Grassett helps Post 98 to Legion title game

MANCHESTER – Three games into the weekend, a couple of pre-tourney thoughts were going to ring true.

First, Merrimack Post 98 had the horses to make a deep run. That certainly happened as Post 98 reached the championship game, falling 6-0 to Rochester on Tuesday.

The second was that Merrimack’s key players would have to step up their games.

And Amherst’s Jacob Grassett certainly answered the call.

Grassett played key roles in the infield, the outfield and on the pitching mound as Merrimack went 5-2 in a five-day span.

“Jacob certainly came up big for us,” said Post 98 skipper Mike Henzley. “He gave us all he had, and then some. He played wherever we needed him, and he played well.”

Grassett was also the lone Merrimack player to start a pair of games on the mound.

The right-hander started Saturday night at Gill Stadium against Lebanon and went three innings before the rains came and it was suspended into Sunday. Pitch count rules dictated that Grassett could not return to the hill on Sunday, and that was a negative as Merrimack fall 7-4.

But there was a positive, as Henzley was allowed by the rules to go back to Grassett on Tuesday night against winner’s bracket champ and top seed Rochester.

Again, Grassett gave it all he had but was hurt by four errors behind him in a 6-0 loss.

“He gave us all he had,” said Henzley. And we can’t complain about that. We didn’t help him with our defense behind him. I’m proud of him.”

While Tuesday was a tough day for Merrimack Legion, Monday might have been one of the best days in Post 98 history with two wins to move into the last pairing.

In the first victory, Merrimack pulled out a 3-2 thriller over a very tough Concord squad.