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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hudson Post 48 American Legion team defeats Exeter Post 32

By JOE MARCHILENA

HUDSON – Creativity isn’t an attribute often used to describe a baseball team, but that’s one word Scott Szuksta uses when talking about his Hudson Post 48 team.

Whether it was thinking outside the box, or just paying attention to detail, Post 48 found ways to get the job done Friday against Exeter Post 32. ...

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HUDSON – Creativity isn’t an attribute often used to describe a baseball team, but that’s one word Scott Szuksta uses when talking about his Hudson Post 48 team.

Whether it was thinking outside the box, or just paying attention to detail, Post 48 found ways to get the job done Friday against Exeter Post 32.

Hudson scratched out three runs against Exeter starter Christian Devine despite just four singles, and responded with a four-run seventh after Post 32 tied the game for a 7-3 win in American Legion Senior District B action at Alvirne High School.

The win improves Post 48 to 8-5 in district play and kept Hudson in third place with a little more than a week left to the regular season.

The top four teams in each district make the state tournament.

“We like to try to be creative and score runs through bunting and small-ball stuff,” Szuksta said.

“It’s tough with summer ball. I’m lucky that I pull from schools that have excellent coaches.

“I have a leg up because of how prepared my kids are for situations. They already know.”

That’s what Hudson did in the seventh, getting two perfectly placed bunt singles by Kyle Shaw and Luis Matrille to help load the bases with none out.

Kellin Bail followed with an RBI single and Connor Whittemore added a two-run hit and Ryan Glendye finished off the win by escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.

Glendye, who picked up two wins and a save this week, pitched five innings in relief of starter Chris Murphy, who allowed one run on four hits and walk.

Glendye retired six of the first seven batters he faced, and with the tying run at the plate in the ninth, he struck out James Mundy looking to end the game.

“He’s a bulldog,” Szuksta said of Glendye. “He wants the ball every game and he tells us literally every game that he wants to throw. (Thursday against Derry) he told me his arm was sore because he threw on Wednesday, but in the last inning, we had a man on and we’re up by a couple and he’s in my ear, ‘let me get the last out.’ He’s wonderful. It’s great to have kids like that.”

Exeter (4-9) got a solid start from Devine, who didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, and gave up three runs – two earned – on five hits and two walks while striking out six.

The Post 32 pitcher, who also plays for the Seacoast Mavericks of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, didn’t get much help from his defense.

In the third, Matrille drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a groundout by Bail.

With Whittemore at the plate, Matrille stole third and the throw by Exeter catcher Ty Mezquita sailed into left field, allowing Matrille to come home with the first run of the game.

Exeter tied it in the fourth, but Hudson responded in the bottom of the fifth when Jim Sullivan led off with a single, reached second when a pick-off throw hit him in the back and caromed into center field, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shaw.

“It’s been a tough summer,” Exeter coach Dana Barbin said.

“(Devin) pitched real well, I would have kept him in the game, but he has to pitch Monday for the Mavericks. I thought he mixed his pitches real well and his curveball kept them off balance real well.”

Hudson will try to take a step closer to its first tournament berth since 2010 Sunday when Post 48 heads to the seacoast to play Portsmouth.