Cardinals take advantage of South mistakes to bounce back
NASHUA – Nashua High School South coach James Gaj has always maintained that high school baseball is a game of mistakes.
The team that makes the most loses, and on Saturday night that was his Panthers, as five errors helped Bishop Guertin get back to its winning ways by a 10-2 count at Holman Stadium.
“That’s what I say,” Gaj said. “My game plan is always, when the game gets fast, people make mistakes, and make the game fast for (the opponent). They made the game fast for us.”
Guertin (12-2) had been hit with two straight losses, at Pinkerton and Bedford, and face Concord on Monday night so this was a key game. They also have Portsmouth and Goffstown to follow.
“These guys, they had a team meeting after the Bedford loss,” Guertin coach Scott Painter said. “Basically, it was get back on track and this was a must win game for us, for sure.”
The Panthers, meanwhile, are reeling at 3-9.
“They’re a team with three seniors, so they’re pretty young,” Painter said. “When they do make mistakes, you’ve got to take advantage. You’ve got to score on those.”
Guertin jumped on South starter Andres Hulfachor for two in the first on Jake Mitchell’s bases loaded walk and a wild pitch.
South cut it to 2-1 in the top of the second with hits by Dante Young and Jake Smith and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Chris Keefe.
The Cards answered right back in the bottom half when Noah Therrien walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error.
The mistakes kept coming as the Panthers committed three throwing errors in the bottom of the fourth, two of them allowing a run. Aiden Coyne reached on an infield hit and on a steal attempt the throw went into the outfield. The subsequent throw to third from the outfield sailed into the new netting in front of the stands, which is out of play (the ball would have reached the stands) allowing Coyne to score to make it 4-2.
“Couple physical errors, couple mental errors, these things are going to happen,” Gaj said. “It’s high school kids, high school boys have to execute. We made it a game though, we hung tough for awhile. They’re the team to beat. … If we play clean defense behind (Hulfachor), it’s a different ballgame.”
South got a run in the fifth off BG starter and winner Steve McLendon on two hits and a Roe Hendrick RBI groundout.
But again, BG broke it open in the sixth with five runs on four hits and another South error, the key blows RBI singles by Sam Boudreau,Jake Mitchell and Bill Gonya. BG outhit South 8-6.
“Our at-bats were really good,” Painter said.
And his team is feeling good about itself again.