Monthly Archives: April 2013

Evan Habib pitches 3-hit shutout as Newburyport downs Ipswich 3-0

Evan Habib congratulated by catcher Connor Wile after pitching a 3-hit shutout against Ipswich

Evan Habib congratulated by catcher Connor Wile after pitching a 3-hit shutout against Ipswich

Connor Wile races home with the third Newburyport run

Connor Wile races home with the third Newburyport run

(Ipswich)  Evan Habib tossed a 3-hit shutout as Newburyport defeated Ipswich, 3-0, on a very pleasant Tuesday afternoon.

Evan (making his second start) permitted only one runner to reach second and issued only two walks.  The defense behind him was flawless.

The Clippers (4-4) took advantage of four Tigers errors to get the runs needed for the win.

Ipswich pitching (Ryan Law and Sean Whooley) was solid and allowed only four hits but the defense did in the Tigers (2-6).

Newburyport picked up it’s first run in the third inning.  Three Ipswich errors (Josh Guertin, Sean Whooley, Mike Savoie) set up Ian Michaels for the first Clippers score.  On Colton Fontaine’s single to deep short, Ian reached third and kept going home as the throw from short to first was low.

Colton Fontaine ready to put the tag on Alex Amoroso

Colton Fontaine ready to put the tag on Alex Amoroso

This was a one-run game into the top of the sixth inning with the outcome far from figured out.

In the sixth, Ipswich starter Ryan Law gave up a single to Colton Fontaine and a walk to Connor Wile.  Ipswich coach Gardy O’Flynn brought in Sean Whooley to replace Ryan.  Sean got Colby Morris to pop out but next batter Connor MacRae lofted a long fly to right center.  Rightfielder Austin Rubino raced after it but the ball bounced off his glove and both Colton Fontaine and Connor Wile crossed home.  Connor MacRae ended up at third.

Connor MacRae had two hits.

Connor MacRae had two hits.

In Connor MacRae’s two previous at-bats he had singled down the rightfield line each time.  In the Connor’s third at-bat (in the sixth inning), rightfielder Austin Rubino was positioned closer to the line.  That placement cost him a couple of steps as Connor’s deep fly went to right center.

Sean Whooley was able to get the next two batters (Mike Sweeney and Ryan Furlong) to ground out.  The damage, however, had been done.

The Tigers had tough luck in the fourth inning after Alex Amoroso singled and reached second on a passed ball.  Alex was on the move toward third when teammate Henry Sacco hit a grounder directly to third baseman Colton Fontaine.  Colton had plenty of time to tag Alex and then throw to first to complete the double play.

Ipswich has now lost four of their last five.

Colton Fontaine and Connor MacRae each had two hits for the Clippers.  Colton also had two stolen bases.

Jordan Thibault

Jordan Thibault

Alex Amoroso, Jordan Thibault, and Austin Rubino had singles for Ipswich.

Newburyport turned a 5-4-3 double play to end the third inning.

The Tigers had a double play in the fourth when shortstop Mike Savoie speared Ryan Furlong’s liner and Connor MacRae was picked off second to end that inning.

The weather was terrific for late April.

This game took less than two hours to play.

On Thursday Newburyport will host Manchester-Essex while Ipswich visits Triton.

Newburyport boxscore

Ipswich boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ian Michaels scores the first NHS run

Ian Michaels scores the first NHS run

Henry Sacco

Henry Sacco

Newburyport coach Steve Malenfant

Newburyport coach Steve Malenfant

Brian Fiascone handles the middle of a 5-4-3 double play.

Brian Fiascone handles the middle of a 5-4-3 double play.

Sean Whooley

Sean Whooley

Connor Wile chases an infield nubber

Connor Wile chases an infield nubber

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Triton stuns undefeated Amesbury 4-3 in Cape Ann League softball

Casey Ross scores the eventual game-winner for Triton

Casey Ross scores the eventual game-winner for Triton

Mara Spears allowed six hits and retired the last seven Amesbury batters

Mara Spears allowed six hits and retired the last seven Amesbury batters

(Amesbury) Amesbury fell from the undefeated ranks as surprising Triton upset them, 4-3, on a lovely Monday afternoon of Cape Ann League softball.

