Boudreau pitches Nashua Legion past Portsmouth

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Nashua Legion Post #124 's Henri Boudreau tossed a complete game three hitter in a 6-1 win over Portsmouth Tuesday at Elliott Field.

NASHUA – Henri Boudreau established himself this past spring as one of the top pitchers in Division II for Hollis Brookline High School.

This summer, he’s doing the same for the Nashua Post #124 Senior Legion team, as he spun a complete game three-hitter in a key 6-1 win over Portsmouth Booma Post #6.

It was a big bounce back win for Nashua, now 8-1 atop District B (18-6 overall) after dropping its first District game to Rochester on Monday.

“I’ve definitely got a lot of trust in this team,” Boudreau said. “We’ve shown a lot of resiliency throughout the year. One thing that makes this team special is how we can bounce back and keep our good attitude throughout these games.

“We’re very battle tested at this point. We lost our first game in the District (on Monday) and given that little chip in our shoulder today we came out with a little more fire.”

Still, it was a tight 1-1 game before Nashua plated five in the sixth. But the way Boudreau was throwing, the locals didn’t need much. He walked one and struck out four, allowing just a run that tied the game in the second on a Jacob Grant double and John Swenson RBI single. The spring’s Division II First Team All-Stater needed just 70 pitches over the full seven.

“It was a great performance,” Nashua manager Tim Lunn said. “He pounded the strike zone, worked ahead, kept them off-balance, and pitched to our strength. Our defense is very, very solid, and our pitchers don’t need to throw strikes. They just need to throw strikes, and let the defense help them out, and that’s what he did.”

Nashua’s defense was outstanding. Billy Gonya made a couple of great catches in right field, and Brett Anderson’s throw to infielder Trevor Kelly helped nail Portsmouth’s Aaron Lundgren in a rundown as he tried to advance from second to third on a fly ball in the top of the sixth.

“We didn’t play a smart game today,” Portsmouth manager Lou Vigars said, hist team now 5-6 in District B. “We honestly had poor at-bats, didn’t grind out at-bats, swinging early in the count and chasing pitches.”

Nashua seized the momentum of the inning ending double play atop the sixth to finally get to Portsmouth reliever Swenson, who had stymied the locals since switching from left field with starting pitcher Trevor Van Allen. Van Allen had complained of arm soreness after giving up an RBI hit to Nashua’s Will Brooks in the first.

Boudreau’s HB teammate, Max Mello, started the rally with a one-out triple. Nashua then loaded the bases and Mello scored on an infield error. Another run came in an a fielder’s choice – Anderson was ruled safe after Grant initially blocked the plate without the ball. Then RBI hits by Kyle Hsu and Gonya finished the job.

The Post #124 squad, headed to Dover today, appears loaded, and will have the familiarity of Holman Stadium for the Legion tourney in just over two weeks. And with pitching like Boudreau gave them, the locals have to feel like they have a shot.

“As a starting pitcher, I felt like it all starts on the mound with tempo and everything,” Boudreau said, “so I definitely wanted to do everything I could to keep my attitude up and try to get my boys going, get a little fire going. Everything felt good, I’ll tell you that, and I have a great squad behind me.”

He’s hoping it’s an officially great squad by the end of July.