LONDONDERRY — Considering it came in the Division I tournament against his rival school, it may be accurate to say Reece Manor pitched the best game of his high school career Saturday. If not, it was certainly something close to it.
Manor, a senior, tossed a complete game to help the fourth-seeded Londonderry High School baseball team advance to the Division I semifinals by beating fifth-seeded Pinkerton, 4-1.
Manor had little trouble with the Pinkerton lineup. He limited the Astros to four hits, struck out five and walked two.
It was the second time Londonderry beat Pinkerton this season. Manor also pitched a complete game when the Lancers beat the Astros 5-3 in Derry.
“We did it (beat Pinkerton) earlier in the season, but this is just so much better in the playoffs ... sending them home,” Manor said. “I had a good feeling about today. I just did my thing and my teammates did exactly what we needed them to in the field. We did it together. It wasn’t just one person.
“We’ve been strong in the field all year and it feels good to be able to throw and not have to worry about what’s behind you — that you’re going to get the outs.”
One of Manor’s few mistakes resulted in Asa Runge’s solo home run that tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the fifth. The Lancers (19-5) regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, however, when Jack Dingman singled and scored on a play that included two throwing errors.
Londonderry added two runs in the sixth. The lead grew to 3-1 when Zack Rheault scored on Dingman’s sacrifice bunt; and pinch-runner Gavin Parent capped the scoring when he hustled home from third on Brandon Fish’s sacrifice fly.
Londonderry opened the scoring in the fourth, when Luke Marsh’s single scored Nick Cote. The Lancers collected four runs and seven hits in the final three innings. Pinkerton’s Richie Marique allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings, and Derek Hiscox surrendered two runs in the sixth.
Pinkerton (16-6) failed to put a runner on base after Runge led off the fifth with a home run.
“We didn’t show up offensively today,” Pinkerton coach Steve Campo said. “We just couldn’t put together good at-bats, and part of that is because of what Reece did on the mound. He did a good job.
“How they took the 2-1 lead kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit because we kind of threw the ball around. I think he went from first to home on a passed ball and two errors on one play.”
Londonderry will face top-seeded Concord in Tuesday’s semifinals at Holman Stadium ( 7 p.m.).
Manor entered Saturday’s game with a 3-1 record and a 2.90 ERA this season.
“Give all the credit to Reece,” Londonderry coach Brent Demas said. “He battled. He’s a senior pitcher. He did everything he was supposed to do.”