Derry Legion Squad Sputters at Start of New Campaign

The Derry Post 9 Senior American Legion baseball squad stumbled out of the gate recently in starting its 2015 season with an 0-3 record.

The Derry team’s pitching staff got bashed to the tune of 37 total runs allowed in the three consecutive early losses to Nashua, the rival Londonderry Post 27 contingent, and the Legion nine from Exeter.

Prior to the hosting of Londonderry, the Derry squad had begun its 2015 campaign on Friday, June 19, with a 13-10 loss to Nashua at Holman Stadium in the Gate City.

The Post 9 contingent raced out to a 6-0 lead early but saw Nashua rebound, thanks in part to a slew of bases on balls surrendered by Derry pitching.

Then in the Thursday, June 25 meeting with Londonderry in Derry, the visiting crew pounded its way out to a 7-0 lead in the first two innings and ended up winning by a 12-4 tally.

Post 27 began the game by smacking around Derry starting pitcher Matt Tritto for four runs on five hits in the top half of the first inning.

Colby Joncas plated the first couple of Londonderry markers with a two-run triple, and he scored moments later on an RBI single by Stephen Byers.

Soon thereafter, Byers sprinted home on a run-scoring single by Jonny Meskell as the score moved to 4-0.

The Londonderry lead then bulged to 7-0 in the top half of the second as they bagged three more runs on three hits.

The first pair of those markers scored on Christian Bourgea’s two-run double, and Byers bagged his second RBI on another single.

Derry managed a run in the latter half of the second frame as Pinkerton all-state outfielder Ben Curry launched a Bobby Baril pitch to deep right-center field and made it all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park home run that made the score 7-1.

And the hosts added another run in the latter half of the third inning when Chris Gerossie pounded a Baril offering out of the yard to left field to move the score to 7-2.

Londonderry got those two runs back in the top of the fourth, thanks to three hits and the first of Derry’s four errors in the contest.

Bourgea collected his third RBI of the day with another double in that frame, and the second run went home on an infield miscue as the score moved to 9-2 in the fourth.

Derry got both of those runs back in the bottom half of the fourth, thanks to a Londonderry error and an RBI single off the bat of Pinkerton all-state shortstop Joey Murphy, and 9-4 was where the score sat after four frames had been completed.

But the host Derry crew would do no more scoring the rest of the way while Londonderry added a single marker in the top of the sixth (thanks to another Derry error) and two more in the top half of the seventh (with Derry erring twice more) as the score advanced to 12-4.

Derry’s offense finished with eight total hits off two Post 27 pitchers, with eight Derry batters registering one safety.

Starting pitcher Tritto, who was a stalwart for the Pinkerton Academy baseball squad through nearly all of the 2015 Division I campaign, toughed out six innings on the mound against Londonderry before handing the baseball off to reliever Christian Cotter.

Tritto allowed 10 of the Post 27 side’s runs – eight of which were earned – and 14 of the visitors’ 15 hits in a highly atypical effort.

“We just have to pitch better,” said manager Dylan Mullen. “Pitching and defense are what win baseball games, but there’s still time to fix things.”

The Derry manager thinks his 2015 contingent looks plenty good on paper, but as its opening two games showed, the locals will have to play better on the diamond than they did early on if they are to make the state tournament.
The Chase Post crew’s hopes of turning things around the next afternoon didn’t pan out as the Exeter contingent came to Derry and handed the Chase Post crew another lopsided loss – of 12-5 in this case – to make the locals squad’s season record 0-3.