The Pinkerton Academy baseball squad endured a rocky start to its 2016 season last week, dropping two of three decisions to start out with a 1-2 record.
Coach Steve Campo wasn’t a fan of the fact that his pitchers allowed 21 runs and 28 hits in their squad’s first two games of the season. But the Astros wound up with a 1-1 record after those contests. And the PA hurlers did far better work in a tough, 5-3 loss to the Londonderry High Lancers in Derry last weekend.
The PA crew’s 11-10, season-opening loss to Merrimack in Derry on Wednesday, April 13 was ugly, especially the end of that contest.
Pinkerton bounded into the top half of the seventh with a 10-3 lead, but the visiting Tomahawks pounded their way to eight runs in the top of that frame en route to the one-run victory.
Merrimack led 1-0 after two full innings, the Astros jumped into the lead at 2-1 in the latter half of the third, the Tomahawks claimed a 3-2 advantage in the top of the fourth, the hosts scored five times in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the bottom of the fifth for that 10-3 advantage. The locals got stung hard by a comeback in the seventh.
The Astros rapped out 15 hits in the losing effort, with Ben Curry and John Polichetti each thumping four hits and driving in three runs and Caleb Eaton and Dave Currier each smacking two safeties. Eaton also drove in two runs.
The Pinkerton bunch managed to claim its first victory of the season at Nashua South Thursday, April 14 by snagging a 13-10 decision, despite the fact that the host Purple Panthers banged out 18 hits off three Astro hurlers.
The academy bunch never lost the lead after snagging a 4-0 advantage in the top of the second. But after building up a 13-5 lead in the top of the fifth, the locals saw their winless hosts collect five total markers in the bottoms of the sixth and seventh frames on the way to a comeback that fell short.
Ryan Simard stood out for the victors by stroking two hits and driving in four runs. Curry also bashed two hits and drove in two runs, and two RBI were also produced by both Sean Muller and Matt Clark.
The Pinkerton crew saw another success slip away Saturday, April 16 when it dropped a 5-3 decision, to the visiting and undefeated Londonderry High Lancers.
The hosts rebounded from a 3-0 deficit with two runs in the latter half of the fourth frame, receiving a two-run single from Caleb Eaton.
The academy side knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Norm Kerman hammered a double to center field that plated teammate Ben Curry.
Pinkerton starting pitcher Adam Bloch gave his squad five strong innings on the hill before giving way to the PA bullpen.
LHS (3-0) ended up winning the game by manufacturing two runs in the top of the seventh frame via a hit batsman, a bunt single, a sacrifice bunt, a fielder’s choice, and an RBI single by catcher Tim McEacharn.
Lancer pitcher Noah Tavano put the final touches on his pitching performance by snuffing out Pinkerton’s comeback hopes by putting the hosts down, facing just four batters.
Lefty hurler Tavano went the distance in the victory, striking out eight batters, walking just two, and holding the now 1-2 Astros to a mere six hits.
“Tavano pitched really well for them today,” said Campo. “His breaking-ball kept us off balance all game, and his ability to mix in his breaking stuff with his fastball kept us guessing.”
On Monday, the Astros got back on track, thanks to some fine pitching work from Polichetti, who led Pinkerton to a 6-0 win over Salem.
The righty pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits while striking out seven.
Matt Clark and Norm Kerman each collected two hits for the locals.
Southpaw Adam Bloch gave the Pinkerton Academy baseball squad a solid start against the LHS Lancers in Derry last weekend. Photo by Chris Paul