Skip Tripp wins third straight Outlaws feature at Oxford Plains Speedway

Skip Tripp takes a victory spin after winning his third straight Outlaws feature

(Oxford ME) They each did it their way and they each made it work.

Skip Tripp had the fast car and the ability to get around cars. 

Skip Tripp (12) heads for the lead in the second lap of the Outlaws feature.
Will Dunphy

Will Dunphy envisioned chaos on the track and stayed back waiting for his chance.

Skip Tripp won his third straight Outlaws feature on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Skip started in the back because of his successes in the previous weeks.  It didn’t matter. 

Within two laps, in both the 8-lap heat and the 20-lap feature, Skip had used the outside lane to pass the field.  Once there, he didn’t look back.

Skip Tripp

“Everything went our way,” said Skip afterwards.  “We were pretty hooked up.  It was kind of easy tonight.”

Will Dunphy finished second.

Will also started in the back because of previous successes.  Unlike Skip, however, Will was content to stay there for a while.

“I hung back because I knew things were going to happen,” explained Will.  “I could tell the way drivers were acting at the get-go.”

“Some want to get to the top by Lap 2,” he added.  “They need to calm down and realize that there are twenty laps.”

One car (#26) got spun and was totaled early in the Outlaws feature.

“A car getting totaled takes the fun out of it for me,” said Will.  “There were way too many cars wrecked tonight.  There is no need for it.  There are not enough of us out there for that to happen.”

The spin below in the feature gave Will (#4) his chance to move from the back to the front around the involved cars and he did:

Skip Tripp: “We’re just playing with this thing now until we get to Street Stocks for something else.  We’re just getting back into rhythm.  We’ve been out of it for so long.  The car is for my cousin.  I set it to her liking but it’s too loose now for her.  We need to change it.  We’ll tighten it up and hopefully she’ll have the same success.”

Car 26 taken off

Will Dunphy: “Tripp’s car is definitely fast.  It wasn’t that fast before but maybe a lot of experience has something to do with the way it’s now going for them.  There was too much rubber on the track today from the Super Late Models.  It was super icy.  I couldn’t stay up there very long.  This is my second year with the Outlaws.  I was told to move up from the Cruiser Class.  It’s been a fun venture so far.”

This was the fifth week of Outlaws’ racing.

Skip Tripp’s lowest finish so far has been third.

Skip Tripp working the outside in Lap 1 of the 8-lap heat

Will Dunphy has been either first or second during the past four weeks.

Car 26 near the Grandstand

Matthew Veinott earned third today.  His highest previous finish had been fifth.

Combining two days of racing with fireworks brought out a good crowd.  The weather was ideal too.

Yes, I gave the Bandits coverage last year.  Their demise set me searching for another group to cover.  The Outlaws have a small roster….less confusion initially for me. I’ll see what I can do over the next three months.  There will be pictures and interviews.

(The pictures should enlarge if you click on them.)

Pushing to the lineup

Pre-race family time

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Austin Prep takes Division 3 title 2-1 over Newburyport

Austin Prep wins Division Three title
Winning pitcher Jack Iannibelli

(Lowell) #1 Austin Prep belonged here.

#10 Newburyport?  Not so much.

But the Clippers found a way to reach the Division 3 state finals.

Unfortunately, reaching the finals was the best Newburyport could do, as Austin Prep took the D3 title this afternoon, 2-1, at LeLacheur Park.

The Cougars finish 25-0 in a season in which their notoriety went from local to state to national.

“We have had all kinds of pressure on us this season because of how well we’ve done,” said Austin Prep coach AP Pollard afterwards. “The expectations got higher as the season went along.”

Today’s game was tied at 1-1 with two outs in Austin Prep half of the fourth inning.

At that point, Brenden Walsh, who had struck out his first at bat, got into a Jack Fehlner curve.

Brenden’s line drive to center went over CF Owen Roberts’ head and rolled to the 400-foot sign.

“I thought I had lined out,” said Brenden post-game.  “When I reached second and the outfielder still didn’t have the ball, I knew that I could score.”

Brenden Walsh completes an inside-the-park homer

And score he did.  That inside-the-park homer turned out to be the game winner.

Jack Fehlner

“Credit the pitcher,” added Brenden, “he knew how to work inside.  That’s how he beat Medfield which is a very good hitting team. I was sitting on the curve because he beat me a few times inside with it in my first at-bat.”

Senior Jack Iannibelli was the complete-game winner for the Cougars. 

Jack gave up three hits but none after the third inning.  He registered nine strikeouts including the last two outs of the game.

“Jack did what he’s done his whole career today,” said Coach Pollard.  “He only had one loss the whole time.”

The Cougars scored in the first inning.  Jake Zawatsky singled, reached second on an infield error, and took third on a wild pitch.  Matt Chatelle’s sacrifice fly drove in the run.

