Campbell Baseball Claws out State Championship with a Walkoff in the Tenth
June 16, 2017
submitted by Michael St. Onge
The Campbell High School Cougars went a perfect 19-0 on the season. With a never-give-up attitude, the Cougars embodied their namesake to claw their way to a state championship on Sunday. This final victory definitely didn’t come easy. It took a three-inning surge in extra innings at Delta Dental Stadium in Nashua against Belmont to eke out a 6 to 5 victory.
It was a battle of the top two seeds in Division 3. The teams had not played each other during the regular season. It took ten innings for number 1-seeded Campbell baseball to ultimately edge out Belmont by one run following a walk-off. This tooth-and-nail win was entirely fitting as retiring Campbell Coach Jim Gorham goes out on top after 16 seasons at CHS and five championships.
The Cougars trailed 5-3 going into the bottom of the tenth. After a lead-off walk, Campbell bunted into a bizarre 1-3-2 double play while trying to take third base. With two outs, Keegan Mills hit a gap shot for a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Campbell loaded the bases and Jake Donovan found himself in a 1-2 count when he hit a groundball to third base for what looked like the final out. An off-target throw and a collision at first base allowed two runs to score for the win.
It was Belmont who captured the lead in the first inning. With two outs, Can Magerer drove in one run when he singled.
Campbell evened things up at three in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jason Neild drove in one when he singled in the sixth.
Corey Derosier started the game for Belmont. He went nine innings, giving up three runs, six hits, and striking out nine. Griffin St. Onge started the game for Campbell. He tossed eight innings, allowing three runs, six hits, and striking out four. Both pitchers exited the game due to pitch counts. Keegan Mills earned the win for Campbell in relief. He threw two innings, surrendering two hits and two runs.
Payton Musco, Bryce Barrett and Jason Neild each drove in one run for Campbell. The Cougars were sure-handed and didn’t commit a single error. DJ Simoneau made the most plays with eight, including a diving catch that was turned into a double play, ending a Belmont rally.
Prior to the championship win Saturday, the Campbell Cougars defeated Raymond 3-2 on Thursday at Southern New Hampshire University courtesy of a walk-off single. Like the Belmont championship contest, the Cougars triumphed in an extra-innings battle. The semi-final game was tied at two with Campbell batting in the bottom of the 11th when Matt Gagne singled off of Alex Sweeney, driving in one run.
The pitching was strong on both sides. Campbell pitchers struck out 10, while hurlers for Raymond sat down 11.
Campbell took an early lead in the first inning when Keegan Mills scored from third off a wild pitch. Raymond answered in the fifth with two runs to go ahead 2-1. Campbell evened things up at two in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs in the fifth inning Matt Gagne drove in one run when he singled.
Keegan Mills earned the win for Campbell. He pitched three and a third innings, allowing no runs, no hits, and striking out two. Alex Sweeney took the loss for Raymond. He went three and a third innings, allowing one run, three hits, and striking out seven.
Andrew Dupuis started the game for Raymond. He tossed seven innings, surrendering two runs, five hits, and striking out four. Bryce Barrett started the game for Campbell. He went seven and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs, six hits, and striking out eight.
Campbell Cougars had eight hits in the game. Mills and Gagne each collected multiple hits for Campbell. Gagne led Campbell with two runs batted in. Campbell will face the number 2 seed Belmont in the state championship Saturday, June 10, at Delta Dental Stadium at 10 a.m.
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