Panther bats get job done vs. Broncos, 10-5

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Nashua South's Roe Hendrick slides home ahead of the tag by Alvirne catcher Evan Beals during the Panthers' 10-5 win Wednesday at Holman Stadium.

NASHUA – Nashua High School coach James Gaj was pacing nervously Wednesday in the Holman Stadium first base dugout, even with a 10-5 lead.

Why? There was the nagging feeling that the Alvirne High School Broncos had him and his Panthers right where they wanted them.

But he was jittery for no reason, as the 10-5 score held up. You see, in five previous meetings, Gaj had never beaten a Mike Lee coached team.

“All they needed to do was get a guy on base, start taking their time, and driving me crazy,” he said.

But the Panthers banged out 12 hits and have scored 24 runs now in their last two games. They scored all 10 runs in the first three innings, banging out three straight RBI hits in the first – Dante Young, Albert De La Rosa and Ryan Lopez, the latter two doubles – and overall they got two RBI hits from Jake Smith and a big RBI triple by Mason Matylewski. The damage was mainly done off Bronco starter Jake Hobart.

“You win with pitching and defense,” Lee said. “We didn’t get much pitching today. … You’ve got to be able to stop them, and we weren’t stopping them.”

The Broncos had seven hits but most of their runs were scored off two wild pitches, an RBI groundout by Nick Jaques, and RBI hits by Ryan Santos and Jake Dufour off South starter Dante Young.

A key, though, was the three innings of shutout relief by South freshman Nolan Mederos. He was pressed into duty away from the JV team due to injuries and the glut of games – they play three in 24 hours in between Friday and Saturday.

“He’s part of our future, we really like that kid,” Gaj said.

Both teams are now 5-9. Lee calls his Broncos “a longshot” to make the Division I tourney with four games left; South is playing 20 games, so six in a short period of time for a chance.

“I’ve never been part of something like this,” Gaj said.

But then again, he’d never beaten Alvirne, either.