Sarah Bracken slides home safely with hook tag against Merrimack
Friday afternoon Sachs took his team to Dover to meet Sarah Morse, in what everybody knew was going to be a great pitcher’s duel. Both Morse and Salem’s Nora Galvin would toss three-hitters, and the Blue Devil’s drew first blood in the top of the third inning when leftfielder, Ashley Relf reached on an error and came around to score on Steph Cabral’s base hit. Dover used a couple of walks, a hit, and an error to tally two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and that ended all the scoring in the game. The Green Wave won this nail-biter 2-1 and are now tied with Salem, as they both have 13-4 records as the Class L tournament nears.
Nora Galvin threw four innings of four hit, two run ball, and sophomore Val Bauer came on the close it out with three innings of one-hit shutout ball as Harold Sachs Blue Devil girls improved to 13-3 on the season with a nice 7-2 victory over the Merrimack Tomahawks last Wednesday. After the first two innings went scoreless, the Tomahawks led off the third inning with a single and a sacrifice bunt. Merrimack then hit back-to-back singles to score one run, and another sacrifice bunt scored a second run, but Nora Galvin and sophomore Val Bauer would shut down the Tomahawk bats from thereon. The Salem bats answered that little flurry immediately, as freshman Sarah Frahm reached on an error from a hot smash that the Merrimack shortstop couldn’t handle. With one out, freshman Stephanie Long ripped a single up the middle, and with two outs Erica DePinto drove in Frahm with an RBI single. Julia Gray’s two run double put the Blue Devils’ ahead for good at 3-2, and Amanda Vaudreuil followed with a long triple to score Gray. Merrimack threatened to score in the top of the fourth inning when they had a single and two walks, but with two outs, centerfielder Stephanie Long took off and ran down a smash to the gap for the final out of the inning. Salem upped their lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Sarah Bracken led off with a double and went to third on Sarah Frahm’s single. Long then smashed one at the shortstop that scored Bracken. Leading 5-2 heading into the top of the fifth inning, Salem coach Harold Sachs decided to let sophomore Val Bauer toss the last three innings, and she gave up a single and a walk, but shut down Merrimack the rest of the way for the save. Salem scored their last two runs in the last of the sixth with Geena Terino and Stephanie Long scoring the lat two runs for the Blue Devils.
Jake Matthews looks down field against Pinkerton
The Salem boys lost 15-3 to 15-1 number two seed Pinkerton last Thursday afternoon in Salem, and despite the large margin of victory, the game was a heckuva lot closer than the final score might indicate. The Astros got five goals from Tom Auger, three goals from Brian Estes, and two apiece from Nolin Murphy and Mike Auger to lead their scoring parade, but the Blue Devils kept the game within reach in the first half. Kyle Kenney scored a goal in the first quarter that saw Salem staring at a 6-1 deficit heading into the second period, and Jake Matthews scored a nice goal in the second frame, as coach Kelleher’s Blue Devils only trailed 8-2 at intermission. Salem goalie Joe Scire would make several tremendous saves from in close to keep the Blue Devils in the game, and Brett Miller scored who, nine minutes left in the third quarter, pulled Salem within 9-3, but the Astros got two late goals in the third quarter and then tallied four goals in the final 12 minutes for the 15-3 final. Salem will be looking for a win against Londonderry early in the week for a possible playoff position.
Coach Kelleher and his Blue Devil crew tried to build on what they had been displaying the past two games Tuesday when they went across the town line to play a 10-2 Pelham team that is currently having it’s best season ever in Division III. Jake Matthews only needed 20 seconds to get the Blue Devils on the scoreboard, and Brett Pittera added another goal three minutes later. Brett Miller scored with eight minutes left in the first period and the 3-0 lead would stand up until the start of the second quarter. This could have very well been an 11 or 12-0 game at halftime, but Pelham’s senior goalie Andrew Keegan was making several sensational saves that had several Salem players, and coach Kelleher saying, “How the hell did that kid make that save. This goalie is pretty good!” Pelham trailed 6-0 at halftime as Kevin Baudin tallied two-second quarter goals and would have had another one if his teammate didn’t come out of the block too quick after a penalty. Miller, Matthews, and Baudin scored to start the third period, and the Pythons got two goals from Mike Woonton and Sean Paradis, before Kyle Kenney’s last second goal gave the Blue Devils a 10-2 advantage going into the fourth quarter. Kenney, made it 11-2 before Nick Morin scored Pelham’s last two goals, and Baudin had another goal, along with Harbilas, Eric Mulcahey, and Mike Dipalma who scored his first ever career goal for the 16-4 final.
