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Red Raider baseball continues winning streak

Griffin Embree pitched a great game, getting the win against Inter-Lakes High School last week. Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
May 16, 2017
MEREDITH — The Belmont High School baseball team is on a tear since starting the season 0-2, and with the bats getting going and the pitching continuing to impress, the Red Raiders are confident in their playing.

On May 10 Belmont beat up on Inter-Lakes High School 14-1, in a game that was close until the Red Raiders piled on six runs in the sixth inning and another five runs in the seventh inning. Up until the fifth inning the Lakers pitching kept things close, but they just couldn't get anything going against Belmont pitcher Griffin Embree.

Embree pitched a complete game where he allowed an unearned run on two hits, with nine strikeouts and no walks. Offensively Embree went 3 for 4 with three singles, an RBI and three runs scored on the day.

Leading the offense was Corey Derosier, who had a 4 for 5 day with four singles, two RBIs and three runs. Doug Price had a pair of singles in a 2 for 3 showing. He also had four RBIs, a run scored, a walk and was hit by a pitch.

The game went from a pitcher's duel to a shutout in the top of the sixth inning when Inter-Lakes pitcher Hunter Sanders had trouble with his control. Cole Contigiani was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, but the umpire said he didn't give enough of an attempt to move so he was ordered to stay in the batter's box. Coach Matt Leblanc had words with the home plate umpire, but the call remained. Contigiani ended up walking anyway.

Sanders then walked Cam Magerer and Kyle Minery to load the bases for Trevor Hunt. Hunt grounded a single between the shortstop and third baseman to drive in a run. With one out and the bases loaded, Embree knocked in another run on an infield hit. Derosier then smashed a single to center field, knocking in two runs.

Nick Manville then came in the game in relief of Sanborn and got Chris Marden to ground out to third base. However, with two outs Price smashed a two-run double to center field. Manville got out of the inning with a big strikeout of Contigiani, but the damage had been done.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Inter-Lakes catcher Collin Sheehan reached second on a throwing error. He was advanced to third when Nathan Manville grounded out and then Ian St. Cyr reached base on a close play at first. Nick Manville drove in the lone run for Inter-Lakes on a fielder's choice, scoring Sheehan.

Manville came out to face the Belmont's meat of the order in the seventh inning and gave up an RBI double to Matt Pluskis, giving Belmont a 10-1 lead. Jonny LeCLair then hit a sacrifice fly to center, which was followed by an RBI single by Embree making it 12-1. The scoring onslaught continued with Price hitting a single to right, driving in Derosier and Marden who had previously singled.

Embree sat down the Inter-Lakes batters in order to end the game 14-1.

Leblanc was all smiles after the big win.

"It was an awesome win," said Leblanc. "It all started and ended with Griffin Embree. As a sophomore coming in and starting the game for us- for him to finally get a start after the games spread out- he did not disappoint. No walks on the day and that's always a recipe for success."

Leblanc said Embree had hitters off balance all day, which was shown by allowing only two hits and striking out nine.

The Red Raiders blanked the Gilford Golden Eagles on May 11, 4-0, in a pitching duel between Derosier and Gilford ace Tyler Sargent. It was locked at a 0-0 tie until the final inning, when Sargent reached his 120 pitch limit and needed to be taken from the game. Derosier had the game winning RBI single as they scored four runs in the final frame against Braeden Lacroix. Sargent took the loss, as he was charged with the go ahead run.

Derosier pitched a complete game shutout allowing four hits, a walk and striking out 10 batters. Leblanc prided Derosier on being so efficient, saying he was only at 55 pitches when he entered the seventh inning.

Sargent worked some deep counts, with many going 3-2, and Leblanc said this was a credit to his offense being patient. Leblanc said Sargent has faced them many times over the past three years and this was the best he had seen of him.

Other wins this week included a 9-1 win at Newfound and an 11-1 win at home, also against Newfound. As of press time Belmont had a 9-2 record. They have won nine straight games since starting the season with two straight losses.

Leblanc said the team seems to be getting more and more confident as the wins roll in. He has said before that they are a loose team, and not much gets in their heads. He said a winning streak like this clearly feels good to him and the team.

"With every win confidence builds, and with every successful at bat confidence builds," Leblanc said. "We are feeling pretty good right now and we want to keep this going. The most important thing for us is the next game. We aren't looking too far ahead and we certainly aren't looking behind us."

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