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Massa opens season with no-hitter

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

NICK MASSA fires a pitch during action on opening day against Berlin. Dennis Coughlin. (click for larger version)
April 16, 2012
NORTH CONWAY — The Kennett baseball team started the season about as well as anyone could expect.

The Eagles got a no-hitter from junior pitcher Nick Massa and pounded All-State hurler Curtis Arsenault of Berlin all over the park to pick up a 10-0 win on Monday, April 9.

Veteran coach Bob Burns, noting that Arsenault is one of the top pitchers in the state, said the main difference between the two pitchers on the day had to do with warming up.

"I think the difference between he and Massa was that Massa did a better job of getting ready in terms of the weather," Burns said. With chilly temperatures in the Mount Washington Valley, Burns noted it was not easy to get warmed up, especially for a visitor jumping off the bus.

The Eagles pounded out the hits, rapping two triples and two doubles and putting double digit hits on the board.

"That was a good win for us," Burns said. "We played flawless baseball."

The Eagles didn't commit a single error in the win, as the senior infield did a nice job handling all the chances that came their way.

The Eagles traveled to Dover on Wednesday, April 11, for a game with St. Thomas and ran into one of the top teams in Division II.

Sean Perley got the start on the hill and allowed nine hits and the Eagles also managed nine hits, but the Saints came away with the 7-3 victory.

Massa and Scott Conner each had a pair of hits in the loss.

The Eagles finished out the opening week with an 8-2 win at Plymouth on Friday, April 13, as Massa again pitched well, giving up just three hits on the night.

The two teams were scoreless through the first three innings before the Eagles got on the board with three runs in the fourth inning. Kennett scored another in the fifth inning and added a bit of insurance in the seventh, plating four runs in the frame.

"Massa was really putting them down, pretty much in order," Burns said. The junior righty gave up a walk in the fourth inning and then gave up two hits in the fifth and another in the seventh on the way to the complete game win.

On the offensive side, the Eagles were on fire, as Austin Weber had a couple of hits, including a triple. Josh Drew had a couple of hits and Perley had a two-run base hit in the seventh inning. Conner went three-for-four with a double and Dan Rivera chipped in with a base hit.

"We hit the ball pretty well," Burns said.

Overall, with the 2-1 week, the Eagles have opened strong in Division II, but there are a few tough games ahead, with Portsmouth on the schedule in the coming week.

"That was a good way to start the year off," Burns said.

The Eagles will make the trip to Portsmouth on Friday, April 20, for a 4 p.m. game. On Monday, April 23, the team heads to Berlin for a rematch with the Mountaineers at 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, April 25, the Eagles host Bishop Brady at 4 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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