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The Nashua Community College Thursday Thoughts for 4/27/2023

By Pete Tarrier and Dave Haley, 04/27/23, 6:15AM EDT


Pinkerton Astros slugger Jackson Marshall (photo by Cindy Lavigne)

 For the past fifteen years, we have broken down all four divisions every Thursday, and today, we rank the Top 10 contenders in each.

 Pete Tarrier will break down Divisions I, II & III weekly, while Dave Haley will rank the contenders in Division IV.

 Our column today and our year-long coverage of the Nashua area schools are brought to you by our great friends and partners at Nashua Community College!


Note: The D4 column and rankings were written before Wednesday afternoon's games.


Division I

Division 1 Standings and Statistical Leaders

1. Londonderry- Our preseason number one bounced back from their first loss of the season over the weekend to Concord by beating previously unbeaten Exeter on Tuesday and then Keene on Wednesday.   The 6-1 Lancers are riding strong pitching and an explosive offense that has outscored teams 52 to 9 so far.

 2. Exeter- The Blue Hawks are also 6-1 and Bruce Joyce's team gets the nod for the second spot over Goffstown thanks to a come from behind walk-off win over the Grizzlies last week. 

3. Goffstown- With a win over Timberlane on Wednesday the Grizzlies are 5-1 and join the pack at the top of the division.  A tough matchup with Pinkerton is happening today and next week Goffstown plays Keene, Portsmouth and Bedford.  

4. Concord- The 3 to nothing Brooks Craigue shutout over Londonderry at Holman Stadium gives the Tide a marquee win.  Concord is now 6-2 after a non-divisional win over Souhegan.  Craigue and fellow senior co-captain Nater Wachter are both off to great starts.  

5. Winnacunnet-  A pair of early season quality wins over Pinkerton and Portsmouth have the 5-2 Warriors sitting in the Top 5.  Big matchup with a good Dover team looms on Friday. 

6. Pinkerton-  We'll be covering the Saturday May 6th game vs Londonderry on video as a Game of the week.  The game is in Derry and I would expect a big crowd for a 1pm start on a Saturday.  

7. Dover-  I have the Green Wave in this spot ahead of teams with similar records thanks to impressive victories over Bishop Guertin and Nashua North.  

8. Portsmouth-  The Clippers bounced back from the loss to Winnacunnet in a game we covered on Tuesday by beating Bedford in come from behind fashion yesterday.  Portsmouth is now 6-2.

9. Bishop Guertin- It's obviously a loaded division when the 5-2 Cardinals are ranked down near the bottom of the Top 10.  That's why it's really a wide open field.

10. Windham- Before a 10-2 loss to Spaulding the Jaguars had ripped off 4 consecutive wins to get into the conversation.  Rivalry games are next for Windham who play Salem and then Alvirne. 


Division II

Division II Standings and Statistical Leaders

1. St. Thomas- One of only 2 unbeaten teams still left, the Saints have been the top dog in the division so far.  Sam Grondin is doing it with his arm and his bat.  

2. Hanover- The Bears are 4 and 0 and will take on rivals Lebanon on Friday.  Jackson McBride is hitting a blistering .750 so far and Sam Sacerdote has won both of his starts.

3. Hollis-Brookline- The defending champs lost a 2-1 nail-biter against John Stark to fall out of the number 1 spot they have held since last year, but at 6-1 don’t count the Cavaliers out.

4. Plymouth- The absolute surprise of the season with a 5 and 1 start by the Bobcats.  Johnny Flaherty has been immense on the mound with 3 wins and 30 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched.

5. John Stark-  The 4-2 Generals got a commanding performance from starting pitcher Anthony Paolicelli against HB who went 6 2/3 innings with 12Ks.  

6. Bow- The Falcons get over .500 at 3-2 with a win over Lebanon.  We’ll be covering the game in Bow next Wednesday when John Stark pays a visit. 

7. Coe-Brown- The Bears are also 3-2 and handed Plymouth their 1st loss of the season, 3-2 as Tommy Flannagan outdueled Logan Finkle Wednesday. 

8. Milford- The Spartans have only played 4 games and split them beating Souhegan and ConVal and losing to HB and Pelham. 

9. Lebanon- Another 2-2 team that has also beaten Souhegan and ConVal.  The Raiders take on rival Hanover on Friday. 

10. Kennett- At 3-3 the Eagles get the last spot in our Top 10 based on strength of schedule.  2 of their 3 losses have come to #1 St. Thomas. 


