(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.
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.)