Bedford Junior Legion comes up short in opener
It looked like Friday’s game was going to be over for Nashua Post 124 just as it started.
The first three batters reached base in the bottom of the first for Bedford Post 54 but Nashua starter CJ Barrett was able to escape the inning unscathed.
Barrett and the Nashua defense kept the game close and Post 124 did just enough offensively to beat Bedford 2-1 in eight innings in a first-round game at the American Legion junior state tournament at Gill Stadium.
Barrett went seven innings, picking up the win for Nashua, while Daniel Leone and Tyler Faulkner each drove in a run as Post 124 advanced to play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Windham Post 109.
“Everyone came out to play and had their minds right,” Nashua coach Austin Wasserman said. “I talked to them before and they knew who they were playing. Bedford is a really good team and that pitcher (Geoffrey Mosseau) is very good.
“They keep their poise pretty well. All year, we’ve gotten into trouble early and we’ve fought back. We’ve played good defense and made pitches. Offensively, the last couple of games we’ve struggled, but our pitchers have kept us in the game.”
Mosseau pitched all eight innings in taking the loss for Bedford, which took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, but couldn’t overcome its missed opportunity in the first.
“Their guy was a little wild but once he settled down, we didn’t hit him and he didn’t walk anyone,” Bedford coach Mike Laflamme said. “We had some opportunities that we squandered in the first and second innings, and it’s about getting those opportunities and taking advantage of them. That’s something we didn’t do.”
Down a run in the top of the fourth, Anthony Gallinaro led off with a double to left field, went to third on a groundout by Austin Long and scored on another groundout by Faulkner to tie the game. Nashua had a chance for more after Leone walked and Joseph Routhier singled, but Mosseau struck out Barrett to end the inning.
Bedford got a runner into scoring position in both the fourth and the fifth, but some solid plays in the field from Nashua helped end each threat.
“Faulkner and Routhier had some really good defensive plays,” Wasserman said. “CJ Barrett just pounded the zone. He had a tough first inning but came back and made some really good pitches and executed.”
After stranding a runner in the sixth and seventh, Patrick McCarthy led off the eighth with a walk for Nashua and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gallinaro. Long was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, but Mosseau was able to strike out Faulkner for the second out.
Leone came through with a single to left, scoring McCarthy, but Routhier grounded out to third to end the inning.
Joe Brown gave up a two-out hit to Bedford’s Ryan Lee in the bottom of the eighth, and Lee successfully stole second, but McCarthy snared a line drive at first for the final out of the game.