North’s tough baseball season continues
NASHUA – This is clearly the spring of the Nashua High North baseball team’s discontent.
They were three outs away a year ago from reaching the Divsion I semifinals, but it will be extremely tough to get that far this season, as Goffstown’s 6-0 win at Holman Stadium leaves the Titans reeling with a 3-10 mark.
“Just keep working,” North coach Zach Harris said. “When I talk about team goals, and things of that nature, I don’t talk about winning and losing. I talk about getting the most out of every day. … When you don’t have the talents of Pinkerton, and Londonderry, Bedford and Exeter and all those guys, you have to win with culture. And so we’re still try ing to build the culture and keep moving forward.”
Ironically, the Titans were blanked by a pitcher, Connor Hujsak, that, who knows, had things worked out differently, might have worn either a North or South uniform.
If the last name sounds familiar, his father, Jim, was a top athlete for Nashua back in the 1980s, and went on to be a scholarship punter for the University of Iowa. But he and his family have been living in Goffstown for the last 20 years.
Otherwise, who knows, son Connor might be wearing a North or South uniform.
“Maybe,” Connor Hujsak said with a chuckle. “Today I just hit my spots. I didn’t throw much off speed, stuck with my fastball, worked the corners. I let my defense play and trusted them.”
Thus the Rutgers-bound senior tossed a complete game, striking out eight and walking just two.
“He threw strikes,” Goffstown coach Adam Lawrence said. “The best part is they were putting the ball in play and we were making plays.
“I think today was one of our most sound games. Defensively, offensively, pitching, it was all there, which was nice.”
Unfortunately for the Titans, they couldn’t say the same thing. Goffstown got six runs off Trevor Kelly in three innings. In the first, Will Soucy’s RBI single made it 1-0. The Grizzlies, now 5-6 in their return to Division I, broke things open with five in the third on five hits, and two Titan errors, sending 11 to the plate.
Soucy and Liam Kilbreth had a sac flies while RBI hits were by T.J. Dutton, Colin Burke and Robert Doherty.
On the flip side, the Titans left men on second and third in the first, and left two on in the fourth. Other than that, things were quiet for a team that in two days was outscored 15-1. On the bright side, relievers Val Lingedal and Vincent Priore kept Goffstown off the board the final four frames.
“Our pitching hasn’t been anywhere good enough to win baseball games in New Hampshire,” Harris said. “We’ve faced some of the better pitchers out there. Almost every game we go out see the other team’s No. 1, so we’ve got to be better at the dish. We’ve got to come ready to compete against New Hampshire’s top guys.”
At some point, Harris hopes the culture he’s trying to build helps put North in that category. But that isn’t likely to happen this spring.