Knights prepare to hit the gas on spring season

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Travis Graf
Travis Graf slides home ahead of the tag for one of Central’s two runs Monday night. Cindy Lavigne photo/Lavignes Live Shots

MANCHESTER, NH – The season began on a promising note as the Manchester Central-West co-op high school baseball team defeated cross-city rival Trinity, 8-4, on April 10.

The last two-plus weeks haven’t been so kind, however, as the Knights have dropped seven-straight contests.

“Since the first game, we’ve certainly played some tough opponents,” said Central-West head coach Ernie Yerrington. “When the defense is there and we make the plays, the games are close. The kids are adjusting. We’ve been swinging the bats … the first two games after Trinity our bats were completely quiet but they’ve come back, provided some opportunities, and as I said, we’ve been playing some difficult opponents. I think, moving forward, we’re going to have a turnaround over the next few games. I’m kind of looking forward to it. Our pitching has been there.”

Two of Central-West’s seven losses have come by 2 runs or less, including a 6-5 setback against Dover on Tuesday, and the Knights placed their share of runners on the bases Monday night against Bishop Guertin, but left most of them stranded as they fell, 8-2, in rain-shortened contest that cost the Knights their final at-bats.

In spite of the 1-7 record, Yerrington said he still expects his team to climb the rankings and push for a playoff spot.

“I think we’re going to pull off a couple W’s in the next week or so, which should give us the kickstart we need,” hw said. “This is my 11th or 12th year being involved here and we have only missed the playoffs once,” said Yerrington. “Every year, people ask my projection, and look, I’m a realist. I think if we can play .500, I think that’s very good. I think, with (10) games remaining, .500 is still a reasonable expectation.”

The next couple games certainly set the stage to close the win-loss gap as the Knights host 0-6 Timberlane Friday, at 7 p.m. at Gill, and then make the short trek to Manchester Memorial High School for rivalry clash against the `1-5 Crusaders at 4 p.m. on May 5.

“We’re optimistic. We’re excoted. We ave a very young team. We have a lot of sophomores and juniors, so I think moving forward, I’m looking forward to putting up a coupls W’s and taking it from there,” said Yerrington.

Though the Knights don’t have named captains, the young squad is no doubt led by seniors Declan Ryan and Brett Beddington

“Everyone looks up to them,” said Yerrington. “They kind of have been our senior anchors, so if we had to say who our leaders (in the clubhourse) are, it would be them.”

Declan Ryan
Senior Declan Ryan has been starting for Central for the last four years. Cindy Lavigne photo/Lavignes Live Shots

In addition to the team’s aforementioned senior stalwarts, this year’s roster features Ian Grace, Ryan Heath, Jayson Collado, Ishmael Sanchez, Pedro Rodriguez-Silva, Nate Arzilli, Travis Graf, Amar Douidi, Jadean Rodriguez, Nolan Duval, Wilson Zolla, Gavin Currier, Tyler Marcoux, Fernando Calderon, Isaac Borge and Hunter Raadme.

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About this Author

Ryan O'Connor

As a longtime journalist in Southern New Hampshire, Ryan O'Connor has written for several local online and print publications covering everything from school board meetings and local high school sporting events to major crime stories and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary (yes, the last two are mutually exclusive). In addition to spending time with his beautiful wife and four amazing children, Ryan enjoys attending and serving at church, golfing as much as possible, home brewing, playing softball and snowboarding when time allows.