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Melnik no-hits Sachems in home opener

TOM MELNIK fires a pitch on his way to a no-hitter against Laconia on Friday in New Durham. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
April 18, 2011
WOLFEBORO — The first start of Tom Melnik's senior year at Kingswood is one the lefty will likely remember for a while.

In the Kingswood baseball team's home opener in New Durham on Friday, April 15, Melnik tossed a no-hitter, striking out nine Laconia Sachems, walking four and helping the Knights improve to 1-1 on the season.

"Tom threw the ball pretty well," said coach Chip Skelley. "I was not terribly impressed with Laconia, but still the same, he pitched quite well."

Melnik issued two of his four walks in the fourth inning after striking out five of the first six batters through three innings.

"Tommy's the type of kid who doesn't know what Tommy is," Skelley said. "He has no idea what he could be, tall, lankiness with a good, live arm. When he's on, he's tough to hit."

Skelley noted that the senior can hit the low part of the strike zone, which makes him very effective.

While Melnik was the star of the day, the Kingswood offense was paced by Slayd Dore, who ripped three hits and drove in two runs in the 6-0 win. Cole Swancott also had a key double and drove in two runs.

Kingswood scored once in the first, once in the fifth and added four in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a couple of errors in the frame.

The win over Laconia was a good bounce back for the Knights after they lost their opener at Portsmouth on Monday, April 11. The game marked the first time the Knights had been on a field and all things considered, Skelley was pleased with the way his team played against one of the top teams in Division II.

"They can put together three or four runs pretty quick," Skelley said. "And that was against one of the best pitchers we're going to face."

While Portsmouth walked off with the 7-1 win, the Knights had plenty of positives to take from the opener.

Dore pitched well for the Kingswood boys, keeping the Clippers off the board for the first couple innings.

Offensively, David Hersey was the star, as he had the only two hits for the Knights, including a double that knocked in Phil Erwin, who had walked, in the fourth inning.

"It's not a bad start," Skelley said. "Now we're getting to the meat of the schedule."

The Knights were slated to host Souhegan on Wednesday, April 13, but that game was postponed by rain. That game will be made up on May 19.

Kingswood will be in action on Friday, April 22, at Pembroke Academy at 4:15 p.m. On Monday, April 25, they head to Bishop Brady for a 4:15 p.m. game.

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