Post 22 Juniors Must Wait a Day

  • Lebanon Post 22 American Legion juniors batter Sean Maddock swings and misses at a Portsmouth pitch during Saturday night’s game at Leahy Field in Portsmouth. The state tournament game was postponed at 8 p.m. because of lightning in the area. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

  • Lebanon American Legion Post 22 juniors pitcher Kyle Pelletier, hard on arm, watches the weather during a delay for lightning Saturday at Leahy Field. The state tournament opener against Portsmouth was postponed during the fifth inning. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Travis Pelletier, coach of the Lebanon American Legion Post 22 juniors team, addresses his players before the start of Saturday night's state tournament opener against Portsmouth. The contest was delayed because of weather during the fifth inning with Lebanon leading, 6-0. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon American Legion Post 22 junior players Calvin Bates, sitting, Garrett Prince, left, and Trey Chickering watch Bates' phone before Saturday night's state tournament opener at Leahy Field. The contest was delayed by weather in the fifth inning and with Lebanon up, 6-0. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon Post 22 American Legion baseball players Zach Moore, left, Kyle Moore and Kyle Pelletier stand before the national anthem Saturday at Leahy Field. The game was delay midway through the fifth inning and with Post 22 up, 6-0. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2018 11:35:13 PM

Portsmouth — To pass time during a lightning delay on Saturday, the Lebanon Post 22 American Legion junior baseball team’s players threw a baseball back and forth from their Leary Field dugout to that of host Portsmouth Post 6. The squads first competed in tic-tac-toe, marking Xs and Os on a grid inked on the horsehide.

After about 20 minutes, however, the ball came back with a pleading message: “Can we just go home now?”

That wish was eventually granted when the game was postponed, with a restart scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday. Lebanon, the top seed from District A, leads, 6-0, two outs into the fifth inning of the seven-inning contest.

“It makes things interesting, but it’s out of our control,” said Post 22 coach Travis Pelletier, who helped arrange the booking of seven hotel rooms so his players and their bus driver could stay overnight in the Portsmouth area. “We’ll just make it some team bonding time.”

If Lebanon (14-2) loses, it will have to turn around for a 12:30 p.m. elimination game. If Post 22 wins, it will get off until a night game at a time to be determined. Lebanon received a strong Saturday pitching outing from Kyle Pelletier, the coach’s younger brother. He allowed three hits, none in the same inning, while striking out two batters, walking none and not allowing a runner to advance past second base.

“Kyle threw a great game but we were about ready to go to the bullpen, so the (stoppage) won’t affect our use of him,” Travis Pelletier said. “We’ve lost a little bit of the advantage of being a No. 1 seed, but I think we’ve got the jitters out now and we’re ready to play.”

The delay, which lasted about 45 minutes, had its comedic offerings. In addition to the baseball toss between dugouts, the Post 22 players watched the Red Sox play on Kyle Pelletier’s phone and threw baseballs for one of their younger brothers to retrieve on the field. Kyle Young drew some strange looks for breaking out a book.

“It’s my summer reading for school,” he protested. “I gotta get it done sometime.”

Notes: Portsmouth is 9-9 and needed a victory in its regular-season finale to reach the tournament. … Junior Legion teams are comprised of players 17 and under. … Leary Field was, until this summer, home to the Seacoast Mavericks of the Futures Collegiate summer league. It has a right-field fence only 286 feet from home plate. … Post 22 shortstop Kobe Benoit’s nickname is “Beef,” a reference to Kobe beef. That’s a certain, high-quality meat from Japan that comes from black cattle in Hyogo Prefecture. ... Lebanon reserve Garret Prince is a Lyme resident, but is a boarding student at St. Johnsbury Academy during the school year. He is the son of former Hanover High football linebacker and fullback Luke Prince. … Newmarket is in this year’s tournament and is the defending state and regional champion.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.




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