Timber Wolves play their way in to tourney
|AUSTIN PERRIN fires to second to gun down a runner stealing second in Friday’s play-in game against Gilford. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)|
May 30, 2011ALTON — The Prospect Mountain baseball team played its way into the Division III tournament with an 8-2 win over neighboring Gilford in the tournament play-in game on Friday, May 27.
"It's not pretty, but it's a win," coach Gary Noyes said. "I told the guys that they'd (Gilford) come to play."
In the early going, it appeared that the Golden Eagles certainly were there to play, as the two teams battled closely for four innings.
Prospect plated one run in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Biscoe singled with two outs and stole second. Spencer Goossens then drove him home with a double to right centerfield to give the Timber Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Gilford threatened in the second, as an error and stolen base put a runner on second with two outs, but Prospect pitcher Zack Drouin made a diving catch in foul territory on the third base side to end the inning.
Austin Perrin had a leadoff base hit in the bottom of the inning, but Prospect couldn't get a run across and Gilford came back to tie the game in the top of the third.
With one out, Drouin surrendered a walk. A stolen base and a balk put the runner on third and after a walk, Perrin gunned down the runner trying to steal second for the inning's second out. However, a base hit drove in the tying run.
Ethan Henderson took over on the mound in the fourth and set the visitors down in order and did so again in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the frame, Prospect took the lead for good.
Andrew Hederman led off the fifth with a base hit and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Dan Miller. Pat Cassidy beat out an infield hit and Drouin laced a base hit, loading the bases. Anthony Frangione followed with a base hit to plate two runs and Prospect had a 3-1 lead. Drouin then got a great jump in an attempt to steal third and the catcher hurried the throw and it got past the third baseman into left, allowing Drouin to trot home with the team's fourth run.
Gilford immediately came back with a run in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a pair of walks and a base hit, but a solid defensive play got Henderson out of trouble. With one out and runners on first and second, the batter lined a shot to left field and Miller made a diving grab in shallow left. Miller then doubled off the runner at second base to finish out the inning.
Prospect broke it open in the bottom of the sixth inning. Perrin started the frame with a base hit and Hederman moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Miller lined a base hit and was replaced by Logan Roberts on the bases. Cassidy reached on an error to plate one run and a Drouin fly ball moved the runners up a base. After a conversation with Noyes that had Gilford thinking squeeze, Frangione then lined a shot to deep left and the Gilford leftfielder couldn't haul it in, allowing two more runs to score.
"I told him to get it out of the infield," Noyes said.
Biscoe followed with a base hit to plate another run for an 8-2 lead.
Henderson gave up a walk in the top of the seventh, but got a pop up and a strikeout to finish out the game.
"A couple key hits along the way helped us get going," Noyes said. "And they stuck with it defensively."
Noyes also praised Drouin's key stolen base that helped lead to a Gilford error and Perrin's play behind the plate, particularly noting the runner he gunned down stealing second.
With the win, the Timber Wolves move into the Division III tournament, where they will take on Newport on the road today, June 2, at 4 p.m. The Timber Wolves have not seen the Tigers this year, but Noyes noted he was pleased with the bracket his team ended up in.
The tournament continues on Saturday, June 4, at 4 p.m., likely at Campbell. The semifinals are Thursday, June 9, at 4 p.m. at Gill Stadium in Nashua.