MANCHESTER, NH – From the outside looking in, one might think the undefeated Derryfield School baseball team, fresh off an 11-1 drubbing of visiting Newmarket Monday, would have it all figured out.
But first-year head coach Drew Hill said managing a team with five to seven future college players isn’t without challenges.
“We have a deep team. We’ve got a lot of talent, but we’ve got eight or nine starting pitchers, and the the hardest part for me is getting them all into the rotation,” said Hill. “But we’ve got a lot of good bats, and this is an easy group of kids to coach because of the talent we have.”
It was Zach Martin that got the scoring started Monday, hitting a single on a 2-2 count to drive in two runs, while Kevin Adie led an 11-hit team effort going 3-for-3 from the plate while notching four RBI.
Junior ace Will Perkowski, an SNHU commit, led the Cougars from the mound, striking out 11 of the 19 hitters he faced, while giving up two hits, one walk and one run over five innings.
“For a junior, with his pitching capacity, he’s a lot of fun to watch,” said Hill. “He’ll be real fun to watch his senior year and beyond.”
“When Perkowski is on the mound, they’re going to be tough,” said Newmarket head coach Stan Jurkoic, whose team is now 0-2 against the Perkowski, having also dropped a 5-1 decision at home on April 18. “It seems like they play solid defense too, and offensively … they had some nice hits today. They hit the ball hard, hit some deep balls and some good line drives, so to me, their offense, if you’re not throwing a mix and keeping them off balance, they’re going to hit.”
Perkowski also went 2-for-2 from the plate, scoring 2 runs, while senior battery-mate Janai Cruz led the game from behind the plate while walking twice, stealing two bases and scoring twice.
“Newmarket has always been a really tough rival for us in the four years I’ve been here. This is my first year as head coach, and we’ve always had tough battles with them,” said Hill. “The kids just went out and hit the ball hard and I think all our plays in the field were clean plays.”
The Cougars, now 9-0, next host 3-4 on Wednesday before traveling to 1-5 Portsmouth Christian Thursday.
“I think the biggest pressure for us is just keeping our heads straight,” said Hill. “You know, now that you’re 9-0, you just want to keep it together and not let this thing get away from them.”
Helping keep the Cougars grounded this season, said Hill, is first year assistant coach Gavin Cook, a former captain at Plymouth State.