Nashua Post 124 drops State Final 8 Senior Legion opener
MANCHESTER – The bullpen was stirring, Lebanon’s Trey Parker was reeling, and Nashua Post 124 looked to be one big swing of the bat from an early knockout in Friday’s Senior American Legion State Final 8
That clutch hit never came.
Parker, spotting Nashua a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, slammed the door shut and Lebanon Post 22 rallied for a 3-2 win.
“We just got away from what we needed to do at the plate,” said Nashua skipper Tim Lunn.
Nashua looked to be in business in the top of the first when Dante Young singled and scored on a Lebanon error for a 1-0 lead. Noah Therrien then singled in Trevor Kelly. It was 2-0, and Post 124 had runners on first-and-second when Nik DiRenzo walked. But a reeling Parker escaped, inducing a flyout and a ground to limit the damage. Lebanon’s three-run flurry in the bottom of the frame, aided by a pair of Nashua errors, settled the righty down.
Up 3-2, Parker was in command with nothing but zeroes going up on the Nashua side of the ledger.
“Going in, we wanted to hit line drives and put the ball on the ground to make them make plays on defense,” said Lunn. “In those middle innings, we just got away from that approach. We got under the ball a little bit. The swings got a little longer. And we made it easy on their pitcher and their defense.”
So much of the game is emotional, and Nashua really looked deflated in the second.
Tyler Arnesen led things with a towering triple to left, but Post 124 would leave him at third, unable to plate the equalizer.
“That was just a huge spot. That goes down to a lack of approach,” said Lunn. Somebody has to take a bullet, put the ball in the air and get him in. Do their job. Our guys tried to do a little too much. We have to come up with that run.”
Hunter Routhier’s one-hop laser was gobbled up at first base, and Parker got a strikeout and a ground out to again wiggle out of trouble.
He would got on to retire 11 straight and 14 of the next 15 one final Nashua bid in the sixth.
With two down in the sixth, Tyler Brooks singled and Mason Matylewski walked to end Parker’s day. Arnesen’s grounder perplexed the third baseman, who looked at third, then second and finally first, with no play anywhere, loading them up.
Reliever Dash Fukushima got a lazy fly to center, ending that threat, and then induced three more “F-8” putouts to end it.
Nashua starter CJ Barrett certainly deserved a better fate, matching Parker pitch for pitch.
“CJ was very good. He settled in real well,” said Lunn. “Everyone gets in tough spots, and the defense has to bail you out. We didn’t do that.”
Pat McCarthy pitched one scoreless frame in relief of Barrett.
“We got ahead early and gave it right back,” said Lunn. “That’s been an issue. It’s hurt us the last couple weeks. Holding a lead, we kind of just give it away. You can’t do that in close games against good teams.
“Now we have to come out and fight for our lives.”