The spring sports for NHIAA are wrapping up, and there has been a tilt-a-whirl of emotion, excitement, heartbreak and utter satisfaction. As graduations conclude and school's lock their doors for the summer, New Hampshire prepares themselves for the upcoming football season--easily the fan favorite in the Granite State.
Perhaps the most dramatic finish, however, was baseball. For the second year in a row, baseball has people chattering throughout NH, with an extra-inning gem made for the history books. Merrimack took on Concord, two schools that are very different from each other and two towns even more diverse, the Tomahawks (Merrimack) were resiliant in their battle with the Tide (Concord), who ironically wear crimson, but couldn't close it out.
Merrimack, who won the boys basketball State Title in March, were licking their chops for a chance at another title. Concord, who finished the season with a dominant 14-4 record which began with 6 straight wins, brought a trophy back to the state capital. The Crimson Tide were 7-2 at home, 7-1 on the road and 5-1 on neutral turf. Concord was an offensive juggernaut all season, scoring 150 runs during the regular season. Concord's most lopsided and one-sided wins came in deciding fashion, beating Salem 15-8, Alvirne 21-2, Bishop Guertin 19-6, Manchester West a staggering 14-0 and Trinity 12-3. In those games alone, Concord looked unbeatable, with shut down pitching, power hitting and smart base running. The a Crimson Tide infield was modern day steel curtain, letting through 78 runs all season (150-78 runs scored to runs allowed is prettey exceptional, no?), and they finished off the year with a 10-0 win over Spaulding High to seal the 1 seed in the tournament and go into the playoffs with their heads held high.
The storybook ending for Concord, which came with a two out bottom of the ninth single from senior first baseman Dillon Emerson, came after a horrible day at the plate for the young star. He was 0-4 on the day before his magical at bat, but Emerson got his chance in the ninth and he produced, bringing in the winning run and giving Concord it's first state title in baseball since 1980.
Merrimack, the 3 seed, would finish their season 15-5.