Touching all the Bases
---- — The hottest team in New Hampshire Division 1 right now? How about Andover High.
Not exactly, but the Warriors, now 6-4 overall, have run off three wins against 8-4 Nashua North, 8-4 Bishop Guertin and even Salem High this week.
“I think it’s just about fitting in games against good opponents,” said Andover senior Andrew Deloury. “It’s always good to beat a New Hampshire team and show them a little bit of what Mass. baseball is all about.
Deloury, a star receiver this fall on the Warriors’ title-winning football team, is ablaze right now on the diamond, leading the Warriors with a .500 average, 12 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
“It’s gone pretty well, I guess,” said Deloury, who will play baseball at Salem State next year. “I’m just swinging at strikes and jumping on fastballs when I get them. Guys just keep getting on base and front of me, and it’s making pitchers throw me strikes.”
Deloury is one of those athletes who seem like they’ve been around forever, just because he’s been an impact guy on the varsity since his freshman year.
“There’s been some changes this year. I’ve had to learn to step up and be a leader this year, not just to go out there and have fun,” said Deloury, who likes the Warrior chances of getting back into the MVC baseball race. “Chelmsford is coming up, and we still have two left with Central Catholic, too.”
One other big one on the docket comes up on the morning of April 18 (10 a.m.) at 8-3 Londonderry as the Warriors and Deloury go for the Granite State sweep.
Bardwell still working hard
All has been very quiet on the Chris Bardwell front at North Andover this spring, kind of right in line with the Merrimack Valley Conference premier of the baseball Knights.
In his lone North Andover High season after transferring from Central, Bardwell helped lead the hoop team to a conference title and a trip to Tsongas Arena in one of the great Cinderella stories of our region’s history.
This spring, the southpaw has struggled with control problems, and the rebuilding Knights are just 3-7 in the first half.
“I’m doing fine,” said Bardwell, this week after his senior classmate Jake DiSalvo silenced Haverhill for a huge win. “(My struggles) have been mechanical, struggling with my control. But it’s been great. I’m out here, just playing baseball with my good friends.”
Bardwell’s work ethic since Day 1 hasn’t wavered. In fact, with his mound struggles, he’s actually been taking extra swings and working in the field, trying to help the team in any way he can.
Recently, the Eagle-Tribune Hoop Super Teamer committed to play basketball at Division 3 Roger Williams College in Rhode Island.
Lancer talk I
Yes, heads were turned this week when Londonderry put up a 33-7 pounding of Nashua North this week.
“I’ve never seen it, and I don’t think it will ever happen again,” said Lancer coach Brent Demas.
Certainly, the have-nots around New Hampshire had their shots for Demas this week.
“We’ve talked about it a little up here,” said Demas. “I’m just not going to send a kid to the plate and tell him to go strike out. That’s not what this game is about.”
Demas did the right things, especially in the 23-run inning. His runners didn’t move up on passed balls. Players went base to base on hits.
“We totally toned down the aggressiveness,” he said.
Londonderry, according to one other area coach, is clearly the team to beat in Division 1.
The mound rotation of Ryan Moloney (2.07 ERA), Tom Corey (1.70) and Rob Del Signore (0.41) has been rolling over people of late. To put things into perspective, Londonderry opponents have scored 30 runs total in the Lancers’ 11 games, three fewer than Londonderry put up on Wednesday.
Lancer talk II
Five straight wins have Lawrence High baseball prospects riding high, especially after knocking off Billerica and UMass Lowell-bound ace Max Frawley this week.
We all figured Lawrence would be able to throw the baseball some, and Joan Vargas has not disappointed.
With infielders like Edison Urena, dynamic Elvis Peralta and Co., the Lancers can pick it defensively, too.
But lately, they’ve been clubbing the baseball.
Peralta come out of the gate mashing and is 21 for 44 on the year, having hit safely in 10 of 13. Lately, it’s been contagious.
Jose Abreu is 7 for 20 with seven RBIs in the last five. In the same stretch, Javi Morales is 8 for 16 with 8 RBIs. After a 1 for 15 start, senior Jose Martinez is in a 9 for 19 groove. Brahiam Ortega and Elvis Batista continue to lengthen the attack, too.
Those of us who were unwise enough to predict a Billerica runaway in the MVC Small had best keep an eye on the Lancers, now 8-5 overall and 6-3 in the league.
A fourth-straight one-run loss has second-year Georgetown High coach Justin Spurr scratching his head a little bit.
Remember, the Division 4 defending EMass champs came in with a five-game win streak to end last spring and then ripped off seven victories in a row to open this year.
Since then ... one-run frustration.
“Every single game it’s been one inning of frustration, too,” said Spurr. “My only concern is that we can’t find a way to win. We battle back and battle back, and we just can’t get over that hump.”
Better now, than in June, I guess, would be the way to handle this stretch.
Royals baseball fans got some good news over the last couple days concerning fine-looking freshman Mike Goddu, who was hit by a pitch in the face Thursday against Masconomet.
“He was here for our game (yesterday),” said Spurr. “He’s got stitch marks from the baseball on his face, and he’s all black and blue, but nothing is broken. It’s better than we thought. No concussion, nothing.”
People asked Spurr, earlier in the year, how a freshman could break into a stacked lineup as it is.
“The reason he’s in the lineup is that he plays the game the right way, 100 percent, no matter when it is,” said Spurr. “You see him out there diving for balls in batting practice. He’s amazing.”
Please ponder this
Folks around Division 3 North, I ask you to stop reading. This news is not good.
For the rest of us, here goes.
Defending Division 3 state champion North Reading made it 11-0 this year and extended the Hornets’ current overall win streak to 19 in a row.
You have to start wondering if the Hornets can run the table.
Sure, Lynnfield, Masco and a tough Clancy Tournament lie ahead, but it could happen.
“Our pitching is just so good,” said coach Frank Carey, whose club has given up only 17 runs in 11 games. “But I’ve never, ever had an undefeated team.”
Think about this.
North Reading hit .251 in the 2012 before igniting in the postseason. The 2013 Hornets headed into yesterday’s (21 for 44) feast against Amesbury hitting .365 as a team.