Newburyport responded with a run in the second inning.  Jack Fehlner tripled and scored on Max Puleo’s infield out.

The Clippers threatened to take the lead in the third inning.  After one-out singles by Jack Sullivan and Connor Stick, Jack Iannibelli, however, got Luke Stallard to fly out and Jack Fehlner to strike out to keep the game tied.

Jack Fehlner scores the Newburyport run in the second inning

AP put runners in scoring position in the second, third, and fifth but Jack Fehlner pitched his way out of each dangerous situation.

“Jack Fehlner is a tremendous competitor,” said Austin Prep coach AP Pollard.  “He challenged us and wasn’t afraid of anybody.”  Jack will pitch for Roanoke College (Virginia) next year.

Coach Rowe talks with Brady Ford

Newburyport coach Mark Rowe was disappointed with the loss but added, “How can I be anything but proud to have been here and played the way we did?”

The Clippers (18-7) lost three straight games near the end of the regular season and looked to be heading for an early exit in the tournament ahead.  However, they caught fire and won four straight tournament games including a last inning upset of #2 Medfield.

“We made a couple of mistakes out there today which you can’t do against a team like Austin Prep,” said Coach Rowe.

Austin Prep finished their 25-0 season with thirteen shutouts and only sixteen runs allowed.

The Cougars are now leaving the MIAA and venturing into the NEPSAC. 

Jake Zawatsky scores AP’s first run

Both Pentucket and Newburyport had 2-1 losses to Austin Prep. 

Talking to Coach Pollard afterwards had some unexpected excitement.  Twice, not just once, players with containers of ice/juice rushed my way to try and pour the contents on him.  I had to reach deep to locate the “quickness” to keep from getting soaked!

An interesting play occurred in the Newburyport fifth inning.  Connor Stick tried to steal second and was ruled safe by the infield umpire.  Then it looked like that umpire deferred to the home-plate umpire who then called Connor out to end the inning.  Luke Stallard was the batter at the plate when the Connor-incident occurred.  The next inning, Luke did not lead off.  My assumption is that Luke was called out on strikes before the play at second happened.  Most of the media coverage had winning pitcher Jack Iannibelli with nine strikeouts.  That one would have given him ten.

(I have since learned that the batter, Luke Stallard, was declared out because of “batter interference.” It means he got in the way of the catcher as he tried to throw out Connor Stick attempting to steal second base. AP pitcher Jack Iannibelli ends up with nine strikeouts, not the ten I assumed.)

The weather was in the low 60’s and too cold for June. 

Newburyport   0   1   0   0   0   0   0   =   1

   Austin Prep   1   0   0   1   0   0    –   =   2

Unofficial Newburyport box

Unofficial Austin Prep box

Steve Lawton out at third base

Newburyport tangled at second base

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#8 Cohasset ousts #1 Newburyport 12-9

Cohasset celebrates its Round of Eight win
Laney Larsen had 6 goals for Cohasset including this one

(Newburyport) “We knew that the rankings didn’t reflect our abilities,” said Cohasset senior Molly Stephens afterwards.

The #8 Skippers (16-3) took the lead four minutes into their game with #1 Newburyport and never gave it up.

The final was Cohasset 12, Newburyport 9 in the Division 3 state quarterfinals.

The Clippers (19-2) had won fifteen straight and were undefeated (13-0) at home.

It didn’t matter to the visitors from the South Shore League.

Rita Cahalane scored for the Clippers

“We are playing our best lacrosse at the right time,” said Cohasset coach Kully Reardon post-game. “This was our best game of the season this afternoon.”

Laney Larsen had six goals for the Skippers.

“Laney is a sophomore with the confidence of a senior,” said Coach Reardon.

Laney had the first two goals of the game, but Newburyport battled back on a goal by Rita Cahalane to make it 2-1 and later on a goal by Lilly Pons to make it 3-2.  But the Clippers couldn’t even the score.

The outcome-deciding portion of this game was the final 3:42 of the first half.  The visitors did all the scoring and led, 6-2, at the half.

The toughest goal for Newburyport was the one that Laney Larsen got with one tick left in the first half.

Ball in the middle

Coach Cat Batchelder’s short summary of the game was, “We didn’t play well.” 

Molly Stephens was excellent on draws

When asked for specifics, Coach Batchelder referenced the defense, the attack, the draws, as areas where the team had underperformed.

The Clippers started well in the second half.  Within the first three minutes both Anna Affolter (3 goals) and Lilly Pons (3 goals) scored to pull Newburyport within two goals, 6-4.

Later with 13:15 to go, the Clippers were again down two (7-5). Two minutes later, however, Laney Larsen (6 goals) had two more scores and Cohasset was up, 9-5.

