Exeter holds on for title

MANCHESTER – Just like last year belonged to the Bedford Bulldogs, it just seemed like this season belonged to the Exeter High School baseball team.

But give the Bulldogs credit; they didn’t go down without a fight in Monday’s D-I championship game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Trailing by five runs going into the top of the seventh, Bedford scored four times before falling short, 7-6.

“You know, it comes down to a few at-bats,” Bedford coach Billy Chapman said, his team finishing as the second seed at 19-2. “That one extra hit, that’s what it comes down to.”

Exeter’s Cody Morissette picked up the win, but he had to leave the game in the seventh with the tying run on base as he had reached his pitch limit (120-plus).

“To go on two days rest, 120 pitches, keep his (velocity) up, I tip my cap to him,” Chapman said. “We couldn’t get the bats going until a little bit too late.”

The Bulldogs got four big runs in the seventh, the key hits being a Grant Lavigne RBI double, and RBI singles by Liam Greene and Geoff Mosseau.

But they had already dug themselves a hole. After the Bulldogs had rallied to tie the score 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Exeter moved ahead on a Kyle Maurice RBI single. Bobby Cliche added his second RBI single of the game in the fifth, and the Blue Hawks (10 hits) scored three in the sixth to go up 7-2. It turns out they needed them all.

“Credit the guys, they didn’t quit,” Chapman said. “It’s tough to lose, but to say you were down 7-2 and one hit away from tying the ballgame … Two great clubs.”

And two great seasons. Bedford starter Joe Quintal,the first of four Bulldogs to take the mound, endured the loss.