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Nashua stopped short in Junior American Legion Baseball Regionals

Photo by ANDREW SYLVIA Nashua Post 124 pitcher Alexander Messig works during Friday's game.

CONCORD – In an echo of their disappointing performance at the New Hampshire Junior American Legion Baseball Championship earlier this week, Nashua Post 124 was eliminated from the Northeast Regional Junior American Legion Baseball Championship on Friday in a 6-4 loss to Rockland Pirates Yellow Post 130.

Rockland, the New York state champion, got one run off a pair of hits in the first and seemed destined for more if not for a quick pick-off by Nashua pitcher Alexander Messig.

Although Messig needed another out to escape the inning, that out came quickly, providing Nashua a chance to respond.

Although it did get a pair of hits in the second, Nashua found itself unable to answer Rockland’s score, with the Pirates building their lead to four runs by the end of the fourth.

That rally also ended thanks to a caught runner, with Pirates second baseman Michael Reilly tagged out at the plate in what was a failed double steal for the inning’s third out. This time however, Nashua would answer, putting four runs on the board.

James Reel’s double to left led off the rally, the first of what would be eight Nashua batters during the inning.

Undeterred, Rockland began its half of the fifth with a single by Rockland pitcher Joseph Cerniglia, setting up what would be its fifth run as Julian Brooks brought him home one at bat later on a triple.

Brooks also came home before the inning was done off Brian Brezosky’s basehit.

Although Nashua collected two consecutive two-out hits in the bottom of the seventh to keep hope alive, Pirates reliever Jack Wishner found one last strikeout to finalize the contest.

Nashua coach Jeff Lunn felt that the late spark may have been enough to make up for Nashua’s early lethargy, but admitted that early lack of momentum was frustrating

regardless of the result.

“We made adjustments a little too late, it was a case of too little, too late for us today,” said Lund. “We could have jumped on (Cerniglia) a little earlier. I told our guys you got to make your adjustments when the lineup turns over one or two or three times.”

Lunn also praised Rockland’s hitting as well.

“They barreled every ball up we threw. If we made a mistake on the mound, they were making us pay for it,” he said. “They’re a really good hitting team, they’ve got some guys who can run too.”

On the mound, Messig hung in for six innings, giving up 11 hits and a walk, with five of the Rockland’s six runs earned.

Nashua collected eight hits, with designated hitter Liam Novak gathering three.

Although they are now officially out of contention for the tournament championship, Nashua will play in a consolation game on Saturday morning against Sandwich Post #188, the Massachusetts State Champion.