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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Alvirne baseball KO’d by Pinkerton in semifinals

NASHUA – It’s tough scoring runs when you only have three base runners.

Especially if you’re the Alvirne High School Broncos, who rely on havoc on the basepaths. But Pinkerton Academy pitcher Chris Gerossie had other ideas, checking the Broncos on just two hits in a 4-1 Division I baseball semifinal victory Wednesday at Holman Stadium. ...

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NASHUA – It’s tough scoring runs when you only have three base runners.

Especially if you’re the Alvirne High School Broncos, who rely on havoc on the basepaths. But Pinkerton Academy pitcher Chris Gerossie had other ideas, checking the Broncos on just two hits in a 4-1 Division I baseball semifinal victory Wednesday at Holman Stadium.

“As a coach, your hands are tied, not much you can do,” Alvirne coach Mike Lee said. “We didn’t have any runners.”

Gerossie fanned five, and didn’t walk a batter in his complete game effort, out-dueling Alvirne ace Tyler Brown.

“Chris did a great job, keeping them off balance all day,” Astros coach Steve Campo said after his No. 3, 16-6 team landed a spot in Saturday’s Division I final at Manchester’s Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. “That’s a good-hitting Alvirne team. We’ve seen them put up seven runs in (each of their) two playoff games.”

But not on Wednesday, as the No. 7, 12-9 Broncos are done. Brown wasn’t at his best from the start. He walked the first batter he faced, Astro Joe Murphy, and give up an RBI double to the next hitter, Nate Rossi.

With the score 1-1 in the third, once again a leadoff walk to Murphy hurt. This time Murphy stole second and came home on Chris Derossie’s single to left for a 2-1 Astro lead.

“Little things like that add up to a victory on their side,” Lee said. “When you’re in the semifinals, you’re going to be in a pitcher’s duel, and Gerossie was outstanding. It didn’t really matter what we did on our end the way he pitched.

“He pitched ahead. He got first pitch strikes, they made the plays behind him. … You could just sense it.”

“I knew I had to throw strikes,” Gerossie said. “Pitching ahead, that’s been a key for me all year. That’s when I pitch my best, throwing first-pitch strikes.”

The only thing Alvirne did on its end came off the bat of Greg Emanuelson, whose booming home run off his Fall Showcase League teammate to left tied it 1-1 in the third.

Pinkerton made it 3-1 in the fourth as John Polaketti doubled leading off and eventually scored on Riley Cahill’s sacrifice fly. Brown eventually left the mound in the fifth after walking Murphy for a third time. In all, he pitched four-plus, allowing three runs on four hits (three doubles), walking four and fanning four.

“It was a bummer,” Brown said, now headed to Northeastern University. “A tough loss. But it was a great season, a great run with our team, an awesome year.”

Just not an awesome ending.