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Somersworth inches past Timber Wolves

Baseball boys rout Epping for season's first victory

MATT APKARIAN leads off first base after his seventh-inning base hit on Friday in Somersworth. He tripled and scored an inning earlier. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 03, 2010
SOMERSWORTH — There were still some mistakes, but the Prospect Mountain baseball team's second chance with Somersworth was much better than the first chance.

The Timber Wolves played relatively solid defensive baseball on Friday, April 30, in Somersworth but made a couple of crucial base running blunders that spoiled any chance of a win, as the 'Toppers took a 5-3 victory at Nivers Field.

Prospect opened the game up with two hits and a walk in the first inning, as Anthony Frangione and Danny Miller had base hits. However, Frangione was picked off first after leading off the game with a hit. Brian Jones walked with two outs, but the Timber Wolves couldn't push the run across.

Centerfielder Pat Cassidy made a diving grab of a line drive in the bottom of the first inning to keep the hosts off the board and freshman Andrew Hederman struck out the final batter of the inning to keep the game scoreless through one inning.

After the Timber Wolves went quietly in the second, the 'Toppers got on the board. A double and a one-out sacrifice grounder put a runner on third base and a base hit scored the game's first run.

Prospect went quietly again in the third, but Somersworth made a bit of noise in the bottom of the inning. A pair of base hits, an error, a double and another base hit made it 4-0 in favor of the hosts. Hederman settled down and got a popup and a pair of grounders to get out of the inning.

Prospect got on the board in the top of the fourth. Jake Biscoe led off with a base hit and took second on a wild pitch. Jones followed with a base hit and an error on the same hit allowed Biscoe to race home to make it 4-1.

Hederman gave up just an infield hit in the fourth and in the top of the fifth, Prospect narrowed the gap. Matt Apkarian led off with a long triple to left centerfield and one out later trotted home on a groundout by Frangione, making it 4-2.

Hederman walked two batters in the fifth and that came back to haunt him, as a bloop hit to left field fell in and plated another run for a 5-2 lead.

Biscoe led off the sixth inning with a base hit, but was promptly picked off first. One out later, Zack Drouin drove a pinch hit triple to center field and then scored when Austin Perrin doubled to make it 5-3.

Ethan Henderson took over on the mound in the bottom of the sixth and after two quick outs, surrendered a triple to right. It looked like the 'Toppers might expand their lead, but Cassidy made a long running grab of a fly ball to center to end the inning.

Apkarian led off the seventh with a base hit and one out later Frangione walked, putting the tying run on base. However, the Timber Wolves couldn't plate the necessary runs and dropped the 5-3 decision.

"We made some really remarkable plays in the outfield," coach Bubba Noyes said. "And it was nice to see Matt (Apkarian) and Austin (Perrin) hit today."

The veteran Timber Wolf coach noted that at 1-5, his team's record isn't spectacular, but with games against some of the top teams in Class M in the opening few weeks, he knows that the team has a chance to make up ground.

"We're one and five, but obviously, I think we're better than that," Noyes said. "The next two weeks are huge for us."

He pointed out that the Timber Wolf hitters have seen a lot of good pitching over the start of the season, which he believes will only help his squad.

"We just keep working hard in practice and hopefully seeing good pitching will help us win some games," Noyes noted.

The Timber Wolves did grab their first win of the season on Monday, April 26, as they drilled Epping by a 21-0 score.

Henderson got the start on the mound for Prospect and pitched four innings to get his first varsity win. He allowed only one hit, struck out five and didn't issue a walk. Spencer Goossens finished up on the hill, striking out two in a perfect fifth inning.

The Timber Wolves scored two runs in the first and exploded for 13 in the third inning, highlighted by a grand slam from Miller. Prospect added two in the fourth and four in the fifth to account for the 21.

Epping pitchers helped the Timber Wolves, issuing 13 walks on the afternoon.

"We obviously needed it," said Noyes of the team's win.

Prospect will head to Sanborn for a 4:30 p.m. contest on Friday, May 7, then to White Mountains Regional for a 4 p.m. game on Monday, May 10. On Wednesday, May 12, the boys return home to host Epping at 4:30 p.m.

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