Credit Newburyport.  Down by four (11-7) with eight minutes left, they scored two straight times (Anna Affolter and Lilly Pons) to move within two goals with 3:28 left.

Cohasset called timeout and returned to hold onto possession until freshman Reese Hansen drove home the clincher with 1:35 left.

“We like it when the other team has to come out and play us because we have so much firepower,” said Coach Reardon.

Anna Affolter on the attack

Brown commit Molly Stephens had the size, strength, and skills to give Cohasset a definite edge on the draws.

Molly was recently named the South Shore League MVP.  She had two goals today.  Her biggest contribution to the win was in the draws.

Both teams were very good at running their offenses.  The Clippers, however, struggled to finish.

One reason for the Newburyport goal-scoring troubles was Cohasset goalie Aizza Chase.  “Aizza is the best goalie I’ve had,” said 12th year Coach Reardon.  “She adds composure and confidence back there.”

Reese Bromby after CHS goalie Aizza Chase

Regarding Molly Stephens: “Molly had a brace on her leg earlier in the season.  Every game she has improved.  She got some possessions today that she wouldn’t have gotten earlier in the season.”

I was impressed with the long runs of Holy Cross commit Anna Affolter in the second half.

The weather was perfect.

Good crowd with quite a few of the Cohasset faithful in the stands.

Cohasset goals: Laney Larsen (6), Kira Fulton (2), Molly Stephens (2), Reese Hansen (1).

Newburyport goals: Lilly Pons (3), Anna Affolter (3), Rita Cahalane (1), Izzy Rosa (1), Reese Bromby (1).

        Cohasset   6   6   =   12

Newburyport   2   7   =     9

Bridget Mahoney chased by Rita Cahalane and Makenna Ward

Bridget Mahoney, Laney Larsen, Molly Stephens

Anna Affolter and Izzy Rosa try to get the ball away from Rorie Newman

Izzy Rosa

Makenna Ward pursued by Kira Fulton and Reese Hansen

Cohasset with Final Four banner

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#9 Abington starts fast and defeats #1 Amesbury 12-3 in D4 state quarterfinals

Abington reaches the Division 4 Final Four

(Amesbury) These tournament games can be tense. 

Last inning.

Last batter.

Last pitch.

Not this one.

#9 Abington took over the game from the get-go and never let up.

Aidan O’Donnell

#1 Amesbury was on the other end of things and lost 12-3 on Sunday afternoon in the Division 4 state quarterfinals.

“The well ran dry,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “When we’ve been going well, we’ve been able to set the tone early.  Today was the complete opposite.”

Amesbury ace Drew MacDonald opened the first allowing two walks.  Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick followed immediately with RBI doubles.  Before the first inning was over, AJ Nash added a sacrifice fly and the home team was down, 4-0.

Those early runs changed the whole complexion of the game. 

“Getting the run support right away really got a weight lifted off,” said Abington’s complete-game winner Aidan O’Donnell post-game.

“We came out in the first inning and scored some runs and took the pressure right off,” said Abington coach Steve Perakslis afterwards.

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley and Abington coach Steve Perakslis

The relaxed Green Wave had runners on in every inning and collected ten hits.

Amesbury home run celebration

Amesbury (18-5) did finish with seven hits, but they couldn’t package them into any multiple-run innings.

Amesbury’s hardest hit of the day was a long homer to left off the bat of St. Anselm’s commit Drew MacDonald in the second inning.

Aidan O’Donnell (UMass Dartmouth commit) had plenty of help from his defense.  The Green Wave (18-5) turned three double plays.  One was a standard 5-4-3 while the other two involved catches with Amesbury runners getting caught off first base afterwards.

1B AJ Nash puts the tag on Cam Stanley

Abington catcher Spencer Merrick also picked an Amesbury runner off first base.

You add good pitching to that kind of defense and the opponent is in for a long game.

“I tried to keep us in the game,” said pitcher Aidan O’Donnell.  “I was just trying to get outs.  I had full faith in the boys behind me.”

The Green Wave now moves on to the D4 state semi-finals against Manchester-Essex on Tuesday night (7PM) at Fraser Field in Lynn.

The Hornets won the state title in 2019.

Ryan Tobin scored three times

Eight different players from the Green Wave scored runs, with leadoff batter Ryan Tobin doing it three times.

Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick led Abington in RBI’s with three each.

Drew MacDonald and Will Arsenault paced Amesbury with two hits apiece.  Drew also scored twice.

“We knew that we needed to play a good defensive game against a team like Amesbury,” said Coach Perakslis.  “We always know that we’re going to be in the game when Aidan O’Donnell is pitching.”

“Our offense had been a little stagnant for a while,” he added, “but we’ve been taking good swings in practice and in our two previous games.”

