Souhegan baseball team rebounds from first loss

Staff photo by TOM KING Souhegan’s Owen Batchelder tossed a gem on Tuesday, blanking Windham on five hits as the Sabers improved to 9-1 in Division II with a 4-0 win.

AMHERST – It took almost three weeks to get both the Souhegan and Windham High School baseball teams on the field against each other thanks to all the recent lousy weather.

But it took less than two hours for them to leave it, thanks to the pitching of Souhegan senior lefty Owen Batchelder.

Batchelder was in charge, blanking the Jaguars on five hits, 4-0, as the Sabers recovered from seeing their 26-game winning streak halted by local rival Hollis Brookline late last week.

“It’s been a bit of a bumpy road the last couple of years,” Batchelder, now 3-0, said of his pitching career. “It felt good to get out here against Windham, a very competitive team. It felt good to get this win under our belt.”

Batchelder and his left arm are bound for Northeastern University next year, and one could see why after he fanned three without issuing a walk.

He let the Jags put the ball in play.

“It’s very to easy to pitch confidently when I have the defense I have behind me,” Batchelder said. “I believe I have the best defense in the state behind me.”

“I’m so happy for Owen,” Sabers coach Bill Dod said. “He has worked hard to get the performance that you saw today. … He wants to pitch at the next level and I think today is a great indication on how far he’s come this year. Just a great performance against one of the top four teams in the state.”

The Jaguars, now 10-2, hit the ball on the nose in the first inning but had just one hit to show for it.

Their starter, Ryan Faria, didn’t pitch badly, but he gave up an RBI triple to Saber Alex Burns in the first, and Burns scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.

His teammate Max Benevides blasted a two-run homer to left to make it 4-0 in the third and that was that.

“He definitely had us off balance,” Windham coach Leo Gravell said. “We’re usually a little stronger second and third time through the order like everybody else. But today he was going to be tough to beat.”

Grabell said the playoff atmosphere was prevalent as soon as the Jaguars arrived, and Dod agreed.

“Today was real important,” he said. “Today we started to get back to the level that we need to be to beat the iron of Divsion II.”

And that includes his pitcher.