Triton (4-4) has now won four of their last five games and have certainly come a long way since their, 12-2, nonleague loss to Amesbury in the opener on April 10th.

The Indians (8-1) were coasting through five innings thanks to pitcher Carolina Merrill.  Triton was hitless and she had allowed only two baserunners on walks.  Amesbury had built up a 3-0 lead and looked completely in charge.

But visions of a no-hitter ended in the sixth inning.  Pinch hitter Rose Gaffin hit a leadoff single to left and Alexa Reilly ran for her.  That was the end of the no-hitter.

Amesbury’s three-run lead also disappeared before that sixth inning was over.  Three errors (Lauren Fedorchak, Cassie Schultz, Autumn Kligerman) opened the door for the three Vikings runs that tied the score.

On the first error (drop of a throw) it took an overrule by the home-plate umpire or there would have been a forceout at second base.

The second error was a throw after picking up a bunt try that went past first into right field.  Alexa Reilly beat the throw home…..somehow, for Triton’s first run.

Autumn Kligerman prepares to throw to first during the Vikings 3-run sixth inning

Autumn Kligerman prepares to throw to first during the Vikings 3-run sixth inning

The Indians looked to be out of the inning with a 3-1 lead in place but a two-base throwing error enabled both Mara Spears and Rylee Culverwell to cross with the runs that tied the score.

Now tied going into the seventh, the Vikings pushed across what turned out to be the winning run.  Julia Hartman singled to left with one out.  Casey Ross ran for Julia.  Alexa Reilly sacrifice bunted Casey to second with two outs.  Mara Spears singled into right field and Casey Ross was able to score before Mara was thrown out trying for second.

On that run-scoring play, Mara’s single reached rightfielder Jenna Bartley in a hurry.  Her quick throw in was cut off by pitcher Carolina Merrill who appeared to have a good shot at the baserunner trying to score.  But the throw instead went to second (getting Mara) as the run scored.

Pitcher Mara Spears retired the Indians in order in the bottom of the seventh to notch the win.  Mara, in fact, retired the last seven Amesbury batters in order.

Alexi Boswell reaches third

Alexi Boswell reaches third

Amesbury scored their first run in the second inning.  Alexi Boswell (two hits/two runs) tripled to left with one out.  Amanda Schell drove Alexi home with a single to right.  The Vikings escaped further damage that inning when Erin Leary lined to short (Kelsey Trudel) and Cassie Schultz was picked off second after the catch.

The Indians would add two more runs in the fifth inning.  Alexi Boswell singled down the thirdbase line then reached third after a steal and a sacrifice bunt.  Erin Leary blooped a single over the pitcher to score Alexi with two outs.  Erin would then score Amesbury’s third run when Ashley Valme’s high fly to right center was dropped when  Vikings rightfielder Cara Orlandi collided with centerfielder Rachel McCarthy.  Next play, however, Rachel made a nice running catch in left center to get the Vikings out of the inning.

Mara Spears has been a key to Triton’s turnaround.  In the 12-2 loss in the opener she allowed thirteen hits.  This time around there were only six hits and none in the last 2 1/3  innings with the game on the line.

There was a scary moment for Mara and the rest of us on hand.  In the bottom of the fifth, after Amesbury had scored a couple of runs, Mara threw a pitch and crumpled to the ground.  It looked serious and having seen Cori Simons down and out five days ago you feared the worst.  However, Mara got up, got some medical counsel, and resumed not allowing a base runner the rest of the way.

Carolina Merrill allowed only three hits and one earned run

Carolina Merrill allowed only three hits and one earned run

Carolina Merrill deserved a better fate.  The talented senior surrendered only three hits and one earned run.  Her normally defensively reliable teammates let her down in Triton’s 3-run sixth.

Ashley Valme and Alexi Boswell each had two hits for Amesbury.

