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2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

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2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Sun May 27, 2012 2:03 pm

Now that the seeds are set, time to see if I can get some discussion started on the playoffs. I'm sure most fans thinks St. Thomas and Portsmouth are the favorites in D2 this year. No argument from me on that. They've earned their reputations. But watch out for Goffstown. Tyler Barss is outstanding. He can beat any team any given day. He's got a curve ball he never had before, so hitters can't sit on his fastball anymore. I saw the gun at 88-89 consistently, and I read he's hit 92. That's pretty tough when he can throw the deuce for a strike at any time. And they got a good hitting team. They've also had a really tough schedule, so they've been tested. Probably the second toughest schedule in D2. Only Souhegan, their first round opponent, had a tougher schedule. Goffstown is young. Bedford beat them once this year, when Barss wasn't pitching, with the help of poor defense by Goffstown. That happens with a young team. If they can stay away from that, this tournament format where the ace can get 3 starts makes Goffstown look pretty good.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  ClippersAlumni on Sun May 27, 2012 2:56 pm

The problem I see with teams trying to compete with Portsmouth or Saint Thomas, Portsmouth doesn't allow many runs and they're defense does not make errors, I have been to 6 games this year and still haven't seen a costly error. They obviously make errors just like anyone but when it comes to crunch time or a big play they make it every time. They're pitching doesn't have an over powering ace like the past 4 championship teams but they do have 2 great starters in Ricky Holt and Kyle Decisare, they're bullpen isn't deep but they do have a few kids who can throw and they're offense is still dangerous as always. St. Thomas does boast of pitching, they rely heavily on Bean when he is pitching but they also have 2 others who can lock down any offense aswell in Craig Teed and Scott Monroe, they're bats can be explosive at teams but can also be shy at times. The only seeing Portsmouth getting knocked out if the games go to extras or the starters get chased out of the game because the lack of bullpen behind them. I see St Thomas losing if they run into a good pitcher because they are a great fastball hitting team but if you get someone to keep them off balance much like Ricky Holt did both times he pitched against them, you can compete with them. I don't know much about the other teams besides the fact I saw Souhegan play Portsmouth and they had a really good pitcher that got hit around a bit but I feel he can be a factor against anyone he plays, sorry I don't know his name. Should be a great tourney this year
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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  mwvfan on Sun May 27, 2012 3:31 pm

The revised pitching rules could be a factor. With the exception of the 1st two games which only allow for only 1 day of rest between starts, teams with one high quality pitcher could take advantage. Essentially, one starter could pitch 3 plus games. Teams with an ace like St. Thomas (Jordan Bean), Souhegan (Terry Dugdale), Kennett (Nick Massa), etc. could really neutralize a deeper team's advantage. You just don't need 2 guys if you can get thru the 1st 2 rounds.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Sun May 27, 2012 10:39 pm

ClippersAlumni - I'm pretty sure the Souhegan pitcher you're referring to is Terry Dugdale. Unfortunately, I believe he came out of that game with a bad arm, and hasn't pitched since. I hear he's out for the year.

As for Portsmouth, I couldn't agree with you more. It's one thing to say a team doesn't beat itself with errors or walks, but to win 98 out of 99 games over a 5 year span is incredible. That's a coach that has his team prepared every single game, and a players that are focused every single game. If anyone is going to beat Portsmouth, they're not going to get any help. They better have a good performance on the mound, good hitting, and good defense. No mistakes and no freebies. Bedford played them well this year. We jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a base hit and junior catcher Andy LaLonde's 2 run dinger in the top of the first. Portsmouth got one back in the bottom of the second on an infield hit and a 2 out infield throwing error. They got 2 more in the fourth on 1 hit, with the help of 3 walks, a hit batter, and a couple of wild pitches. Portsmouth made no errors, and Holt didn't walk a batter. Portsmouth won 3-2. And let's not forget last year's semi-final game win Portsmouth beat Bedford's Joey Maher because we couldn't execute the bunt coverage. Again, Portsmouth gave us nothing. I'm sure there must be other examples in those 98 wins where Portsmouth gave the opponent nothing and took advantage of mistakes to pull out victories. You gotta tip your hat to that team, all the players from the last 5 years, and Coach Hopley.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Sun May 27, 2012 10:49 pm