Stephen Madden had three RBI, two hits, and scored a run

Drew MacDonald, Aiden Donovan, and Josh Sorgini pitched for Amesbury.

Abington had five doubles.

Brady Burnham doubled off first

Besides the Drew MacDonald homer, Amesbury got RBI’s from Drew Scialdone and Will Arsenault.

Plenty of banter from both benches all game long.  It made it feel like an indoor event.

“There’s no reason to hold our heads down,” said Coach Brierley.  “Amesbury hasn’t had a season like this in a while.  I’m very proud of what the kids have done.”

The weather was perfect and the crowd, including many from Abington, was good-sized.

  Abington   4   0   2   2   3   1   0   =   12

Amesbury   0   1   1   0   0   1   0   =   3

Unofficial Abington box

Unofficial Amesbury box

Jake Harring leads off first base

Reaching for a runner

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Amesbury gains D4 Final Four with 12-0 win over Easthampton

Fourteen strikeouts for Liv DeLong against Easthampton
Final Four trophy

(Amesbury) Amesbury is back in familiar territory, the Final Four.

The #2 seed in Division 4 defeated #10 Easthampton, 12-0, on Friday afternoon at Perry Field.

The Eagles (17-6) had pitching problems even before the game started as ace Rosemary Follet was unable to go because of tendonitis.

Normal third baseman Lauren Morse took on the pitching chores and had some success for a while.

“We were expecting a faster pitcher to say the least,” said 2B Cali Catarius afterwards.  “We eventually adapted to it and got going in the sixth inning.”

Izzy Levasseur – 3 hits and 4 rbi

Amesbury turned a 6-0 game into a 12-0 game with a six-run sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Amesbury’s pitcher (Liv DeLong) put together a fourteen-strikeout, three-hitter.

Liv had strikeouts in every inning. 

None of the strikeouts was bigger than the one on Jessica Cloutier in the fourth inning.

In that fourth inning, after one out, the Eagles put two hits (Anastasia Growhoski, Lauren Morse) and a walk (McKenzie McCarthy) together to load the bases.

Jessica put a terrific at-bat together and got the count to 3-2 after numerous foul balls before striking out.  Liv then struck out the next batter to end the threat.

McKenzie McCarthy had one of the Eagles’ three hits

“That was a big strikeout,” said AHS catcher Ella DeLisle afterwards.  “That was a scary inning, but Liv pitched her way through it.”

Liv was quick to praise her catcher: “Her pitch calling was what made me successful today.  She frames.  She blocks.  I don’t do any of the pitch calling.”

While the slower pitch-speed seemed to throw off some of the Amesbury hitters, sophomore Izzy Levasseur wasn’t one of them.  She went three-for-three and drove in four runs with a sacrifice fly, a single, and two doubles.

“I hit the ball hard today,” recalled Izzy.  “We all kind of pick each other up in hitting.”

Amesbury (22-1) had two in the first and one each in the second and third.  They took a 4-0 lead into the fourth inning in which Liv DeLong escaped the bases-loaded jam.

“I thought the game was slow,” said Amesbury coach Jacquie Waters afterwards.  “We’ve had days off along the way and now we need to have them focused so we’ll be going every day.”

Ella Bezanson and Izzy Levasseur scored five runs between them

The lack of a big inning against an inexperienced pitcher held until the Amesbury sixth inning.  In the early innings the strong wind (toward first base) and the skills of the Easthampton outfielders had lessened the damage Amesbury did. 

The sixth inning was a different story.  Two infield errors, and two walks set things up for two-run doubles by Izzy Levasseur and her sister Olivia.  Ella DeLisle singled in a run.

The six-run outburst put an end to any rally plans Easthampton may have entertained.

“It took us a while to get going,” said Ella DeLisle who had two hits and drove in a run.

Amesbury will play at home in the state semi-finals on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Megan Fickett takes a swing

“It feels good to be so successful,” said Liv afterwards.  “We do put in a lot of practice time.”

Coach Waters has brought in some outside pitching to prepare her team for the expected good pitching that lies ahead.

It was extremely windy today, but the sun was shining.

The Easthampton roster, given out at the game, had two #15’s on it.  My guessing needs refinement.  I opted to use Shelby Clark to lead off and play shortstop.  I discovered that the “real” #15 is Abigail McClaflin. 

Easthampton had a win over Turners Falls in April.  Yes, that’s the team that defeated Amesbury in the state finals last year.  This year TF is in Division 5.

Easthampton entered the game having won eight-of-nine.  Five of their six losses have been on the road.

Amesbury is now 13-0 at home and are averaging twelve runs per game.  Their only loss was 3-2 to Methuen on May 29th.  They have only allowed an incredible EIGHT runs total all season. 

