Baseball: Merrimack Valley now 6-1 following wild game at Pembroke Academy

MV junior Landon Abbott celebrates at second base after his RBI double to center gave the Pride a 13-7 lead in the top of the seventh inning against Pembroke on Thursday, May 2, 2024. MV won 14-9.

MV junior Landon Abbott celebrates at second base after his RBI double to center gave the Pride a 13-7 lead in the top of the seventh inning against Pembroke on Thursday, May 2, 2024. MV won 14-9. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

MV's Cam Chevarie reaches back for a difficult catch during the Pride's 14-9 win over Pembroke on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Chevarie was also 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored.

MV's Cam Chevarie reaches back for a difficult catch during the Pride's 14-9 win over Pembroke on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Chevarie was also 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

Pembroke's Cam Plumb tries to lay down a bunt in the Spartans' 14-9 loss against MV on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Pembroke's Cam Plumb tries to lay down a bunt in the Spartans' 14-9 loss against MV on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

Simon Keary delivers a pitch for the Pride against Pembroke. Thursday was Keary's first start of the season after recovering from a UCL sprain. May 2, 2024.

Simon Keary delivers a pitch for the Pride against Pembroke. Thursday was Keary's first start of the season after recovering from a UCL sprain. May 2, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

Devin Riel tries to square up a pitch for Pembroke during the Spartans' 14-9 defeat against Merrimack Valley on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Devin Riel tries to square up a pitch for Pembroke during the Spartans' 14-9 defeat against Merrimack Valley on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Chip Griffin—Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 05-02-2024 9:21 PM

Modified: 05-03-2024 12:35 AM


PEMBROKE — Thursday evening’s 14-9 victory for Merrimack Valley (6-1) over Pembroke (3-4) was the type of game that neither team wants to dwell on much. Both suffered through sloppy defense and inconsistent pitching, complicated by a mid-game downpour that made fielding and throwing all the more difficult. 

Still, the win puts the Pride at 6-1 on the season after failing to qualify for the playoffs in 2023 after finishing 4-12. 

“The kids have more confidence,” MV head coach Sean Wheeler said. “When we played last year, everybody was always looking for somebody to step up and make the play, get the hit, and this year, we have guys stepping up and making the plays. Going through last year I think was a great learning experience for a lot of these guys, and they’re hungry.”

Senior Simon Keary started on the mound for MV, his first start in about a year, after he worked his way back from a UCL sprain. He tossed four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. His outing was key, Wheeler said, because his team is running short on pitchers. They had four pitchers enter Thursday ineligible to pitch because of previous usage. 

“He’s not 100% yet, but for him to give us four innings was huge today because we got a game tomorrow as well,” Wheeler said. “We’re lacking arms at this point.”

At the plate, junior Landon Abbott was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI, while senior Cam Chevarie was 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.

For the Spartans, senior Cam Plumb struggled on the mound, allowing five runs in 1.2 innings of work. Senior Colby Pope ate up the bulk of the innings, giving head coach Josh Coughlin 3.1 innings in relief during which he allowed four runs on three hits.

Pembroke’s offense, meanwhile, was aided by MV’s struggles on the mound. The Spartans scored their nine runs on just six hits but also drew 11 walks at the plate. Still, for a relatively young team, the focus at bat was a promising sign.

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“Our guys don’t give up,” Coughlin said. “It’s a day that you fast forward to tomorrow, you start over, but at the end of the day, those guys didn’t give up. Their at bats, they fought, they kept getting runs, they kept getting hits, they kept getting walks throughout the game as it went on.”