Division III

Division III Standings and Statistical Leaders

1. Monadnock- No surprise here.  The Huskies are off to a 5-0 start outscoring opponents 67-0 so far.  They’re pretty good. 

2. Bishop Brady- The Green Giants are 4-0 and the only other unbeaten team in D3.  Michael Thresher is a player of the year candidate for Skip Foy’s team. 

3. Campbell- At 6-1 the Cougars only loss came to Brady in their 2nd game of the season.  Campbell has already beaten Belmont and Gilford to keep ahead of those teams.

4. Belmont- Belmont’s only loss so far came on Opening Day at Campbell.  The Red Raiders tied rival Gilford in their 2nd game and have reeled off 3 straight wins ever since.

5. Gilford- The Golden Eagles are also 3-1-1 with their only loss coming to Campbell.  We’ll get to see Gilford on video next Thursday when we cover the game at Monadnock. 

6. White Mountains- The Spartans from the North Country are 3-1 with the marquee win coming last Friday against Winnisquam.  White Mountains plays a tough D4 team in Littleton on Monday.

7. Winnisquam- We told you about the Bears losing to White Mountains. Fred Caruso’s team is 3-1 on the young season and we’ll get a look at them on video later in May when Campbell pays a visit to Tilton.

8. Prospect Mountain- The Timberwolves are 5-2 and sitting inside the Top 10.  The 2 losses are to the 2 top teams in the division Brady and Monadnock.

9. Conant- Coach Aric LeClair’s young Orioles are 3-2 with wins over Inter-Lakes, Fall Mountain and Mascenic.  Good 9 vs 10 matchup this afternoon in Jaffrey as Stevens comes in.

10. Stevens- The Cardinals grab the 10th spot at 3-3.  Stevens gave Monadnock one of their toughest games in the last couple of years in a 5-0 loss last week. 


Division IV

 Division IV Standings and Statistical Leaders


 1. Derryfield- Drew Hill's team has been as good as advertised. The Cougars' offense is averaging 17 runs a game and has been led by Jack Steward (10 RBIs), Mitch Regan (9), and Zach Martin (a team-high eight hits).

 2. Gorham- The Huskies have only played three games and none against a team with a plus .500 record but hope to change that with a trip to Cooperstown, NY, to face Woodsville. 

 3. Sunapee- The adage in sports is 'defense wins championships.' Well, in baseball, pitching does the same the Lakers have as good a combo at the top of their rotation as anybody. Jon Roth (0.00 ERA) and Finn Flint (0.00 ERA) have been dominant early on for Tom Frederick's team.

 4. Woodsville- The Engineers are hitting .382 as a team, with all-state performer Jack Boudreault carrying over his success on the hardwood to the baseball diamond. Boudreault has belted out eight hits in thirteen at-bats for a blistering .615 average through four games.

 5. Littleton- The schedule is getting tougher, with upcoming games against Colebrook, Woodsville, White Mountains, and Gorham. Blake Fillion has been the story for AJ Bray's team early on, leading the division in batting average (.750) and RBIs with sixteen.

 6. Mascenic Regional- The Vikings don't fall far from their pre-season #5 ranking despite a pair of losses. That's because a 2-1 extra innings loss to Nate Gallant and Epping, paired with a loss to Division III Conant (who they split two games with), is no cause for alarm. They've gotten balanced production across the lineup, and Joe Cocozella is a legitimate ace on the mound.

 7. Colebrook- Tim Purrington's Mohawks are mashing the baseball early on. Can the combination of Liam Shaw and Kolten Dowse in the rotation win multiple playoff games down the road?

 8. Newmarket- Pitching will be the question mark for the Mules, as they gave up twenty-six runs in their only two losses of the season against Mascenic and Derryfield. Camden Moran has been terrific at the plate with eleven hits in twenty-two at-bats to go with a team-high eleven runs batted in.

 9. Concord Christian- The pitching has been excellent early on. The Kingsmen in a 5-0 start. They haven’t beaten a team with a plus .500 record but won’t play a genuine title contender until May 10th, when they face Derryfield.

10. Portsmouth Christian- Derek Summers’ team is rolling after an 0-2 start, ripping off four straight wins. Kian Littlefield (.642 avg.) and Cai Summers (.524) have combined for twenty hits and twenty-two RBIs for the Eagles.

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