Easthampton   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   0

      Amesbury   2   1   1   0   2   6   –   =   12

Unofficial Easthampton box

Unofficial Amesbury box

Alex Donnell scores the 9th Amesbury run

LF Lexi LeBlanc

RF Jessie Cloutier makes a running catch

Cali Catarius avoids the tag of SS Abigail McClaflin

Play at second base

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Swampscott stuns Newburyport 6-5

Swampscott celebrates the upset
Jack Russo scored the game winner

(Newburyport) He was going down as he let the shot go and it went in.

Not only did it go in, but Jack Russo’s goal was the game winner for Swampscott.

The Big Blue stunned Newburyport, 6-5, on Thursday afternoon.

It was the Division Three opener for both squads.

Swampscott moves on to face Pentucket on Saturday.  The Panthers had a 13-4 win over Big Blue on April 2nd.

The ways things turned out didn’t surprise either coach.

“We’re battled tested with Danvers, Beverly, Marblehead, and Masco so we knew we were capable of doing it,” said Swampscott coach Geoff Beckett afterwards.

Harrison Kinne carries

“In the tournament at the end of the year, anyone can beat anybody,” said Newburyport coach Josh Wedge post-game.

The result was surely a surprise to those doing the MIAA power rankings in Division Three since (12-7) Newburyport was the #8 seed and (10-8) Swampscott was the #25 seed.

Newburyport took a one-goal lead three straight times and Swampscott followed by doing the same thing.

The team behind always caught up until Jack Russo gave Big Blue a 6-5 lead with 5:15 left in the final quarter.  The Clippers weren’t able to get the equalizer in the several opportunities they had.

“Our defense was amazing,” said Swampscott goalie Aidan Breault.  “We gave up only one goal in the second half.”

Aidan Breault (9)

Aidan made some key saves but added, “I couldn’t have done it without the defense in front of me.”

The Clippers ability to score goals took a hit in the first quarter when senior Jonny Groth was injured and never returned.

“When Jonny, our best middie went down that was tough,” said Coach Wedge.  “He was our senior leader all year on offense.”

Big Blue took the lead for good on Jack Russo’s goal in the fourth quarter.

“I was trying to push top-side,” recalled Jack regarding his game winner.  “I saw the goalie slide, so I gave a nice little swim move and honestly prayed and it went in.  I was falling and I tried to use my momentum to put it in the net.”

“Swampscott is a very athletic team,” said Coach Wedge, “and I knew that they would give us problems if we didn’t execute.”

Cole Mellett with the ball

“To win we had to put forty-eight minutes together,” said Coach Beckett.  “We probably played about forty-five minutes but luckily it was enough.”

Senior Ryan McHugh opened the scoring for Newburyport but Cole Hamernick answered for Swampscott in the first quarter.

Coach Wedge called a timeout with fifty-six seconds left in the first quarter and his team came out and scored (Ryan Philbin) ten seconds later.

The back-and-forth continued in the second quarter.  Big Blue’s Jason Codispoti tied the game at 2-2 before Owen Kurez put the Clippers ahead again. 

Jack Russo went over the top of a defender to tie the game at 3-3 with seven minutes left until halftime.

Jack Hadden

Harrison Kinne poured in from the left and Big Blue had its first lead of the game, 4-3, with 5:52 left in the 2nd quarter.

Newburyport’s Jack Hadden made a long run to tie things (4-4) at the half.

I expected the higher seed to string goals together and gain some separation in the second half.

It didn’t happen.

“Our stick skills were a little sloppy,” said Coach Wedge.  “We had opportunities that we just dropped.”

Swampscott wasn’t playing very well either.

“We let them hang around in the third quarter with a lot of turnovers,” said Coach Beckett.

Goals by Cole Hamernick (Swampscott) and Ryan McHugh (Newburyport) kept things even when the third quarter ended.

Ryan McHugh had 2 goals for Newburyport

Only one goal was scored during the twelve-minute final quarter, and it was by Jack Russo.

“Their goalie (Ryan Portalla) was playing good all day,” said Jack, “so I finally got one by him.  Newburyport is a well-coached, great team.  #1 (Jack Hadden) is a heckuva player.”

Jack Russo saw plenty of Jack Hadden as the two of them tangled numerous times in Swampscott’s offensive end.

Christian Urbano and Harrison Kinne each had two assists for Swampscott.

Aidan Breault not only had a big game in net, but he also wasn’t hesitant to carry the ball into the other end.

“I got bored down there sometimes,” he laughed, “so I’ve got to run it up and make a play and try to set up the offense.”

Plenty of good weather this afternoon.

Newburyport   2   2   1   0   =   5

  Swampscott   1   3   1   1   =   6

Ball on the turf

Newburyport defenders in pursuit

Jack Russo and Jack Hadden get entangled

Jason Codispoti scored twice for Swampscott

Player in the air

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Trevor Kimball pitches Amesbury past Blackstone Valley 7-1

Amesbury advances in the Division Four state tournament
Jake Harring scores Amesbury’s first run

(Amesbury) Two batters into the game, Amesbury had two hits and a run.

