Shorthanded Cards can’t get past Bedford, 3-2
NASHUA – One bad inning and one seemingly surprising decision helped end the Bishop Guertin High School baseball team’s promising season on Saturday.
The inning was the third, in which an error by Guertin complete game starting pitcher Stephen McLendon opened the door for three unearned Bulldog runs en route to a 3-2 quarterfinal win over the Cardinals at sun-splashed Holman Stadium.
The decision? Guertin (No. 3, 16-6) did not have one of its top hitters in the lineup, senior Alex George. According to Cards coach Scott Painter, George, one of two BG catchers along with Sam Boudreau, asked out of the lineup rather than DH and hit fifth. It’s not known if he was hurt or ill, but Painter did say George, who left Holman immediately after and wasn’t available for comment, wanted to catch.
“He would’ve come up twice with runners in scoring position,” Painter said. “Like I say, you’ve got to play with the kids you’ve got.”
Guertin (just five hits) did take a 2-0 lead in the first off Bedford starter and winner Blake Murray on bases loaded RBI singles by Jake Mitchell and Matt Thibault.
But with one out in the third, McLendon booted a soft comebacker off the bat of Bedford’s Ryan Juliano. The No. 6, 14-6 Bulldogs then loaded the bases and with two outs, cleanup hitter Jared Neikam singled hard to right for the tying runs. The go-ahead run came in on a double steal attempt, when Guertin opted to get Neikam in a rundown, allowing Zach Fletcher to score before the out was recorded.
“We just found a way to win today,”Bedford coach Billy Chapman said. “We got the lead and we just held them.”
BG had runners on second and third and one out in the sixth but Bedford reliever Avery Mosseau got Jake Mitchell and pinch-hitter Billy Gonya to pop out, the latter with the bases loaded.
“We let them off the hook a little bit,” Painter said. “Tough without a four-year kid in the lineup.”