Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tom Ryan Returns to Newburyport

Tom Ryan reads from his upcoming book while Atticus relaxes.

Tom, holding Atticus, told stories of his days in Newburyport.

(Newburyport) My friend Tom Ryan took part in the Newburyport Literary Festival on Saturday at Jabberwocky.

Before a packed space, Tom discussed his Newburyport days as editor of The Undertoad as well as his first book, “Following Atticus,” which comes out in September.

This was an audience of mostly familiar faces for him and there were plenty of hugs and handshakes afterwards.

This was Tom’s debut in the book-promoting business but certainly not his last as he has a major publishing house (William Morrow) heavily committed to his book.  There will be numerous book-related appearances ahead for Tom/Atticus in the months ahead.

As usual, Atticus was on hand to steal the show, which wasn’t too difficult with so many dog lovers in the house.

I wrote in the last issue of The Undertoad, in jest, that I thought Atticus was the brains of that twosome.  The remarkable dog has certainly been the catalyst for much that has gone on in Tom’s post-Newburyport life.

My name surfaced in the presentation.  My recollection is that my name and “homophobe” came out pretty close to each other.  I’d rather it be said of me that my reading of the Bible has led me to the conclusion that the homosexual lifestyle is not something to be encouraged.

Later Tom talked about defending my right to present my views in his paper even when others told him he shouldn’t.  In my view, that makes him “tolerant,” and those who wanted to silence me, “intolerant.”

Further along he added, accurately, that we’ve been friends and still are.

This is what the cover of Tom's book will look like.

He told me a while ago that I appear in the book and it will be interesting to read in September in what context that might be.

My wife and I have gotten together with Tom in North Conway during the summer in previous years and that is likely to continue.  He has talked of coming our way (North Bridgton) and hiking there.  Hawk Mountain (Waterford), which I’ve climbed numerous times, would be good for such a hike in our area.

Anyhow, it was good to see Tom again and watch him continue forward, in what I like to call, “The Year of the Book.”

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Pitching and Defense Send Pentucket Softball Past Georgetown 6-1

Julianne Meehan gets some well-deserved congratulations from her Pentucket teammates.

Sarah Dickinson – two hits, two RBI, and two defensive gems

(Georgetown)  Pentucket (4-3) erupted for five runs in the sixth inning and defeated Georgetown, 6-1, in a CAL league game on Friday afternoon.

The pitching of Pentucket’s Julianne Meehan and Georgetown’s Sarah Erlandson was impressive.  About the only swatting was of the ever-friendly gnat population by everyone in attendance.

Julianne had eleven strikeouts while Sarah collected fifteen.  Each pitcher allowed only four hits.

The difference between them was walks.  Julianne gave up just one (in the first inning) while Sarah gave eight free passes.

A deadly combination of walks (4) and wild pitches (3) along with an error and two hits did in the Royals in the sixth inning.  Sydney Snow and Colleen Jenkins were home on wild pitches before Sarah Dickinson’s single to left brought in two more.  Sarah would score the fifth run on an error by Kassi Barba at third.

The tough part for the Royals was that all this happened with two outs.

Sarah Erlandson – 15 strikeouts for Georgetown

Georgetown (2-2) had trouble mounting any sort of attack against the Sachems because of Julianne’s pitching plus some extraordinary defense.

The Sachem centerfielder set the tone in the first inning by running in and snagging a low line drive by Taylor Nelson.  If that ball gets by her, with two outs, the runner on base and possibly Taylor herself may have scored.

Later it was shortstop Sarah Dickinson’s chance to impress.  She ended the fifth with a diving stop to her left of Amy Cronin’s base-hit-in-the-making and got up and made the play to first.  She ended the 6th inning by again going left and taking a hit away from line-drive hitting Shannon O’Brien with a runner on.

Julianne closed things out in the seventh by fanning the side.

Georgetown got its only run in the fourth.  What looked like bad running by Sarah Erlandson (who had doubled) turned into a run.  After Shannon O’Brien struck out for the second out, Sarah broke for third.  A good throw by catcher MK Corrado gets Sarah out easily but the throw sailed into left and Sarah scored.

Pentucket also picked up a run in the fourth.  Second baseman Shannon Killian dropped Julieanne Meehan’s pop up and then the ball was thrown away (right to where I was sitting) and Julianne was awarded third.  A wild pitch brought her home on a close play at the plate.

I was introduced to something called the “look back” rule.  It led to Pentucket’s final out in the 6th inning.  The drift of it seems to be that if the pitcher has the ball in the circle, a runner has to continue in the direction she’s going.  Sounds like one of those dreaded judgment calls.

Shannon O’Brien – tripled to lead off the second inning

Shannon O’Brien led off the second with a triple for Georgetown to deep center but was stranded there.

Sarah Dickinson scored a run, had two hits including a double, and drove in a pair for Pentucket.