Nine batters into the game, Blackstone Valley Tech was still trying to get someone on base.

Amesbury ended up with nine hits in a 7-1 win over Blackstone Valley on Wednesday afternoon in the Division 4 Round of 16.

They will now face #9 Abington in a D4 Round of Eight game.

Trevor Kimball was the complete-game winner for #1 Amesbury.  The junior lefty struck out eleven Beavers and gave up only two hits.

Trevor Kimball

“I think it was my best performance all year,” said Trevor afterwards. 

The combination of Trevor’s pitching and the team’s hitting made it difficult for #17 Blackstone Valley.

“It’s tough to overcome seven runs against pitching like that,” said BVT coach John Burke afterwards.

“My best pitch today was my breaking ball,” said Trevor.  “I threw it as a secondary pitch for a lot of strikes.  My fastball was moving good, and it was missing bats.”

The Amesbury batters gave Trevor runs to work with right from the start.

Jake Harring (3 hits) singled to open the Amesbury first and Shea Cucinotta tripled to the fence in right scoring Jake.

Coach Joel Brierley and Coach John Burke

In the second inning Cam Stanley reached on an error and took second on a messed-up pickoff attempt.  Another Jake Harring single delivered Cam.

Amesbury sent up nine batters in the third inning and added four more runs.  Trevor Kimball, Will Arsenault, and Jake Harring (2) had RBI for Amesbury.

After three innings, Amesbury led 6-0 and Trevor had yet to give up a hit.

Tade Riordan put an end to the no-hitter with a long double to left leading off the fourth inning.  Tade reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Corey Magill’s sacrifice fly.

Tade Riordan scores for Blackstone Valley Tech

Nick Laflamme also had a hit in that inning. 

The last three innings the Beavers were held hitless and only one batter reached base.

Aiden Donovan scored twice

Trevor had six strikeouts over the final three innings including the last four batters he faced.

“Trevor pitched the best game I’ve ever seen him pitch,” said teammate Drew Scialdone post-game.  “When you’re going like he was you’re going to win games.”

Aiden Donovan scored Amesbury’s seventh run on a Cam Stanley sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

“We came out swinging today and Jake and Shea set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Coach Brierley afterwards.

Jake Harring

Jake Harring led Amesbury with three hits and three RBI.

“We had a good crowd, and we were able to string hits together,” explained Jake.  “I like to sit on fastballs early in the count.  If they give it to me, I try to pepper it to any part of the field.”

Aiden Donovan and Cam Stanley both scored twice for Amesbury.

“My arm is a little sore and I’ve got a headache,” said Trevor afterwards.  “It’s hot but we got the win and that’s what counts.”

“We’ve got to take it one game of a time,” said Drew Scialdone.  “We’re playing our best baseball at the right time.”

Blackstone Valley is located in Upton and play in the Colonial League.

Blackstone Valley    0   0   0   1   0   0   0   =   1

              Amesbury   1   1   4   0   1   0   –    =   7

Blackstone Valley Tech unofficial box

Amesbury unofficial box

Shea Cucinotta drove across the first Amesbury run

2B Tony Rose

Drew Scialdone tripled during Amesbury’s four-run third inning

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Triton rallies by Foxboro 10-6

Triton celebrates Round of 16 victory

(Byfield) It’s that time of year.

There were close plays.

Peyton Feldman tries to avoid the tag of Triton catcher Haleigh Harris

There were controversial plays.

There were tears and there were adults yelling at each other afterwards.

It’s tournament time. 

The early rounds were over and now the higher seeds were facing each other with high expectations.

And when today’s Division 3 (Round of 16) Foxboro/Triton game was over, Coach Alan Noyes first words were, “How about them Vikes!”

The Vikings had just defeated #9 Foxboro, 10-6, on Tuesday afternoon.

#8 Triton was overmatched by Foxboro starter Emma Callahan for four innings getting only two hits.

Foxboro celebrates during their four-run third inning

The Warriors aggressive style at the plate produced runs (six of them) but also ended the third, fourth, and fifth innings with outs on the bases. 

Those inning-enders didn’t seem all that important at the time because after 4 ½ innings Foxboro had a 6-0 lead while Triton had only two hits.

Skylar Colburn – 3 hits

But in the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Vikings put on a hitting show.  They whacked seven hits and scored ten runs.

“That ten-run inning was the high this year,” said Coach Noyes afterwards.

It was a nightmare inning for the team from the Hockomock League.  There was a walk, a hit batsman, two infield errors, and several other plays that just didn’t go Foxboro’s way. 

