Hanover baseball remains unbeaten

  • Trevor Pierce

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/24/2021 10:11:38 PM
Modified: 5/24/2021 10:11:35 PM

LEBANON — The Hanover High baseball team moved within one win of an undefeated regular season on Monday, winning 14-5 over Lebanon at Lebanon High School.

Hanover (12-0) scored three runs in the second, but Lebanon (7-5) answered with two. HHS scored in every inning the rest of the way. The Raiders hung tough — Hanover’s lead was 6-3 through five innings.

But Hanover scored six in the sixth to blow the game open.

“It played closer than the scoreboard showed. We struggled in the beginning. We were looking at too many pitches,” Hanover head coach John Grainger said. “And then we hit the ball. Once we stopped looking at all those third strikes and hitters (stopped) getting themselves in holes and we started getting more aggressive, we put up a lot of hits.”

Hanover finished with 16 hits as a team. Juniors John Hill and Mason Gantrish both recorded three-hit games. Hill hit a towering two-run home run that cleared Lebanon’s tall left field fence in the seventh inning.

Gantrish hit an RBI double in the second for Hanover’s first run of the game and finished with four RBIs.

Grainger praised Gantrish’s progress at the plate this season.

“He struggled early on cause he was swinging at bad pitches, quite frankly,” Grainger said. “And we’ve worked on his pitch selection. Today, it just felt like every ball that he swung at was hit hard, no matter where it was pitched.”

Hanover junior Ian Hedgepeth hit two doubles.

Sophomore Sam Sacerdote and junior Colin Pierce also had multi-hit games.

On the mound, junior Wes Stocken went 3⅓ innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and one hit batsman with two strikeouts.

Junior Trevor Pierce pitched the rest of the way in relief.

He gave up two runs (both unearned) on two hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

Lebanon junior Braden Falzarano worked out of several jams to limit damage. He pitched 4⅓ innings, surrendering six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Raiders head coach Chauncey Wood said Falzarano’s command was effective.

At the plate, Lebanon had eight hits. Freshman Zachary Aldrich and senior Bennett Hewett both had multi-hit games. Junior John Bieszczad had a pinch-hit two-RBI double in the sixth inning.

Wood said his team played a strong five innings but that sometimes one bad inning can be all it takes to change the game.

He said the Raiders need to clean up small errors.

“Gotta clean up the mental mistakes,” Wood said. “A team like that, that’s strong from top to bottom, you can’t make mistakes like that. You can’t let them in. You give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

Hanover and Lebanon will meet again on Wednesday at Hanover — the final regular-season game for both teams.

Grainger said an undefeated regular season was a big goal for Hanover this season. A win Wednesday accomplishes that feat.

But he said he doesn’t think his team has any pressure to achieve it.

“I look at every game of every season as, ‘All right, should we win this game?’ And if the answer’s yes, then that’s the expectation, to win it,” Grainger said. “My first year, we were 3-14, and I’m going into those games, and I’m not saying, ‘Should we win this game? Yes, we should.’

“Should we win Wednesday with Sam Sacerdote pitching? Absolutely.”

Seth Tow can be contacted at stow@vnews.com.




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