Concord beats Goffstown to force final game at Legion tourney

Autrey Gates pitched 6 1/3 solid innings of relief and Concord Post 21 broke open a tie game with four runs in the sixth inning to beat Goffstown Post 16 7-4 and force a winner-take-all game in the American Legion senior tournament at Holman Stadium.

Gates allowed two runs – one earned – on two hits and a walk while striking out four and David Drouin’s two-run single in the sixth helped Concord rally for the win. Post 21 trailed 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but tied the game on two hits, a walk and three wild pitches by Goffstown’s Ryan Smith.

Smith struggled in the sixth and suffered the loss, allowing seven runs – four earned – on 11 hits and two walks. Smith did strike out nine and was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Goffstown’s Ryan Beal was 2 for 3 and hit a solo home run in the fifth inning – the first home run of the tournament. Beal’s homer was the only blemish against Gates through the sixth, as he retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced.

Power went out at the stadium late in the game and there was some question as to whether the second game would be played. But as officials were conferring after the first game, power was restored and the first pitch of the second game came moments after seven o’clock.