Lack of arms sinks Alton
To deal with a weakened pitching staff, Alton Post 72 coach Bubba Noyes handed Goossens the ball at the top of the fourth inning. But with Post 72 already trailing Concord Post 21 by 11 runs in Legion action, Goossens didn’t feel much pressure.
“I had a lot of fun,” he said. “I’ve been in a funk for a little while and this brought the fun back into the game, I think. I’m real happy that the coaches allowed me to throw.”
Alton eventually fell to Concord, 19-0, in a mercy-rule shortened seven innings at Prospect Mountain. Goossens stayed on the mound until midway through the top of the final inning.
The move could benefit Post 72 this weekend. The team will play a game on both Saturday and Sunday and Goossens taking the mound allowed some of the team’s pitchers to rest.
“[Goossens] did well,” Noyes said. “Normally when you take that much time off the mound you don’t get it back just like that. He threw strikes. That’s a positive out of this.”
Goossens gave up eight runs in 3 2-3 innings.
Post 21 started the scoring early, putting two runs on the board in the first inning before blowing the game open with a ninerun second inning.
Joseph Smith and Sam McManus hit back-to-back singles to open the second inning. After Matthew McCormack walked, Benjamin Bengston drove in a run with a single.
Edward Dionne and David Drouin also picked up an RBI each, while Dillon Emerson drove in two runs with a double. Smith rounded out the scoring for the inning with another single.
“They can hit the ball,” Noyes said. “You can’t make mistakes against them and we made a couple.”
Post 21 finished with 17 hits, including two consecutive ground rule doubles from Kenneth Hart and Emerson in the top of the sixth inning. Post 72 managed just four hits.
“They are unbelievable,” Noyes said of Post 21. “They really are, from top to bottom. They can hit, no question about that.”
Noyes said Post 72’s struggling offense can be attributed to two things: a roster filled with young players and older players not performing particularly well at the plate.
“I don’t know if they’re approaching the plate right or not,” he said. “Sometimes I think they let too many strikes go by. You can’t wait for the perfect pitch.”
The players are managing to get their bats on the ball, Goossens said, but aren’t finding the gaps.
“We’re hitting the ball, just at people,” he said. “We need to get the timing better. The young talent is starting to come together.”
Post 72 currently sits at 1- 6 and in last place in the Senior District A-1 standings, but Goossens said the team could be starting to come together.
“There are a lot of younger guys and a lot of older guys,” Goossens said. “We haven’t meshed, but now we’re starting to mesh. Hopefully we can turn it around by just thinking the game better and not going out just for the sake of going out.”
Post 21 improved to 6-1 overall and currently sits in second place in the Senior District A-1 standings behind undefeated Manchester.
Alton will face Merrimack on Saturday and Bedford on Sunday.
“Merrimack is winnable,” Noyes said. “We just have to put this one behind us and go into Saturday thinking that.”