The Warriors, however, had time to cut into their 4-run deficit, but the Triton defense wouldn’t allow it. 

In the Foxboro sixth, shortstop Kyla Story handled three hard-hit grounders flawlessly. 

Shortstop Kyla Story

“That was the best game I’ve had out there,” said Kyla afterwards.

In the Foxboro seventh after a leadoff single, 2B Maddy Jacques fielded a grounder, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.  1B Skylar Colburn handled the game’s final out unassisted.

“It was one of the best defensive games we’ve played top to bottom,” said Triton catcher Haleigh Harris post-game.

Sophomore Mallory Johnson came on in relief in the third inning and ended up with the win as the Vikings rallied.

Mallory Johnson got the win for the Vikings.

“I have two excellent pitchers,” said Coach Noyes.  “We’re not here without the both of them.”

“I just threw outside fastballs over and over again,” recalled Mallory.  “If it hadn’t been for the defense behind me, it would have been a completely different game.”

The Warriors (12-10) had a two-run double (Emma Callahan) and a two-run single (Meg Kelley) in their four-run third inning.

Peyton Feldman had an RBI in the fourth while teammate Ava Hill had one in the fifth.

Emma Callahan paced Foxboro with three hits.

Almost all of Triton’s positive stats were in their explosive fifth inning.  Skylar Colburn and Grace Romine had two hits in the inning.  Grace also had two RBI in the inning.

Skylar collected four hits two days ago and three hits today against Foxboro.

This game was filled with close plays.  Not everyone was pleased with the calls.  Both coaches got onto the field to seek explanations for on-the-field decisions by the officials. 

Shortstop Peyton Feldman made some good plays for Foxboro.  2B Vittoria Cuscia made a nice catch in foul territory in the first inning.

2B Vittoria Cuscia makes a nice catch in the first inning

One of the plays that Coach Noyes referenced afterwards was centerfield Izzy Oldini getting into the infield to tag out a runner at second to end an inning.

CF Izzy Oldini tags out Ava Hill in the fifth inning.

The weather was good although the wind had the dust flying.

The Triton boys/girls lacrosse teams were on hand late in the game to encourage the school’s softball team.

Foxboro   0   0   4   1    1   0   0   =    6

    Triton   0   0   0   0   10   0   –   =   10

Triton boys lacrosse team watching the game

Emma Callahan had three hits for Foxboro

Triton unofficial box

Foxboro unofficial box

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Brady Ford’s 3-run homer key in Newburyport’s 4-1 win in D3 tourney over Tantasqua

Brady Ford greeted by teammates after 3-run homer in 6th inning
Jack Fehlner

(Newburyport) It wasn’t what he intended but he’ll take it.

“I was trying to go to rightfield, but I hooked it around a bit and caught more than I expected, and it decided to carry,” said Brady Ford.

The shorter version, according to Jack Fehlner, was that “Brady hit a bomb.”

That unintentional bomb to left turned into a three-run homer in the sixth inning and spelled the difference in the Clippers 4-1 win over Tantasqua on Monday afternoon.

#10 Newburyport will face #7 Hudson at Hudson in the Division 3 Round of Sixteen later this week.

Today’s game was scoreless into the bottom of the sixth. 

The Clippers, in fact, didn’t get a baserunner until the fourth inning against freshman starter Miles Blake. 

Miles Blake

Miles worked his way out of a base-loaded situation in that fourth inning getting Owen Tahnk to fly out.

The #23 Warriors (17-5) ran into two outs on the bases in their half of that fourth inning.

An infield error and two walks put Newburyport in a very promising one-out situation in the fifth inning.  But Tantasqua coach John Leroux brought on Joe Amaru and he recorded an infield popup and a strikeout to douse that fire.

“We kept getting guys on base,” recalled Newburyport coach Mark Rowe.  “You felt that something eventually was going to happen.”

And it did happen in the sixth inning.

SS Luke Stallard

Luke Stallard was hit by a pitch and went to third with one out on Max Puleo’s single.  Owen Tahnk followed with a single that gave the Clippers the lead. 

Now with two runners on, Brady Ford delivered a three-run homer.

The distance to the fence may only be 300 feet but the high fence adds significantly to the difficulty of hitting one out in that direction. 

But out it went, and the Clippers had a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“It was my first varsity homer,” said Brady who is a senior.

The Warriors were now down to their last three outs, but they did anything but go quietly. 

Twice in the seventh inning, they had the tying run at the plate.  And twice they hit long flies.  One turned into a run-scoring single (Henry Blake) and the other was caught by RF Jack Sullivan close to the fence to end the game.

Henry Blake

“They were timing me up pretty good in that last inning,” said winning pitcher Jack Fehlner afterwards.

“But we did what we needed to do,” Jack added, “and it was a great team win.”

“It was a back-and-forth game,” said Coach Leroux.  “They just got the clutch hits when they needed them.”

