June 14, 2008
Wins State Class L Baseball Championship
MANCHESTER – Eric
Badasarian saved the Class L championship for
third-seeded Goffstown tonight before about 800 vocal
Responding to a pressure-packed situation, the senior
righty managed three outs to save Goffstown's 4-3 win
over top-seeded Salem.
The 2008 Class L Baseball
from Goffstown High School, lead by Head
Coach Matt Benson, holding trophy, celebrate
their win over Salem tonight at Merchantsauto.com
Stadium in Manchester (James Cook photo).
Goffstown High School's first title since joining Class
L in 2003.
Salem fought back from a three-run deficit to tie the
game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Goffstown
pulled ahead in the top of the seventh, thanks to Kory
Kiro's RBI single.
No. 3 and clean-up hitters, Joe O'Dell and Kyle Johnson,
led off Salem's seventh with walks. Goffstown coach Matt
Benson then summoned Badasarian to the mound.
"There wasn't much to say to the kid, he's a senior,"
said Benson. "That's how you win, with seniors."
"I was excited for the opportunity," said. Badasarian.
One of nine Goffstown seniors, he struck out one batter
and earned the second out on a shallow fly to right. He
then loaded the bases by hitting Matt Hardy.
The Grizzlies pitcher got two quick strikes on curve
balls and the coaching staff signalled for another.
"I thought the kid would be looking for a curve," said
senior catcher Steve Case. "So for the first time all
season, I shook the coaches off and called for an
The pitch went for a game-ending called third strike.
"I've played three sports (hockey, football and
baseball) trying to get Goffstown a state title," said
Case. "I graduated yesterday and today we finally bring
The Grizzlies took the lead in the top of the seventh
Hickey singled and scored on Kiro's single.
"I was just looking fastball -- something to drive --
and that's what I got," said Kiro. "I couldn't think of
a better way to end my career."
The loss capped a memorable sports year for Salem. The
girls' volleyball, field hockey and gymnastics team,
along with the boys' basketball, volleyball and tennis
squads won state titles. Plus, the softball and
cheerleading programs garnered runner-up plaques.
It was Salem's fourth trip to the finals in the past
seven seasons. Thirteen players graduated the night
"This ranks right up there with some of the best
championship games," said Salem coach Dan Keleher. "We
had a chance to win it and came up short. We gave it a
shot. I told these kids I would never ever think
negatively of them. They have done so much for Salem."
Tom MacDonald fouled off four two-strike pitches before
lining a single to right, igniting a two-run Goffstown
rally in the third inning. He scored on a throwing error
while swiping third before Case's single scored Travis
Consecutive singles from Josh Lafond, Kiro and Eric
Badasarian in the fourth gave Goffstown a three-run
Salem responded in the bottom of the inning. Pinch
hitter Brad White struck a first-pitch bases-loaded
single, scoring O'Dell and pinch runner Mark Bergeron.
Goffstown looked to increase its lead in the sixth when
MacDonald stroked a grounder towards center on a
hit-and-run play with runners at the corners.
Salem shortstop Joshua Heil, heading towards second to
cover the bag on the attempted steal, gobbled up the
grounder and fired home.
Greg Gardner tagged Kiro, sliding to the far corner of
Then relief pitcher Matt Hardy induced a rally-ending
The play swung momentum in Salem's direction in the
bottom of the inning when the Blue Devils loaded the
bases with one out, forcing a pitching change. Joshua
Jones worked a full-count walk, forcing home Greg Bates
to tie the game at 3-3 before reliever Rob Hunt ended
the threat with two strikeouts.
"Hunt got the job done. He shut the door," said Benson
of his junior reliever who replaced MacDonald in the
sixth. "Then all we had to do was get out of the