Kyle Kenney picked a great day to have a career high scoring game against Manchester West last Monday afternoon. Coach Chris Kelleher’s Blue Devil stickers got several other eye-popping efforts besides Kenney too, as they took a 4-1 first quarter lead and extended it to 8-4 by halftime. Kyle Kenney would explode for right goals against West, and he’s also handing out another three assists. Goalie Joe Scire played very well too as he stopped 10 Blue Knight shots to earn the big win. Salem’s scoring leader, junior Brett Miller, pitched in with four goals and three assists, and Nick Harbilas was impressive with three goals and an assist. Sophomore Kevin Baudin is still showing Blue Devil fans why coach Kelleher has inserted him into the starting line-up a couple of weeks ago, as Baudin had a pair of goals and gave out three assists.
Last Saturday morning coach Kelleher’s kids were up early and they were bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed, ready to get going in a big game against the Nashua North Titans. Salem Athletic Director Dave Rozumek couldn’t have scheduled two better officials for this game if he tried. Exeter Athletic Director and football coach Billy Ball, and former Exeter football coach Dick Eustis, (who used to coach Woodbury and Salem High football until 1967), did the game and were flawless as they usually are. The Blue Devils got off to a 4-1 first period lead before really stepping it up to take an 11-2 advantage at the break. This is the kind of all-around team play that coach Chris Kelleher has been promoting from the get-go, as eight different Blue Devils would hit the scorebook. The Blue Devils still led 15-4 heading into the final 12 minutes of play, but the Titans used four quick goals in the first three and a half four minutes of the fourth period, to make a game of it, closing the gap to 15-7. Brett Miller, Nick Habilas, Kyle Kenney, and Jake Matthews would make sure no comeback was in order as they ripped off the last four goals of the game to give the Blue Devils the 19-7 win, that put their record at 4-9. Nick Habilas scored a career high five goals, with Kyle Kenney right behind him with four scores. Brett Miller had three goals on the day while Brett Pittera and Dakota McKenzie had two goals apiece, and Kevin Baudin, Jake Matthews, and Eric Mulcahey had the other Blue Devil scores. Salem took this game 19-7, as Joe Scire had to stop 10 Titan shots along the way.
Darren Brown throwing a four hitter against Merrimack
Salem junior pitcher Darren “Downtown” Brown took things into his own hands last Friday afternoon at Michele Park in Salem when manager Danny Keleher handed him the ball to start against the 4-11 Dover Green Wave. Brown pitched a dandy of a six-hitter a week ago against the 14-1 Trinity Pioneers in a 3-0 Salem loss, but he was even better Friday against Dover. After striking out the first batter to start the game, Dover’s second batter hit a grounder up the middle that Matt Gioia knocked down, but the runner just barely beat it out for an infield hit. Dover would get one infield hit in the second inning, but that would be it for the day against Darren Brown. Salem scored a run in the first and third innings and then doubled that lead with two runs in the last of the fifth inning to win this game 4-0, and raise their Class L record to 10-8. Salem scored in the first inning when Matt Gioia singled with one out and went to third on Joe Morin’s single and Gioia scored on a balk by the Dover pitcher. With two outs in the third inning, Morin hit a rocket up the middle that the second baseman knocked down, but threw it away allowing Morin to take second base. Sam Fazioli made Dover pay as he double Morin home to give Salem a 2-0 advantage. The Blue Devils got their last two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, and guessed who started this rally going? Yup, that right, Joe Morin. Morin has a knack of getting on base, and he walked with one out, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, and scored on Sam Fazioli’s single, with Fazioli taking second on the throw. Fazioli later scored when Josh Treff reached on an error.
Manager Danny Keleher’s Salem Blue Devils had a few rare fielding problems early in last Wednesday’s game at Merrimack, as Salem allowed the Tomahawks to score four runs in the last of the first inning off sophomore lefty, Nick Poore. The Salem kids came back to tie it up in the top of the second inning, but couldn’t take advantage of a couple of opportunities later in the game and dropped to 9-8 with a 5-4 loss here. Salem has been thriving of tough pitching and hustling defense this spring, but two infield errors would give the host Tomahawks an early 4-0 lead, with two of those runs being unearned. Down 4-0 after one inning, the Blue Devil bats came alive when Darren Brown singled with one out, and with two outs he went to second when Josh Treff walked. Jared Scali reached base safely on a Merrimack error, and now Salem had the bases loaded with two outs. Connor McGuire was hit by a pitch to force home Brown. Josh Heli then cleared the bases with a three-run double and just like that it was all tied up at 4-4. Merrimack was able to string together three consecutive singles with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to score what proved to be the game winner as they took this 5-4 squeaker. Nick Poore was the hard luck loser on the mound for the Blue Devils.