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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nashua North slips past Alvirne for baseball win

HUDSON – Big innings? Not the Nashua High School North baseball team’s style.

But, to the delight of Titans coach Kyle Harvell, his team went against the grain with a five-run fourth inning on Friday to rally for a 5-3 ...

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HUDSON – Big innings? Not the Nashua High School North baseball team’s style.

But, to the delight of Titans coach Kyle Harvell, his team went against the grain with a five-run fourth inning on Friday to rally for a 5-3

win over Alvirne.

“It was our second best inning all year,” Harvell said of the frame where the Titans, now 8-10 in Division I, sent nine to the plate.

“It certainly takes a lot of pressure off.”

The Titans had loaded the bases but came up empty in the second against Alvirne starter Robbie Flohr, and eventually found themselves down 3-0.

But as Harvell said, “In high school baseball, you keep the pressure on a kid for two, three, four innings, eventually they’re going to crack.

We didn’t hit the ball hard, but we made it hard for them.”

“One inning, ball game,” Alvirne coach Mike Lee said after his team dropped to 8-6 and will host Concord in a makeup game Saturday morning

at 11. “They got hits when they needed it and we left a couple of guys at third base. That was big”

The inning made a winner out of tall North sophomore righty Sam McCarthy, who after being touched up for a run in the second and two in the third, settled down and allowed just three base runners before needing relief help from Ricky Constant in the bottom of the seventh.

Overall McCarthy went six-plus, striking out eight while giving up four hits and walking three to earn his second win on the year.

The Broncos scratched for a run in the second on Kyle McKinley’s RBI single, and then plated two more in the third on a walk, two stolen bases, Matt McKinley RBI single and a Titan error.

But to everyone’s surprise, that was it for the Broncos and North’s big fourth was about to happen. Singles by John Vidal, Zach Smith and a walk to Tim Paige loaded the bases for the Titans with nobody out.

A balk call brought in one run, an RBI single by Colby Gunter another, and a double steal tied the game at 3. North (eight hits overall) went ahead on Spencer Madden’s RBI single and got an insurance run on an infield error.

Meanwhile, McCarthy got more and more confident, stranding Bronco runners at third both in the fourth and fifth, fanning Alvirne threat Tyler Brown for the third out in the latter in what Lee called “a big moment.”

Harvell’s patience paid off, as he said quick hooks are a thing of the past with his staff.

“We’ve let them work their way out of trouble a little bit, so they’re starting to build a little bit of confidence” Harvell said. “Sam’s worst inning was the fourth inning and he came back in the fifth and sixth and was great. He faced seven hitters in the fifth and sixth innings when he was approaching 100 pitches.”

“I was just coming into the game looking to throw strikes,” McCarthy said. “I have a great defense behind me.We jumped back on top, and I was feeling pretty confident.”

“They got him some runs, so he’s feeling like he doesn’t have to be perfect,” Lee said, “and he made big pitches when he needed it.”

That’s a style the Titans will take any day.