By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
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.
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)
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)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 580