Despite the fact that its hopes of earning a District B tournament berth became tenuous, thanks to its poor start to the 2015 season, the Derry Senior American Legion baseball squad stayed right in there swinging last week in trying to make a late run at that berth.
The Derry squad’s struggles continued with consecutive losses to Rochester in Derry Monday, July 6 (11-2 score) and to Exeter two evenings later (7-6).
Those defeats left manager Dylan Mullin and his charges contemplating their 2-7 record.
But the shorthanded Derry crew – missing several regular players from its lineup – lifted its collective head and put forth a strong performance against a winless Salem contingent in a 10-0 victory Thursday night, July 9. The contest was ended after six and a half innings by the 10-run rule.
Veteran standout Chris Gerossie stood at the center of the lopsided win, thanks to his five strong innings of pitching, one big hit, and a bit more.
The hosts plated the only run they’d end up needing to bag this win in the latter half of the first inning when Ben Curry laced a double that scored Gerossie, who had reached base on a walk.
It became a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Brad Locke thumped a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.
The Derry bunch busted the game open in the latter half of the fourth by plating seven more runs on five hits and one Salem error.
Austin Hall brought the first of the runs home the hard way, getting hit with a pitch – for the second time – with the bases jammed with teammates.
Gerossie then hammered a two-run double, which was followed up by a two-run double by Curry.
Moments later, Matt Clark would sting a two-run single as the Derry lead would advance to 9-0. Number-eight hitter Clark would end up going 3-for-3 with a walk in four trips to the plate.
The hosts bagged their last run of the night in the latter half of the sixth when Curry led off with a triple and scored shortly thereafter on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Travis Hall.
Derry relief pitchers Kenny Twomey and Matt Burke each contributed a scoreless inning to the shutout effort for the locals.
The winning side finished up with nine hits, with Clark claiming his three and Curry lacing two doubles and the one triple.
“This was a good win, and we’ll take any win we can get right now,” said Mullin. “We need to make up some ground and see if we can get back into a position to fight for a tournament spot.”
Mullin’s mob then attempted to keep its winning ways rolling Saturday, July 11, when it played host to Hudson. The local side began what it hopes is a winning streak with its second straight victory in a 4-0 blanking of that opponent.
Next, the 4-7 Derry crew attempted to keep its winning ways rolling with a classic “twilight doubleheader” in Portsmouth Sunday evening, July 12.
Alas, things didn’t go particularly well for the Derry contingent on that stifling evening as it dropped both decisions to the seacoast host and slid to a disappointing 4-9 on the season.
The locals suffered a 6-3 defeat in game one and an 8-2 loss in contest number two, as the Portsmouth crew advanced its record up from 4-9 to 6-9.
The Derry continent stepped into the final, busy week of the District B regular season facing contests against Dover, Londonderry, Merrimack (twice), and Nashua. And in a best-case scenario, the locals knew they could finish on the .500 mark at 9-9 if they ran the table on all of those contests.