(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers (6-5) may have turned their season around with this one.
The Clippers beat a very good Rockport team, 3-2, at Cashman Park on Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League play.
(I did not arrive in time to fill out a scorebook but I did have my camera and will provide some commentary as well.)
Rockport (9-2) has already won Division 3 of the Cape Ann League but they have now lost two of their last three.
Newburyport, on the other hand, has been a disappointment. Last year the 17-5 Clippers found ways to win. This year the reverse has happened more times than expected.
That’s why the win over Rockport may be the signal of better days ahead. Here was a game in which pitching, hitting, and defense all clicked when needed and a game they could have been lost by Newburyport was won.
Winning pitcher Beth Castantini was several times within a pitch of walking in a run but it never happened.
The Clipper hitters put hits together early to grab a two-run lead and later came up with the game winner after Rockport had rallied to tie the score.
The Newburyport defense was also strong. There was a dropped popup but the team was mistake-free otherwise. Kendra Dow made several long/strong throws from short.
The most important Clipper play in the game was turned in by leftfielder Catherine Casellini. In one of the early innings, catcher Lauren Singer tried to nail a runner getting back to third. Her throw sailed over third baseman Maddie Stanton’s head……but there stood Catherine, where she was supposed to be, backing the play up. Catherine caught the errant throw and the run was saved.
And against a good team like Rockport, all those things had to be in place or the result would have been different.
Rockport’s Kristin Turner pitched well enough to win and the defense behind her, especially shortstop Gabby Muniz, was very good. However, with base runners all over the place Rockport never turned the makings of big innings into realities with a clutch hit or two.
And if you’re looking for just one reason for the Viking loss, pin it on base running. They made three outs on the base paths. One runner was picked off third, another was out by plenty at the plate, and the final out of the game was a failed attempt at stealing second.
A scary moment happened in the sixth inning when a sharp Lea Tomasz liner grazed off the top of the head of Rockport pitcher Kristin Turner. She and the rest of us were thankful that she was wearing a face shield.
The weather was downright pleasant at Cashman Park. What happened to the wind, mist, and temps in the 40s?
I learned at the game that Kristin Turner learned to pitch from her older sister who pitched for Beverly. The older sister now attends Salem State.
I thought that there might be some sort of on-site newspaper coverage of the game. However, when I checked the CAL schedule afterwards for today, I noticed that 10-1 Masco was playing 10-1 Amesbury at Amesbury today. I suspect that the details of that game will be extensively covered.
Rockport will host Amesbury on Wednesday, weather permitting. On the same projected rainy day, Newburyport is scheduled to visit Pentucket.
(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)