CONWAY — The Kennett High and Plymouth baseball teams split a home-and-home series last week with each winning on the other team’s field. The Bobcats won 11-0 at Coach Robert Burns Sr. Varsity Baseball Field (better known as The Bob) on April 26, but the Eagles earned the split with a 9-4 win in Plymouth on Wednesday.
Kennett sits at 2-1 on the young season with four games canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plymouth is 2-2 with one game lost to the coronavirus.
The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association had an open tournament last fall and winter for multiple sports with everyone making the playoffs and initially playing in a regionalized cluster in the opening rounds of post-season play. That format continued this spring.
“It was nice to see the turnaround from the first Plymouth game,” said Josh McAllister, Eagles’ head coach. “It felt good to see the boys respond.”
In the opening contest with the Bobcats, Plymouth struck for three runs in the first inning and never looked back.
“Their top four batters hit the ball hard,” McAllister said. “They were 7-7 on the day.”
KHS was the one to get the offense going first in Plymouth. Senior Parker Coleman led off the game with a fence-clearing home run.
“It cleared the fence by a lot,” said McAlister. “It was a shot.”
The Bobcats took their first lead of the day with a two-run homer in the second frame, but the boys from Conway knotted the score at 2-2 with a run in the third frame.
Plymouth managed to regain the lead on the strength of two solo home runs. KHS trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth inning and turned out the lights on the Bobcat’s offense.
Senior Harrison Keeler started the game on the mound for the Eagles, working 2 2/3 innings before departing with a sore shoulder. McAllister went to the bullpen and got lights-out performances from Sam Seavey and Noah Barrows, who retired 13 of the 14 batters they faced of the final 4 1/3 innings.
“Sam threw 2 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, and Noah didn’t allow a hit over the final two innings,” said McAllister. “They were both lights out. Sam threw strikes, and Noah was throwing in the 80s, and no one touched it.”
Kennett took the lead for good in the sixth inning, scoring four times. Trailing 4-3, the Eagles loaded the bases for catcher Jack Robinson, who laced a two-out, 3-2 pitch to right field to tie the game. Coleman, who the Bobcats had no answer for, reached base eight consecutive times in the two contests, drew a bases-loaded walk to plate what proved to be the winning run. The hometown flock added two more runs on passed balls.
“It was another nice win,” McAllister said. “Just like at White Mountains (a 5-4 come-from-behind victory on April 24), the bottom of the order came through again.”
The Eagles played rock-solid defense.
“Sean Regnier made a nice diving play on a ground ball down the third baseline and threw a guy out,” said McAllister.
He added: “I must have written 6-3 (shortstop to first base for the out) eight or nine times. Noah and Parker (who played shortstop during the game) had a lot of action.
Coleman was 2-2 on the day with a pair of walks and was also hit by a pitch.
“It was a good turnaround,” McAllister said. “We’re a team that beats good teams. Plymouth is a good club.”
The Eagles were back on the diamond at The Bob on Monday when the Kingswood Knights (4-1) came to town to open a home-and-home series, which is slated to culminate Wednesday in Wolfeboro at 4 p.m., weather permitting.
Before Monday’s game, the Eagles recognized their six seniors — Noah Barrows, Parker Coleman, Riley Gavett, Harrison Keeler, Brady King and Sean Regnier — for their commitment and dedication to the program over the past four years.