MANCHESTER — Peter Gray had a pretty good day at the plate Friday — especially for a No. 9 hitter.
Gray hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the eighth inning that scored Max Makara with the game-winning run in Manchester Memorial’s 6-5 victory over Nashua North at Gill Stadium.
Gray, a junior who played for Memorial’s junior varsity team last season, had two hits and two RBIs in the game. He also scored in the sixth inning, when the Crusaders erased a two-run deficit to make it a 5-5 game.
“I was really comfortable (in his final at-bat),” Gray said. “I was just trying to get a big hit and win the game. I was looking for something right down the middle and drove it. It’s gonna feel good to go back to school and say we got a win.”
Memorial, which moved its Division I record to 1-1 with the win, also received a timely hit from Taylor Fournier in the sixth. Fournier came up with a two-out single that scored Stephen Dunham and Gray to make it 5-5.
“He (Gray) doesn’t get cheated,” Memorial coach Teri Gatzoulis said. “He swings a good bat and uses his legs for speed. That’s why we have him in the No. 9 spot, to roll the top (of the order). Any win in Division I is a huge win.”
Sophomore Colin Brodeur earned the win in his first varsity appearance. Brodeur didn’t allow a hit in 2 2/3 innings, and retired the last seven batters he faced.
North (0-2) trailed 3-1 after five innings, but got to Memorial starter Conner Erickson in the fifth. The Titans scored four runs on four hits in the inning to take a 5-3 lead. Shortstop James Bolton had two of North’s seven hits.
“We’ve let two games get away in a row,” said North coach Zach Harris, whose team squandered a six-run lead in Thursday’s 10-9 loss to Portsmouth. “We’re not finishing. We’re not making routine plays. Just simple stuff.”
Memorial received three hits from Jack Fitzgerald. In addition to Gray’s two hits, Fournier and Jameson Riley each had two-hit games for the Crusaders.
“They could have buried their head at 5-3 and said, ‘Here we go again’,” Gatzoulis said. “That losing mentality. But they battled, we put guys in scoring position and finally got some big hits. That’s what we need.”