Bedford falls to Londonderry

The Bedford High School baseball team was put in the unenviable position of having to beat the best. Londonderry ace lefty Rob Del Signore doesn’t leave much margin for error. But for the first few innings of Wednesday’s Division I baseball semifinal, Bedford ace Grayson Jennings was matching the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year nearly pitch for pitch.

But then two infield errors led to Lancer Tom Corey’s base-clearing three-run double in the fourth inning and the No. 9 Bulldogs’ (11-10) somewhat surprising run through the tournament was over in a 6-0 loss.

“We just gave them a couple of extra outs that inning,” Bedford coach Bill Chapman said. “Teams – a good team – is going to jump on that extra out and make it hurt. And that’s what they did.”

It looked as if Jennings would escape bases loaded, one-out trouble in the fourth when he induced Zach Tavano to pop out for the second out. But Corey, who had fanned his first time up, smacked one to left center to give the Lancers and Del Signore the only runs they would need.

“He (Corey) was sitting on a fastball,” Chapman said. “That one pitch doesn’t dictate how well (Jennings) did.”

“We thought when Tavano missed out, Tommy steps up,” Lancers coach Brent Demas said, his No. 5, 16-7 team headed to its second straight title game. “He just laces that ball, clears the bases for us, and after that we just kicked in.”

Del Signor (two hits, no walks, 11 strikeouts) aided his own cause with an RBI triple in the fifth and scored the Lancers’ fifth run on a wild pitch. Corey doubled again in the sixth to set up Ben Byerly’s RBI single, spelling Jennings’ exit.

He wound up allowing six runs on five hits but struck out eight and walked four.

But the Bulldogs, who saluted their fans sitting behind the first base dugout after the game, will be back.

“We only have one senior (Spencer Pratt) on the field,” Chapman said. “We have a lot of juniors coming back, a lot of talent coming back, and some talent coming up next year as well.

“We got hot. Then you run into the Gatorade Player of the Year, it’s (the end) just going to happen.”