By Tris Wykes
LEBANON – The difference between the Lebanon American Legion Post 22 junior baseball team and its Tuesday foes from Nashua Post 3 was evident before the District A contest even began.
Many of Nashua’s players drove to the game. The hosts? Because almost all lack a motoring license, they arrived with mom, dad or both. It wasn’t a quite a mismatch, but the visitors’ edge in age and experience certainly played a role in their 10-4 victory. Lebanon dropped to 3-4.
“That’s the best pitching we’ve seen all year,” said Lebanon coach Chauncey Wood. “They had velocity, but they also mixed it up and had good location.”
Nashua improved to 6-1 and climbed into a tie atop the division with Berlin Post 36. Lebanon managed just five hits, three of them from shortstop and Holderness School student Zander Doyle, the hosts’ smallest player.
“He’s been coming up huge for us lately,” Wood said of Doyle. “We’ve been searching for a leadoff man and he’s taken to that role and become comfortable in it. And he has quick hands at shortstop.”
Spencer Cunningham and Shea Curley also had hits for Post 22, which played without starters Nick Brill and Oliver Sperry. Post 22 was hurt by several errors and mental breakdowns on fielding plays during the latter half of the game.
“We made one or two errors and then our heads went down,” Wood said. “It seems like an inevitable snowball with us, but I’m proud we battled back and got two runs late.”
Hanover High student and lefthander Ian Smith started on the mound for Post 22, lasting 3 1/3 innings while allowing five hits and five runs, all earned.
Smith struck out three batters and walked two and was followed on the mound by Fall Mountain’s Owen Aubin, Lebanon’s Bennett Hewett and Hanover’s Freddy Mierke.
Post 22 is scheduled to host Weare Post 65 at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Notes: Hewett warmed up for his relief role with his hat falling off on every pitch. Wood brought him a new one and its fit was tighter, but not enough to prevent occasional exit’s from the righthander’s noggin… Post 22 plays at Lebanon High School. Its principal’s name is also Ian Smith… Lebanon is scheduled to play 10 games in the next 25 days. The junior season concludes July 31… Post 22’s roster includes players from Hanover, Lebanon, Kearsarge, Holderness, Stevens and Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy. The latter is represented by Norwich resident Felix Kreis and is a boarding school 90 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. It’s produced nine Olympians and seven Rhodes Scholars.
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