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Hanover overpowers Mascoma as Stocken rings up 12 strikeouts in 5 innings

  • Mascoma seniors Elyas Jenkins, left, and Josh Evans hold flowers to give to family members and Hanover's seniors before the start of their game in West Canaan, N.H., on Friday, April 23, 2021, for senior day. ( Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Wes Stocken delivers a pitch during a game with Mascoma on Friday, April 23, 2021, in West Canaan, N.H. ( Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Mascoma's Cayden Marquay runs to first base after a hit with Hanover catcher John Hill ready to back up the first baseman during their game on Friday, April 23, 2021. ( 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
Published: 4/23/2021 10:27:51 PM
Modified: 4/23/2021 10:27:48 PM

WEST CANAAN — Behind a strong start from junior Wes Stocken, the Hanover High baseball team defeated Mascoma, 13-3, in six innings on Friday afternoon.

Stocken and Hanover (4-0) fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning as Mascoma (0-4) loaded the bases before scoring on a passed ball and an infield single. Stocken labored through the inning, throwing 26 pitches.

Marauders head coach John Grainger met with his team before the second inning and began to settle his team down and refocus.

“You go down early, don’t get too worried about it,” Grainger said. “You give them a few runs after you go (down) 1-2-3 on seven pitches, you start to get worried a little bit. But not too much.”

From there, Hanover took control of the game. Stocken settled in and dominated, striking out 12 Royals in five innings while surrendering just the two earned runs on five hits and one walk. This was the second straight game that a Hanover pitcher struck out 12 against Mascoma — sophomore Sam Sacerdote did the same during Tuesday’s 10-0 Hanover victory.

Stocken got stronger as the game went on — his velocity never wavered, and he got a better feel for his secondary pitches every inning. Stocken’s curveball, in particular, flummoxed the Mascoma lineup.

“(The secondary pitches) were working really well,” Stocken said. “I’ve worked on them all through high school. I threw them a little bit freshman year, but this year I decided there’s no better time than now to pick it up. They were locating; they were right there where I wanted them to be.”

Offensively, Hanover rode two big innings to victory.

The Marauders scored five runs in the third inning and six more in the sixth. Junior first baseman Casey Graham gave Hanover a 4-2 lead in the third on a bases-clearing double, and he advanced to third base on a throwing error.

Grainger knew Graham crushed the ball when it came off the bat. He thought the swirling wind prevented the ball from clearing the fence for a home run.

“That was a big hit,” Grainger said. “He’s worked hard in the cage and in the offseason. Physically, he’s gotten himself fit. He’s right there in the meat of the order for a reason. He’s got a bunch of good hitters in front of him. He’s always going to hit with guys on base. It’s good to see him connect on one.”

Only one Marauder — sophomore outfielder Ben Williams — recorded a multi-hit game. Six of the remaining eight in the lineup got one hit. Williams led the way for Hanover at the top of the order, going 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, three runs scored and five stolen bases. Hanover finished with 11 stolen bases as a team.

Senior Michael Evans started strong on the mound for Mascoma in the first two innings but got into trouble the rest of the way.

In 5⅓ innings, he gave up 10 runs (five earned) on five hits and seven walks while striking out two.

The Royals’ defense did little to help out their pitcher, as errors plagued Mascoma all game.

Mascoma head coach Dave Isom accounted for nine errors from his defense.

“Not a way to win a baseball game,” Isom said of the miscues. “I can’t take anything away from (Hanover). They’re a good team. They put the ball in play, they put the bat on the ball, they throw strikes, they’re pretty solid in the field, and they’re aggressive on the base paths. We just need to come back and have a short memory.”

Grainger and Stocken know Hanover has the potential to make a deep NHIAA tournament run this season. Stocken said the Marauders are a fun group, and they get excited for every game. They make a point of being into each contest from the dugout, leaning on the fence and loudly encouraging their teammates.

Grainger was pleased with the way his team handled Mascoma this week.

“We need wins, (and) we need to stack the scoreboard,” Grainger said. “We’re not going to really be challenged this year besides (Lebanon) and Stevens, so when we play teams that we should beat, we need to beat them. We need to let the other teams know that we’re serious this year. We’re quite talented with a deep pitching staff, and we hit the ball.”

The Royals are back in action Monday against Stevens High. The Marauders will host Fall Mountain Regional High Monday.

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




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