(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers hung on to defeat Lynnfield, 3-2, at cloudy, windy Cashman Park on Monday afternoon in nonleague action.
Not until dangerous Mel Mancinelli’s pop nestled into Clipper second baseman Jackie Krusemark’s glove for the final out was this game a W for the home team.
The inning before (6th) Mel had slammed a very long triple to deep centerfield and in this at bat had teammates on first and third trailing by a run.
But the Clippers survived to win their season opener as well as an initial win for new coach Lori Solazzo.
For the Clippers. retiring Mel Mancinelli for the last out was important but maybe even more important was a throw from centerfielder Lea Tomasz to catcher Lauren Singer that nailed Julia Goldstein for the final out of the sixth inning. The Pioneers had to settle for two runs, and a tie score, in that inning.
Newburyport pushed across the actual game winner in the bottom of the sixth. Maddie Stanton singled to center and reached third after a passed ball and a fielder’s choice. Kendra Dow’s single to right drove Maddie home.
The Clippers picked up their other two runs in the 4th. The wind/dust seemed to catch up to Pioneer right fielder Julia Sheehan and she dropped a catchable fly ball off Beth Castantini’s bat and she reached third. Lea Tomasz scored the Clipper’s first run on the 3-base error. Later Maddie Stanton drove Beth across for run #2.
That 2-0 lead held up until the sixth when the Pioneers tied the score. Mel Mancinelli was delivered by Amanda McQueen’s single. Two wild pitches later Amanda was on third and from there came home on Jackie Whelan’s single.
Pioneer Amanda LaSpina was called out for runner interference in the 3rd against first baseman Molly Rowe while Molly was nailed with the same call interfering with shortstop Katie Rowe in the 4th.
Centerfielder Sarah Flood made a nice running catch in the 5th on Beth Castantini’s sinking liner.
Winning pitcher Beth Castantini finished with seven K’s getting at least one in every inning except the seventh.
The umpires had both teams hollering in the seventh inning as close plays went the wrong way depending on the sideline you were on.
Jackie Whelan scattered six hits for Lynnfield. She also drove in a run.
Lea Tomasz, Maddie Stanton, and Kendra Dow had two hits each for Newburyport.
Lynnfield (1-1) hosts Ipswich on Wednesday.
Newburyport (1-0) returns to Cashman Park on the same day to play North Reading.
Lynnfield probably should have guessed it wasn’t their day in the 4th inning when Jackie Whelan’s popup bounced off of Maddie Stanton’s glove into Beth Castantini’s.
April games at Cashman are always challenging. Today, however, was windier than usual and every now and then the infield dust would swirl toward the Lynnfield side of the field.
Former NHS coach Peter Murray was an interested spectator.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)