mwvfan - Did I forget to mention how much I hate the playoff format where the team's ace can start 3 games out of 4, including the semi and title game! It puts too much emphasis on a single stud pitcher. Baseball is a team game. This format puts less emphasis on the team and more on the ace pitcher. I understand the reason for the 9 days between the semi and the ship is scheduling conflicts with the Fisher Cats Stadium. But given that reality, NHIAA should have amended the pitching rules to neutralize that effect. Too bad.

By the way. I think Terry Dugdale is done for the year. Also, Goffstown's Tyler Bars is one of those studs that can carry his team.

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Coaches are only doing what NHIAA allows.

Post  JAF on Mon May 28, 2012 7:30 am

The real problem isn't the adjustment to the rule, it's the insane schedule. You start in April playing 2-3 games a week and try to cram everything in before Memorial Day knowing full well that between snow and rain there are going to be some makeups required. Teams are not supposed to schedule their makeups for the last week unless they have the blessing of the baseball committee. Then we reach the penultimate time of the season - playoffs - and we get 2 games, 1 game, and 1 game. So 3 weeks to play 4 games while we have 7 weeks to play the regular season of 16-20 games.

If the playoffs had 1 week for first/second round and the following for the semis/championship, then the 15 innings in 7 days *and* rest rule if pitch more than 'x' innings comes into play.

I think the NHIAA 'believes' that the championships will/should be played using the ace of both teams - I get that - put on your premier event with the best possible pitcher; however, that should be because the coach either used his pitchers wisely or the team was good enough to still win with their #2 pitcher throwing. The only "decision" a top rated team needs to make is can they win their first game against a lower seeded team without going with their #1 or do they throw their #1 game 1 and then see what happens game 2. As a coach you know the lower seeded opponent is going with their #1.


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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  mwvfan on Mon May 28, 2012 8:41 am

I didn't know about Dugdale. I agree that eliminating the pitching innings limit doesn't reward a team with pitching depth. I suppose adding a few more regular season games and shortening the playoffs could accomplish the same thing. Or how about a double elimination style tournament played over two weeks? This would also test a team's depth. By the way... who got the 2 seed in DII? Lebanon or Portsmouth?

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Mon May 28, 2012 9:15 am

mwvfan - I believe Portsmouth got the 2 seed. I haven't seen it announced, but I tried to figure it out and I think it comes down to the number of wins by beaten opponents against other opponents that finished in the playoffs. Also, I saw a mention in Foster's that implied Portsmouth would finish either first or second depending on St. Thomas' final game. St. Thomas of course won their final game, finishing first.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Mon May 28, 2012 9:35 am

JAF - I get what you said about the NHIAA wanting the title game to showcase the best pitchers a team has to offer. I just personally feel it should be more about the team and not an individual. So if the title game was still played 2 days after the semi, there would be no issue.

I don't see many teams saving their #1 for round 2. The higher seed using their #2 against the lower seed's #1 can loose the advantage. We've seen that many times. I assume Portsmouth could take that chance with Kyle DeCisare against Laconia (7-9), and St. Thomas could do likewise with Craig Teed or Scott Monroe against Sanborn (7-9). But I don't think many other teams would try that. Goffstown draws Souhegan first round. Souhegan may be (8-8), but they played the toughest schedule in D2, so they're battle ready. And last Wednesday Goffstown beat Souhegan 3-1, so I don't think that will allow Coach Coulombe to fee real comfortable saving Tyler Bars for round 2. Same for Kennett. They play Merrimack Valley first round, and MV won their regular season match up 2-1 two weeks ago. So I assume Kennett throws Nick Massa first round.


