIAA Division IV championship baseball game was an abbreviated one.
Fourth-seeded Newmarket scored 10 runs in the third inning en route to a 12-2 victory over second-seeded Pittsfield in a game that ended after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Newmarket (18-2) added two runs in the fourth. Pittsfield committed five errors in those two innings, and all 12 Newmarket runs were unearned.
“Shocked,” Pittsfield coach Rob Stockman said. “Shocked. We’ve brought it all year except for one inning. Once we got through the first two innings I thought we’d be fine. I’ve told my guys over the years that when you have a few errors you need that leadership to step up and kill the inning. Even if you give up two or three you’re still in the ballgame. It was a runaway train. I can’t explain it.”
Starting pitcher Josh Mastin, right fielder Fred Holmes and left fielder Zach Hilton each had two hits for the Mules, who lost to Littleton in last year’s Division IV championship game. It was Newmarket’s first championship since 2001, when it beat Gilford in the Class M title game.
Newmarket sent 13 batters to the plate in its 10-run third. The inning featured four hits, three walks and two errors.The key blow in the third was a Lucas Russell inside-the-park home run with two runners on base that made it 10-1. Russell had four RBIs in the victory.
Five of the 10 runs were charged to Pittsfield starting pitcher Devin Bedell, the Division IV Player of the Year. Freshman Gavin Bedell replaced his brother on the mound midway through the inning and also allowed five runs.
“I knew it was early in the game when we put those runs up,” Newmarket coach Stan Jurkois said. “I was happy about it, but I know Pittsfield … they’re a dangerous team. They had a big inning against us in our first game this year, so it’s always in the back of our head to keep playing our game.”
Mastin picthed all five innings and limited Pittsfield (19-2) to three hits. One of his few mistakes came in the first inning, when he caught his cleat on the mound and tossed a wild pitch that allowed D.J. Zensky to score from third to open the scoring. It was the first run Newmarket allowed in the tournament.
Kyle Stockman, Devin Bedell and Decota Maura-Giddis had the Pittsfield hits. Bedell doubled and scored Pittsfield other run in the third.
It was the third meeting between the teams this season. Pittsfield dealt Newmarket both of its regular-season losses, 7-2 in Pittsfield and 3-2 at Newmarket.
The Mules outscored their opponents 32-2 in their four tournament games.
“Probably not what you thought coming in because every game we play with Pittsfield is a tight one,” Jurkoic said. “I have all the respect for Rob and the program and what he does over there. His kids are gamers. I knew they weren’t going to let up, but obviously pleased with the result.”