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Marauders Stay Hot, Dominate Lebanon

  • Hanover's Nolan Gantrish is safe at second with Lebanon's Ryan Nicholson covering the base and Jon Willeman backing them up during their game in Norwich, Vt., on May 9, 2018. Hanover won, 10-3. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover Athletic Director Mike Jackson, who is also Hanover's former baseball coach, is presented a plant by Hanover player Moises Celaya after the team's 10-3 win over Lebanon in Norwich, Vt., on May 9, 2018. Jackson is retiring in June -- Celaya claimed he grew the decorative collection of plants for Jackson, who is retiring in June. At left is teammate Charles Goodrich. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover pitcher Aris Rassias works from the mound during a game with Lebanon in Norwich, Vt., on May 9, 2018. Hanover won, 10-3. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Charles Goodrich, left, Lebanon's Hunter Boutin and Hanover's Nolan Gantrish talk after their game in Norwich, Vt., on May 9, 2018. They had played together on a team last summer. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Norwich — Hanover High’s baseball team piled on hits and runs against rebuilding Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon at the Dresden Athletic Fields, going home with a 10-3 victory for its third straight win.

Marauders sophomore starting pitcher Nolan Gantrish allowed only two hits, no walks, and struck out two in four innings of work, shutting down a Raider squad that has struggled to score. Hanover managed 15 hits in the game and seven runs in the first three innings to put its neighborhood rivals in an early hole.

By the time Lebanon’s offense got going, it was too late.

“When you’re hitting the ball like we are, you want to keep playing,” said Hanover head coach John Grainger, whose team began a stretch of four games in four days. “You don’t want to take a week off when we’re this hot. It’s good for us to go into this tough schedule when you’re scoring a lot of runs.”

Hanover’s offense got going in the first inning. Kegan Silovich, the Marauders’ hard-hitting junior outfielder, opened the scoring two batters in with an RBI single to drive in David Lehmann all the way from first base. Silovich, Charles Goodrich and Marcus Hampers also touched home plate, giving Hanover a four-run lead on five hits and a sacrifice fly after one inning.

The Marauders (4-2) scored three more runs in the third inning on four hits and an error, taking a 7-0 advantage into the fourth.

Lebanon starter Kyle Pelletier walked two and struck out one in 5⅔ innings and was responsible for all 15 hits and 10 runs by the Marauders. Trey Chickering entered the game with two outs in the sixth and Hanover runners on first and second, forcing a ground ball in the infield to get the Raiders out of the inning.

“It’s been a very challenging year,” Doug Ashey, Lebanon’s 25-year head coach, said. “It just seems every game we play in, there are hits just out of our way. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re going to press on and keep working.”

Lebanon got its offense going in the fifth inning, after Hanover junior outfielder Aris Rassias entered the game in relief of the starter Gantrish.

Joey Dupree, Kobe Benoit and Tom Berthasavage led the inning off with three straight hits, loading the bases for the Raiders’ Hunter Boutin. The senior grounded into a fielder’s choice, catching Berthasavage at second base, that put Lebanon on the scoreboard. A sacrifice fly by Caleb Smith plated another run.

In the sixth inning, Lebanon struck again with a Dupree RBI single that drove in Jon Willeman from third base. The junior finished the game 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

“Joe Dupree at the plate, he’s been a pretty good hitter,” Ashey said. “Jon Willeman, he’s been one of our better hitters, too. Benoit, he’s been a promising hitter. Berthasavage, he had a good hitting day. There’s some promise here.”

Hanover’s Rassias gave up three runs, five hits and a walk with no strikeouts in two innings. Joey Perras struck out two in the seventh inning, closing out the victory. Braxton McNulty finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs for Hanover. Perras added two hits, a double, two RBI and two runs for the Marauders.

Grainger, in his third year at the helm, is starting to see the program come together. Hanover has missed the playoffs the last two springs, has gone 10-23 since Grainger took over the team before the 2016 season and graduated one of its top hitters — outfielder Will Smith — last spring.

But the Marauders are deep and experienced, with seven seniors and a talented pool of hitters.

“This is the third year for a lot of these guys for the way I teach hitting. I think that’s a big part of it.” Grainger said. “Nolan (Gantrish) and Jack (Loftus) have come in. I knew losing one player, like Will, definitely hurts. But having two younger guys ready to play right away was, I think, a net gain.”

The time is now, Grainger believes, for Hanover to show what it’s made of. It hosts Goffstown (8-1) today, a test for Hanover’s offense. Moises Celaya gets the start on the mound.

“I think we’re poised well to definitely be in the playoffs, and hopefully get a home game,” Grainger said. “You can only go up. We’re three wins away from last year.”

Ashey and the Raiders have lost eight of their last nine. As a result, the coaching staff is concentrating on teaching.

“We haven’t left the basics. We do fundamentals every day,” Ashey said. “We did fundamental base-running yesterday. We cut some relays yesterday. Footwork fundamentals for all our infield and outfield play yesterday. We are pounding the fundamentals. Hopefully, one day, it’ll pay off.

“I think they were the better team (today),” Ashey added of Hanover. “I think there is a lot of need for improvement.”

Lebanon (2-8) will try to get back in the win column on Friday against John Stark (9-1).

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.