Dealin’ With Feelin’
Fall Mountain Ace Overpowers ’Scoma
Walpole, n.h. — Many high school baseball teams have just one front-line starting pitcher, and on the days that the ace is hurling, victories come with more frequency. That’s what happened to Mascoma yesterday afternoon when they had to face Fall Mountain’s Matt Wood
Wood gets the ball to the plate in a hurry. Yesterday, he got it in the strike zone, leading his team to a 6-1 win.
The game was played on the Ball-Roentsch Memorial Field at the spectacular Hubbard Baseball Complex in Walpole.
The Royals also ran into a team that, after losing five straight, has won three in a row, including a 12-1 five-inning shellacking of second-ranked Monadnock last week. Wood allowed the powerful Huskies just six hits in that victory.
Wood, a junior lefty, had 10 strikeouts and walked just two. He threw 98 pitches. He had a four-pitch inning, the fifth, when he got three straight ground-ball outs to second base.
“You know, there’s a lot of parity in this division,” Fall Mountain coach Frank Brown said of NHIAA Division III, of which the Wildcats and Royals are both members. “I haven’t seen a team with a lot of pitching depth.“
The Wildcats are 6-6, as are the Royals. But Mascoma coach Guy Serviss is losing his patience a bit. The strikeouts seemed to bother him the most yesterday, and he thinks his players need to use more plate control.
“We swing at too many ball fours and we look at too many strike threes,” he explained. “We need to put the ball in play more.”
Mascoma was also hurt by bases on balls, as two pitchers combined to walk six, of which three later came home for runs.
“Bases on balls always kill us,” said Serviss. “It just seems when you walk a guy, he comes around to score.”
Mascoma’s only run came in the third inning, when Spencer Pierce doubled to right-center and Ethan Neily singled him home. The only other Mascoma hit was a Spencer Pierce single in the first inning. The only Mascoma player to reach after the third inning was Nathan Brown, who walked with two outs in the seventh inning. Wood retired 13 Mascoma batters in a row at one point.
“We certainly made him look pretty good,” said Serviss.
Mascoma used two pitchers, with Walt Hammond going the first four and Kyle Kosiorek the final two. Hammond gave up just three hits and struck out two, but he walked five. Kosiorek allowed two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
As much trouble as the Royals had with Wood’s servings, it was just a 3-1 game through five innings. However, the Wildcats nailed it down with a three-spot in the sixth inning.
Errors also came into play as the Wildcats scored an unearned run in the first and two more in the sixth.
The only really thumping the Wildcats did was in the third, when Clay Gendron had a long RBI double to left that was followed by a crisp single from Hudson Hagland to bring home Gendron. “We didn’t get many hits, but we got them when they counted,” said Brown.
Mascoma hosts Inter-Lakes on Friday.