Coach Rowe was pleased with the win but not as pleased with some of the at-bats his team had.  “I feel as though we should have challenged them more,” he said.  “There were too many lazy flyballs and strikeouts.”

Shortstop Luke Stallard was smooth on grounders and was in the middle of the two Warriors caught on the bases in the fourth inning.

“I just did my best to make the plays and keep my team in the game,” said Luke afterwards.

Caught in a rundown

Talking about his freshman starter, Coach Leroux said, “He’s going to be very good in the future for us.  I would have liked to have pitched him longer today, but he was on short rest from our tournament game the other day (5-1 win over Boston Latin).

Senior Jack Fehlner was the complete-game winner.  Jack gave up four hits with no walks.

Devin Krochmalnyckyj, Jack Rapose, Jack Ricciuti, and Henry Blake had the hits for Tantasqua.

The weather was marvelous.

     Tantasqua   0   0   0   0   0   0   1   =   1

Newburyport   0   0   0   0   0   4   –   =   4

Newburyport unofficial box

Tantasqua unofficial box

Play at third base

Waiting on a pitching change

Hunter Normandin scores the Tantasqua run in the 7th inning

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Triton advances with 16-4 win over Cardinal Spellman in D3 Round of 32

Cardinal Spellman catcher Roslyn Quinn set to apply the tag at home
Emma Penniman pitched a 3-hitter

(Byfield) Triton’s good contact and Cardinal Spellman’s defensive struggles were key factors in the Vikings 16-4 win on Sunday afternoon.

#8 Triton (16-5) now advance in Division 3 to the Round of 16 and will have another home game on Tuesday (4PM).

“We had timely hitting today,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes afterwards, “which we haven’t had for a few games.”

The Vikings rapped out twelve hits in a game that ended in the bottom of the fifth inning after an RBI single by Maddy Jacques moved the spread to twelve runs.

“They hit the ball in play,” said Coach Mike Gerrish of Cardinal Spellman.  “They made things happen.”

Skylar Colburn had four of Triton’s twelve hits

The #25 Lady Cards (11-13) were gifted to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  A dropped foul pop and an infield error extended Cardinal Spellman’s at-bats and they made the Vikings pay.  Ava Loud had an RBI single in that inning.

Triton quickly answered taking advantage of three walks and a throwing error.  Haleigh Harris had a two-run single, and Skylar Colburn (4-for-4) drove in another run in the Vikings four-run response.

What looked to be, at this point, a high-scoring game in the making did not go that way.  Triton starter Emma Penniman settled in, and the Vikings defense was flawless the rest of the game.

Things didn’t go as well for the Lady Cards.  The defensive struggles continued (seven errors over the next 3+ innings by my count) and Triton continued to get hits. 

Ball loose in the Lady Cards’ infield

“They put pressure on us with the bats,” said Coach Gerrish. “We made mistakes at costly times.”

The Vikings added three in the second inning and blew things open in the fourth with seven more runs.  In that fourth, Kyla Story had two hits and two RBI.  Maddy Jacques also had two RBI and teammates Mallory Johnson and Haleigh Harris added one RBI each.

Lucy LaCara scores in the first inning

Cardinal Spellman kept the Mercy Rule from kicking in by getting two runs in the top of the fifth inning.  Emma Barnes and Ava Loud had RBI for the team from Brockton.

Maddy Jacques’ (two hits & 3 RBI) drove Grace Romine in to give Triton the walkoff win in the fifth inning.

“Emma Penniman didn’t have her best stuff, but she battled,” said Coach Noyes.

Emma gave up three singles (Emma Barnes, Ava Loud, Casey DiMastico) and had five strikeouts in five innings of pitching.

“I was nervous going into this game because they (Cardinal Spellman) are a really good team,” said Emma afterwards. 

Emma Penniman scored twice

“My fastball and my curve were working today,” she added.

Sophomore Skylar Colburn was the hits leader getting four including a double.  She was the one wearing the Vikings headgear afterwards.

“I had a hit every time I batted,” Skylar said post-game. “I don’t know why.  I just had a good day.”

Izzy Oldini and Kyla Story both scored three times.

Maddy Jacques, Mallory Johnson, and Haleigh Harris each had three RBI.

A line drive off Ava Loud’s thigh in the fourth inning necessitated a pitching change for Cardinal Spellman.  Ava Nabstedt filled in the rest of the game.

The weather, in the low 70s, was as good as it gets.

Cardinal Spellman   2   0   0   0   2   =   4

                      Triton   4   3   0   7   2   –   16

Cardinal Spellman unofficial box

Triton unofficial box

1B Lucy LaCara

Haleigh Harris scores Triton’s fourth run

Casey DiMastico and Maddy Jacques

Reghan Haley

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