PA Baseball Squad Starts Out with Two Tight Victories

The ability to win close, hotly-contested games is vital for teams in all sports. And the Pinkerton Academy baseball squad began its 2014 campaign last week by showing second-year head coach Steve Campo that it can pull out tight decisions.

The team clipped the host Alvirne High Broncos by a 7-6 score in Hudson on Wednesday, April 16, and then performed the same sort of feat in its home-opener against Keene in Derry two afternoons later.

In the tight bucking of the highly-touted Broncos, the Astros smacked out eight hits and got some clutch relief pitching from sophomore John Polichetti in snagging the victory.

Connor Donahue pitched the first four innings for PA and had a rocky time of it, allowing all six Alvirne runs (five earned) on five hits and four walks. He also struck out four Broncos before yielding mound duty to Polichetti.

The Pinkerton reliever pitched the final three frames of the game and held the hosts to zero runs and a paltry two hits in snagging his first varsity victory.

Offensively, Donahue thumped a two-run homer in the top half of the third inning, and he wound up with three runs batted in. Nate Rossi bashed two hits including a double and drove in a run, and Chris Gerossie smashed a double and drove in two runs.

Gerossie ended up being the Astros’ pitching star in their 3-2 nipping of Keene on Friday, April 18, hurling a complete-game win and striking out seven Blackbirds’ batters in the process.

Keene struck for a single run in the top half of the first inning, but the hosts answered with a marker of their own in the latter half of that frame.

Pinkerton then went up 3-1 with two runs in the latter half of the third inning, and Keene proved unable to come all the way back.

The hosts only managed  five hits in the win, with Donahue, Polichetti, Riley Cahill, Ryan Day, and Tom Diskin each claiming one. But those smacks wound up helping to provide PA with enough offense to win.

The Astros saw their season record blemished by a 4-2 loss to the rival Londonderry High Lancers on the road last Saturday, April 19, despite some solid pitching from youngster Polichetti and a comeback attempt that just fell short in the seventh inning.

Polichetti went the distance in the tough loss and showed off both his pitching skills and some mental toughness against the undefeated host Lancers.

“John did a great job of keeping them off-balance,” said Campo. “He does a really good job with his second and third pitches. I’m looking forward to having him for the next two years.”

The hosts snagged a 1-0 lead in the latter half of the first inning, but Pinkerton plated the equalizing run in the top of the third frame when Riley Cahill’s double scored Joe Murphy.

The score remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the bottom of the fifth, when Londonderry managed two runs on three hits. They pushed their lead up to 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, and PA had its work cut out for it where a comeback was concerned.

Campo’s crew loaded the bases against LHS starting pitcher Tommy Corey, thanks to an infield single by Connor Donahue and solid base hits by Tom Diskin and Polichetti.

But eventual winning pitcher Corey bore down and struck out the next two PA batters before forcing a run home by walking Cahill to make it a 4-2 contest.

The Astros wound up leaving the bases loaded when Corey got the final PA batter to ground out weakly to first base.

The team ended up with four hits from four different sources in the tough loss.

And the Astros fell by another small margin at home on Monday, dropping a 2-0 decision to the tough Timberlane Owls and skilled standout Sam Fay.

Fay pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits.

Connor Donahue was the losing pitcher for PA, going five-plus innings and striking out six Owls while allowing no earned runs.