GILFORD — The Golden Eagles’ bid or an undefeated baseball season came to an end Tuesday when they lost to White Mountains, 9-2.
Gilford finished with a 15-1 record and had already wrapped up a first round bye in the Division III baseball playoffs Monday with a 10-0 win over Prospect Mountain.
Coach Eric Duquette said after the game Tuesday, “We have lots of things to clean up from this one, but nothing we can’t fix with some good practice. We’re looking forward to tournament next week.”
He said the game was tied 2-2 in the fourth inning with Alex Muthersbaugh on the mound when Gilford made several mental mistakes that extended the inning for a good White Mountains team.
Last week Gilford toppled White Mountains, now 13-2, by a 10-5 score in a battle of undefeated teams.
The Golden Eagles erased a 3-0 deficit in that game behind Adrian Siravo’s grand slam. Siravo pitched 5⅔ innings giving up four hits while striking out seven.
He has already pitched two no-hitters for Gilford this season and was on the mound Monday as the Golden Eagles notched their seventh shutout of the season. Siravo pitched five innings of one-hit baseball and struck out nine Prospect Mountain hitters.
Duquette says he has a strong pitching staff that has kept held opponents at bay all year and its first15 games gave up only 25 runs. Gilford has outscored its opponents 139-34 this season.
Behind ace Siravo is number two starter, Isaac Wallace, who had 0.00 earned run average through his first 24 innings. The staff as a whole, which includes reliever Cody Boucher, had a 1.03 ERA while generating the most shutouts of any team in Division III.
Gilford isn’t the only team in Division III with a 1-2 punch on the mound. White Mountains (15-2) and in second place has Braxton Brown and Griffin Crane, while Belmont (12-3) and in fourth place, has Griffin Embree and Brett Auclair.
Last week Belmont beat White Mountains 6-4 in a nine-inning game, only the second loss for the team from Whitefield. Embree pitched 7⅔ innings while striking put 10. The Raiders were one out away from a seven-inning win when a two-out error opened the door for a two-run rally that tied the score at 4-4.
They pulled it out with two runs in the ninth and won again this week beating Laconia 12-11 after having taken a 10-0 lead with Embree on the mound for four innings.
After he left the game Laconia came back and had runners on first and second in the seventh inning and were trailing by only one run before Auclair closed the door.
Earlier this year Embree and Gilford’s Siravo faced each other in a big game in Gilford with the Golden Eagles coming out with a 2-1 win.
Embree held Gilford hitless through the first five innings before walking Siravo to lead off the sixth. Siravo stole second and third and came home on a suicide squeeze bunt by Alex Muthersbaugh. Embree later balked with runners on first and third, allowing what proved to be the game-winning run to score.