NASHUA — It took a little while for the Bishop Guertin High School baseball team to find its rhythm on offense Thursday, but once it did there was no stopping the Cardinals.
BG managed only one hit during the opening three innings against Manchester Central in the first round of the Division I Tournament, but the Cardinals had eight hits and six runs, combined, during the fourth and fifth in a 6-2 triumph at Holman Stadium.
“Manchester Central’s starter, Olvis Genao, is pretty good and I thought we competed,” said Cardinals coach Scott Painter. “He got some early outs, and I thought we battled during some early at-bats. We really got to see some of his stuff, and then in that fourth and fifth inning, we locked in on him and were able to put some runs on the board.”
BG advances to the quarterfinal round, where it will host Bedford on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Junior starting pitcher Brett Anderson, the New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year, did it on both sides of the field for third-seeded BG (16-5). He went 3 for 3 with three singles, an RBI and a run. He also earned the win on the mound, giving up two earned runs and six hits in six innings of work. Anderson struck out eight and walked two.
“Brett will tell you that he did not have his best stuff on the mound on Thursday, but he competes at every angle,” said Painter. “He knew he had to compete at the plate against that kid. It was a tough matchup for a lefty batter with a lefty pitcher, but he did what he has done for us all year.”
Offensively, Cardinals senior Sam Boudreau went 2 for 3 with two singles, two runs and an RBI, while senior Alex George tallied a two-run homer in the fifth. BG led the hits category, 10-6, and neither team made an error.
Trailing, 1-0, in the bottom of the fourth, Cardinals senior Taylor Proulx came up with a two-out, two-run double to left, putting the hosts in front, 2-1. The rally started with a single to left by Anderson and an infield single by Boudreau.
In the fifth, the Cardinals took complete control of the game with five hits and four runs. Anderson and Boudreau tallied back-to-back RBI singles. A two-run, two-out home run to right-center by George gave the Cardinals some breathing room at 6-1.
Fourteenth-seeded Central (9-11) kept fighting in the sixth, coming to within 6-2. Junior Jaron Franco Mora led off with a double to left. Franco Mora scored during the next at-bat on an RBI, ground-rule double to left by junior Nick Von Breeden.
The Little Green opened the scoring in the top half of the fourth, as senior Kyle Swetland connected on a leadoff triple to right-center. Two at-bats later, Swetland raced across home on a suicide-squeeze bunt up the first-base line by junior Jakob Privey.
Franco Mora went 2 for 3 with a double and single for the Little Green. Genao was tagged with the loss in 4 1/3 innings, finishing with six strikeouts and three walks.
He was charged with four runs and six hits, but kept his team in the game by blanking the Cardinals through three.