Last edited by BHS Bulldog Dad on Tue May 29, 2012 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon May 28, 2012 10:16 am

The playoff format NHIAA implemented last year reminds me of the college hockey playoffs. There is so much time off between games, that for me, the tournament loses it's momentum and interest as it goes along. Last year even though the D1 playoffs had exciting games and matchups I actually had to think twice when the games were being played. In college hockey it seems almost a month goes by after the regional finals. You forget about the hockey Final Four and then, oh by the way, it's this weekend. The same thing happens with the HS playoff format. The playoffs loses steam and interest as it goes along. Who ever has the best #1 or #2 will advance deeper. Upsets are minimized. Lack of interest is maximized.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  nhball9 on Mon May 28, 2012 9:16 pm

What I don't get is why they are sacrificing the integrity of the playoffs for venue. I understand that the big stadium is great and all, but it also loses some luster because 2,000 in a huge stadium isn't the same as 2,000 in a decent size high school stadium. There is more intensity at a place like Holman or Plymouth State, etc.
I've talked to some coaching friends and they aren't happy with the Fisher Cat arrangement. Who has the ability to address this??

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  JAF on Tue May 29, 2012 8:15 am

Someone on high has been convinced by the marketing arm of the Fishercats that "everyone" wants to play there. They should poll the audience and players (eg, their customers) in order to find out whether or not its true. It's a nice stadium and the NHIAA doesn't have to hassle with "event management", but is is worth the hassle of parking as well as the price of admission and concessions? Last year's games went into the wee hours due to weather and having to work around graduations of participating teams because there's only one open date to play. If the F'cats were smart they'd have 2 high school games before or after their scheduled game over the weekend (2 Sat and 2 Sun) rather than trying to ensure 4 games are played on a date that the team was on the road.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  Pastime714 on Tue May 29, 2012 8:47 am

Fishercat stadium is a great place to play. It is awesome that the kids have an opportunity to play there.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  EBlessNHSP on Tue May 29, 2012 2:17 pm

I agree with pastime, I can't imagine there's a kid in this state that doesn't want to play there. A chance to play one a "big" stage. Seems like a great idea to me!

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  SeacoastDad on Tue May 29, 2012 3:11 pm

I agree that Fisher Cats stadium is a great venue, but to go nine days between the semi-finals and the finals is just crazy.

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NHIAA playoffs

Post  Bert54the1 on Tue May 29, 2012 3:19 pm

Yes, playing in a venue such as Fisher Cat and even Holman is a special experience. Add to to the discussion the fact that you are in a championship game and I figure no player will dispute that the stadium is where the finals should be held. It's a HS player's dream.

Some high schools play at Holman regularly, and a few have even paid to play at the Fisher Cat's. But to delay the tournament 8 days between the semi-finals and the finals seems wrong. I'm not sure if making the tournament a one-pitcher event is the right way to go. To get where these teams are they have played 18-20 games in 7 weeks. That took more than one or two arms.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'll throw this out there. Final four teams... play best 2 out of three, leading up to the finals. In D1 the Thursday night games at Holman, the next day at the home of the higher seed, game 3 at the lower seed if necessary. Would more baseball be a bad thing?
At that point, your state championship would be decided by the best team. I can dream, too.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  Pastime714 on Tue May 29, 2012 5:19 pm

I agree..

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  JAF on Wed May 30, 2012 9:35 am


While great for the fan and probably a true test of which is the best team, in the end the scheduling of teams, venue, and umpires makes it difficult to have multi game series. I am in agreement that the layoff is the real sticking point. I personally could care less about the venue, just make the games happen. Those extra days wreak havoc with the Legion baseball schedule and the NHIAA doesn't care about that.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  SeacoastDad on Thu May 31, 2012 11:22 pm

The top 5 seeds in D-2 held serve in the first round. Upset of the day has to be #11 Kingswood over #6 Hollis/Brookline, although it might not be too much of an upset, as H/B lost 5 of their last 7 games after starting the season 9-0.

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First Round Action

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:31 am

First round is over. I'd be interested to hear from some folks from Hollis-Brookline about the second half of their season. Losing 5 out of 7 down the stretch after starting out 9-0 and going one and done in the tourney is quite a surprise. Any idea what happened there?