If you want to see a Georgetown softball game you have to be able to climb a hill.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  Errors are unintentional.)

Sydney Snow slides home in the 6th on a wild pitch with Pentucket’s second run of the game.

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Newburyport Takes Triton 2-1 in Softball

Cori Simons slides in under Cassie Davis while Molly Rowe backs up the play.

(Newburyport)  I hoped to take in/write about the Newburyport/Triton softball game this afternoon but was misguided by the online edition of the Newburyport Daily News to Byfield rather than Cashman Park.

Beth Castantini catches the final out for Newburyport

I did end up seeing almost all of the game and watched Newburyport (4-2) prevail, 2-1, in a Cape Ann League contest on Wednesday afternoon that was undecided until Beth Castantini, playing first, latched onto a last-out popup in the top of the 7th.

Beth at first base was a bit of a novelty by her account.  “I haven’t played there since, like, seventh grade,” I overheard her say during between-innings practice after she had taken over first.  She did fine there.  She handled a low throw from Maddie Stanton (3B) and later took in the final out.

Before that final out, the Vikings (2-5) had runners on second and third and were in excellent position to tie or even go ahead, but it didn’t happen.

Molly Rowe (six strikeouts) was the complete-game winner for the Clippers.  Marion Dullea (eight strikeouts) went the distance for Triton.

Rachel Webster heads for third after a long triple to center. Her pinch runner (Molly Sullivan) would later score what turned out to be the winning run with Eleni Kacher getting the RBI.

A long triple by Rachel Webster set up Newburyport’s winning run in the 4th.

Cori Simons scored Triton’s only run in the 6th.

(I take my own pictures and collect my own stats……as best I can.)

Taylor Summit takes the throw as Cori Simons slides into 2B

Everyone wanted to play!

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Blaise Whitman Leads Triton Past Newburyport 8-2

Winning pitcher Blaise Whitman scores a run in the decisive sixth inning.

(Newburyport) The visiting Triton Vikings did their part to slow the Clipper march to Coach Bill Pettingell’s 600th win by defeating Newburyport, 8-2, at chilly NHS on Tuesday in Cape Ann League play.

The NHS coach holds at 598 wins thanks in a large part to the pitching and hitting of 2010 CAL All-Leaguer Blaise Whitman.

Blaise pitched a complete game five-hitter with seven strikeouts.  He also hustled to cover first in the last inning to record the last out.

At the bat, Blaise was part of a seven-hit attack, going two-for-four, scoring a couple of runs, and driving in a run in the 4-run sixth.

That 4-run sixth pushed this game into the comfort zone for Triton as their lead increased to 7-1.

The Vikings (3-2) put up three runs in the first on Newburyport (5-2) as a walk by starter Brett Fontaine  and a string of errors turned into three runs.  Mike Fish drove in two of the runs with a double to left center.

The Clippers got a run back in the second as Sam Barlow’s single drove in Colby Morris.  However, NHS ran themselves out of possibly a bigger inning when CF Mike Fish gunned down Sam, for the final out, at second trying to stretch that single.

Triton left the bases loaded in the third as Brett caught Tim Cashman looking to end it.

Newburyport stranded two in the fourth as Blaise got a fly-out to left by Colby Morris for the final out.

The Vikings took a tenuous 3-1 lead into the sixth inning and came out of that inning with breathing room.

In that sixth with two outs, Triton put together two singles (Rich Fecteau & Blaise Whitman) and two doubles (Cam D’Agostino & Mike Fish) to collect four cushion-providing runs.

Coach Pettingell and the home plate umpire did not always see eye-to-eye on balls and strikes.

Now down 7-1, the Clippers got a couple of base runners before Blaise retired the very dangerous Ryan O’Connor on a ground out to end the threat in the bottom of the sixth.

Triton capitalized on reliever Drew Carter’s wildness (two walks and two wild pitches) in the seventh to get their 8th run scored by Ace Knowles.

A couple of walks by tiring Blaise Whitman led to an RBI single by Colton Fontaine in the last of the seventh.Weather conditions continue to be tough to take.

No rain but the faithful experienced a persistent breeze with temps in the low 50s.  Winter clothing would have made perfect sense.

The Clippers were probably convinced that it wasn’t their day in the bottom of the 6th.  David Cusack hit a very high popup in front of the Newburyport dugout.  Tim Cashman raced in from third and had the ball bounce off his glove into the hands of the Viking’s hustling catcher Cote Wolcik.

Blaise Whitman and Mike Fish had two hits apiece.

Drew Carter led the Clippers with two hits.

The wind may have kept a deep fly to center in the first in the park hit by leadoff batter David Cusack.  Also in the first, Ace Knowles’ popup, that fell between fielders for an error, appeared to be wind influenced.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures and try very hard to be accurate.)

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Undefeated Amesbury Softball Hangs on in Newburyport 10-9