Post 22 Rolls to Finals
Concord — With a three-run second inning and a four-run third to counter an early score, Lebanon Post 22 left little doubt that it wants to remain a factor in the New Hampshire American Legion junior state baseball tournament.
Getting a 4-for-4 performance from Caleb Broughton and a 3-for-3 day from Ben Robinson, Lebanon routed Concord Post 21, 14-4, in five innings on Monday afternoon at Memorial Field to stay alive in the championship. Post 22 (14-5) will meet Exeter Post 32 — a 9-4 winner over Nashua Post 48 on Monday night — at 4 p.m. today, needing to win two games to secure its first state championship.
Lebanon rattled Concord pitchers for 15 hits, making the game academic by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to activate the tournament’s 10-run mercy rule.
“That’s the best we’ve swung the bat all year,” Lebanon coach Dustin Broughton said. “The guys are hitting. They weren’t cheating with their swings. They came out fired up. We’re playing some good ball right now.”
Concord grabbed a 1-0 lead off Robinson, Lebanon’s starting pitcher, in the top of the first inning, but it was all Post 22 after that.
Robinson doubled home Tanner Simms to tie the game in the second for Lebanon. Bryar Rouillard put Post 22 ahead to stay with an RBI sacrifice fly, and Levy Byrd made it 3-1 with a walk and stolen base before scoring on an error.
Lebanon brought out the bats again in the third. Simms doubled, Robinson delivered an RBI single, Rouillard reached with a hit and Brady Bates drove in two with a double. After Sam Hastings was hit by a pitch, Caleb Broughton’s RBI single made it 7-1.
Bates closed out the game with a two-run double in the fifth to cap a two-hit, four-RBI day. Robinson earned the complete-game win with four strikeouts, four walks, six hits and just two earned runs allowed.
Should Lebanon beat Exeter, it would have to then top Nashua at 7 p.m. to claim the state crown.