Also would be interested to hear some first round game summaries. Obviously I was at the Bedford - Hanover game. It was the first time I saw Hanover's Junior Joe Cravero pitch. He was impressive. His fastball was sitting mid-80s, and he had a good change up. Excellent game. Bedford scored 3 2-out runs in the bottom of the 6th to win 5-2. Clutch base hit on a 3-2 count by Ben Philbrick to score the winning run. Ryan Gancarz went the distance on the mound for Bedford.

I heard Goffstown beat Souhegan 7-3 on a walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 7th! Tyler Bars pitched for Goffstown. Not sure of any details, as I was getting it second hand. I knew Souhegan would be a tough opponent. They were a better team than their 8-8 record.

Bedford at Goffstown Saturday. I assume the pitching matchup will be Ryan Mossman for Bedford and Jake Louis for Goffstown.

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Portsmouth and St. Thomas

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:18 am

Reading the game summaries in Foster's, Portsmouth broke open a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the 4th by scoring 5 runs with the help of 3 Laconia errors in the frame. And Coach Hopley said they played great defense and made 4 or 5 great defensive plays to support Holt. That's just what we talked about before. They don't give up runs, and they take advantage of other teams mistakes. Same with St. Thomas. It looks like they scored in frames where Sanborn committed errors. Not that either of these teams wouldn't have won anyway. They both run 11-1 by mercy rule. But these two teams are always prepared and focused. Pembroke and Merrimack Valley have their work cut out for them against STA and Portsmouth Saturday. I haven't seen Pembroke or Merrimack Valley this year, so I don't know anything about them.

Lebanon and Kingswood should be good. It's their first meeting of the year. Lebanon finished 15-1, and I remember last year they made it to the final 4 with only 3 seniors and 6 juniors. So they should be tough. Kingswood started 0-3 and finished winning 5 of their last 7, plus upsetting HB yesterday. So they're playing well. The Bedford-Kingswood game was the only Bedford game I missed this year (10:00 am start on a Friday during school vacation week!), so I'm not too familiar with them, but my son said Kingswood has a kid that throws really hard. Don't know his name or if he pitched yesterday. Anyone have any knowledge on this game?

Bedford - Goffstown should be good. They split during the year, each team getting 10 runned on a day when their defense played awful. Hopefully tomorrow won't be like that. I'd hate to see either team finish their season by beating themselves. But I don't think that will happen. That was a fluke for Goffstown, and Bedford's defense has been much better the second half of the year. Both teams can hit, so I expect it to be a lot of fun.


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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  bball4life on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:00 pm

Here's what I heard about the HB situation. First their ace Mike Chase broke his hand and is out for the season. After that happened the team seemed to regress. I also heard that there were some coaching issues and that parents are not happy. I don't have details though.

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  Pastime714 on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:09 pm

I think we could see a whole different scenario unfold if the weather doesn't change. it looks like a washout tomorrow. Sunday and Monday are questionable, Tuesday is not even 50/50. If they pitched their Aces yesterday their next game may be Aces as well.
I know they wouldn't do it but they really should have moved all the games to today.

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Hollis-Brookline

Post  BHS Bulldog Dad on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:11 pm

That's a real shame about Mike Chase. I hope he recovers quickly. Any idea what his plans are for college? Does he plan on playing?

It's too bad when kids like Mike Chase and Terry Dugdale get injured - or anyone for that matter. When aces go down the whole team suffers so much. (Another good reason NOT to have the playoff format where an ace can start 3 games ... sorry, couldn't resist another jab.)

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

Post  bball4life on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:45 pm

I think Chase should be fine. I was told it was a broken hand unrelated to baseball so it sounds like a recoverable injury. No clue on what he is doing after high school. He has the talent to play in college. It is unfortunate for HB because they really had the talent to compete this year and they should have played better even once the lost Chase with the players they have.

Agree that it is unfortunate to see players like this go down. On Dugdale, from what I've heard his father enforced a pitch count his entire career so it seems to be just one of those injuries that happens despite best efforts to avoid them...

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Re: 2012 D2 Baseball Playoffs

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