Sachems score early, hold off Franklin rally to win 12-7 and advance in division III tournament

LACONIA — The fourth-ranked Laconia High School baseball team scored early and often and then held off a late rally by the Franklin Golden Tornadoes to post a 12-7 win at Robbie Mills Field Thursday afternoon.
The win puts Laconia in the quarterfinal round of the tournament and they will play Saturday at 4 p.m. at home against an opponent yet to be determined.
After both teams went scoreless in the first inning, Laconia struck for five runs in the second inning, chasing Franklin starter Garrett Fleming, who was replaced at the start of the third inning by Brendan Frechette, who then surrendered six runs in that inning as Laconia took a commanding 11-2 lead.
Leading the Laconia attacks was Andrew Salta, who had three hits including a second inning triple which one-hopped the right field fence. He drove in four runs.
Griffin Nyhan was hit by a pitch to start the second inning for Laconia. Dominic Valliancourt reached on a misplaced bunt and Kyle Johnson singled to left, scoring Nyhan. James Salta later drew a bases loaded walk to plate a run and another scored on a wild pitch before Andrew Salta's triple made it 5-0.
Franklin struck back in the third when T.J. Laramie singled to left and Corey Nelson followed with a single to center, Dylan Cooper advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Bryan Sweet's hard-hit grounder went right through Dylan Dockham's legs allowing both runners to score.
Laconia pitcher Dominic Vaillancourt prevented further damage by by getting Max Joyce to pop out to first and Tyler Arnold to ground out to second.
Nyhan again got things going for Laconia in the third when he led off with a single. Vaillancourt and Johnson both singled to load the bases. Dockham followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Nyhan, but Vaillancourt was gunned down trying to reach third for the second out of the inning. An infield single by Tom Turpin and walk to Bradley Weeks loaded the bases and James Salta was then hit by a pitch which bounced in the dirt, forcing in a run.
Andrew Salta followed with a bloop double to left which plated two runs to make it 9-2 and Carter Doherty's grounder which went by the shortstop brought in two more, making it 11-2.
Franklin got one back in the fourth when J.T. Laramie's single scored Pat Kaplan, whose RBI single in the fifth bought in Joyce to make it 11-4.
Laconia added a run in the sixth when Johnson scored after Dockham dropped a double in between three Franklin players who had converged on the ball in shallow center.
Vaillancourt was replaced on the mound by Andrew Salta in the seventh after Cooper walked and Sweet singled. Franklin scored runs on an errant throw to second base and when Fleming walked with the bases loaded. Salta, who was having problems working from the stretch, found himself in a bases loaded situation and used a full windup. He got Frechette to fly to right, which plated a run, and, after walking Laramie to again load the bases, induced Nelson to ground to third, ending the game.

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Laconia’s Dominic Vaillancourt throws a pitch to Franklin’s Corey Nelson during first-round Division III baseball at Robbie Mills Field on Thursday afternoon.   (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Franklin’s Corey Nelson makes the out on James Salta at third during 1st round Division III baseball at Robbie Mills Field on Thursday afternoon.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Kitchen fire at Wingate Village leaves woman and cat homeless


LACONIA — A kitchen fire that officials said may have started in a electrical strip at 3 p.m. Thursday was extinguished within one minute after the department arrived still caused enough damage to render one woman temporarily homeless.

Chief Ken Erickson said there was a microwave in the apartment at 103 Blueberry Lane, Apt. 75, of Wingate Village that appeared to have had its door blown off and that was blackened by fire.

The blaze was confined to the kitchen and neighboring area but the entire apartment was heavily damaged by heat, smoke and water. Erickson said the lone tenant of the apartment is being assisted but has tenant insurance to cover the loss of her belongings.

Erickson said the resident was outside when they arrived but firefighters rescued her cat from the smoky home.

He said there are four units in the building that had the fire but the remaining three were spared any damage except for some light smoke.

In July of last year, three apartments were heavily damaged by much larger fire in Wingate Village but in a different building. That fire appeared to have started somewhere outside but near enough to building to spread up the vinyl siding and into the attic space where it spread rapidly.

Five adults and six children were left temporarily homeless in that blaze that went to three alarms and brought firefighters from multiple communities to Laconia. The blaze in that building burned through the roof before it was knocked down.

Erickson said that there are 100 units in the complex and while it seems like there are a lot of fires, he said for the number of people living there, there really aren't. He also said the property managers take very good care of the buildings there but anywhere there are a lot of people there will be fires.

"The hardest part about fires and Blueberry Lane is making sure we go down the correct driveway," he said, referring to the labyrinth of buildings and driveways.

Erickson said there appears to be about $50,000 in damage to the building and the items in it.

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Assistant Fire Chief Kirk Beattie and fellow firefighters examine a stove brought from the kitchen of an apartment fire Thursday afternoon. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

Gilford hopes to create walking trails in Lakes Business Park


GILFORD — In order to complete a requirement of a wetlands permit in Phase II of the Lakes Business Park, the town will be seeking a grant to create some walking trails in the Gilford portion of the park.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said the grant, if approved, comes from the federal government and is administered by the state Department of Economics and Development under their trails bureau.

Dunn said the matching money will come from the Lakes Business Park Trust Fund to which Gilford contributes up to $54,000 a year from revenues it gets from the sold units.

According to city of Laconia website, Phase I of the Lakes Business Park was created in the mid 1990s by the City of Laconia, which consisted of five lots, four of which are currently occupied.

The city of Laconia joined the town of Gilford to develop Phase II of the park in 2002, which consists of 113 acres of land developed into 19 lots and is entirely in Gilford.

Sales of the lots in Gilford, said Dunn, generate taxes a portion of which goes back into the development of future lots. He said the Lakes Business Park Trust Fund has about $400,000 and would be used for any matching portion of the grant.

Dunn said part of the Phase II intermunicipal agreement with Laconia consisted of creating nature-friendly hiking trails for use by the general public and the employees of the business who are in the park.

Once completed, said Dunn, he said the trails would be accessed via Hounsell Avenue.