Besides pitching the six-hitter, Mara Spears had a hit, scored a run, and had an RBI.

Cara Orlandi and Peyton Hunt tried to bunt with two strikes on them in the fifth and ended up striking out.

Third baseman Rylee Culverwell and catcher Julia Hartman had trouble with Autumn Kligerman’s bunt in the fourth inning.

The last time Amesbury lost was June 3, 2012 to Danvers (2-0) in the Division 2 North quarterfinals at Danvers.

Cori Simons was a frustrated spectator for Triton.  She hopes to get back playing before too long.

Alexa Reilly about to score on a very close play

Alexa Reilly about to score on a very close play

Next for Triton is hosting Lynnfield on Wednesday.  On the same day Amesbury travels to Newburyport.

Triton boxscore

Amesbury boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Autumn Kligerman eyes a foul fly

Autumn Kligerman eyes a foul fly

Collision course in the Vikings outfield

Collision course in the Vikings outfield

Mara Spears down

Mara Spears down

Julia Hartman

Julia Hartman

Lauren Fedorchak and Jenn Bartley chase a foul ball

Lauren Fedorchak and Jenn Bartley chase a foul ball

Shortstop Amanda Schell fires to first

Shortstop Amanda Schell fires to first

Alexi Boswell steals second

Alexi Boswell steals second

Rylee Culverwell and Julia Hartman pursue a bunt

Rylee Culverwell and Julia Hartman pursue a bunt

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Solid defense and pitching get Newburyport past Pentucket 6-2

 

Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo sends Molly Stanton home in the seventh inning.

Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo sends Molly Stanton home in the seventh inning.

Vicki Allman struck out nine batter and issued no walks.

Vicki Allman struck out nine batter and issued no walks.

(Groveland) Newburyport snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Pentucket, 6-2, on Friday afternoon at the Pines Athletic Field in Cape Ann League softball.

The Clippers (3-4) were flawless in the field.  It certainly helped that there were only three infield chances on the ground in the entire game.

Vicki Allman tossed a six-hitter with nine strikeouts for NHS.  She was able to get six fly-ball outs – five of them to centerfielder Lea Tomasz.  She allowed no walks.

It took a hit for the Sachems to get on base in this one.

Pentucket (1-7) had five errors and four unearned runs resulted, according to my unofficial count.

Miscues by third baseman Megan Haley and leftfielder Madison Newton enabled Lauren Singer and Meghan Stanton to register two runs in the second inning.

Meanwhile, Vicki Allman faced only nine batters during the first three innings.  Megan Haley did reach on a hits batsman in the second but was gunned down trying to steal on a throw from catcher Lauren Singer to shortstop Kendra Dow.

Megan Haley tags out Kendra Dow at third.

Megan Haley tags out Kendra Dow at third.

The Clippers picked up their third run in the fourth.  Lauren Singer singled and scored on Kendra Dow’s double.  Kendra was thrown out at third, trying to stretch that double, ending the inning, but NHS led, 3-0.

Pentucket broke through with a run in the fourth on consecutive doubles by sophomores Kassidy Kennefick and Maddy Ammon to lead off the inning.
Consecutive fly outs to centerfielder Lea Tomasz ended the inning.

In the fifth, Newburyport added a run to their lead.  A walk (Ashley Hodge), a double (Lea Tomasz), and an error on a hot shot by Carley Siemasko at Megan Haley at 3B produced the run.

The Clippers put up two more runs in the seventh to pad their advantage to, 6-1.  A triple (Carley Siemasko) and a walk (Vicki Allman) set the stage with one out.  Molly Stanton pinch ran for Vicki.  As Molly broke for second (trying to steal) the batter (Lauren Singer) hit an infield grounder.  Because Molly was running the throw to second was not in time.  The play wasn’t over.  Two errant Pentucket throws in a row (one to home) enabled two Clippers to score.

Kassidy Kennefick heads for home in the seventh inning.

Kassidy Kennefick heads for home in the seventh inning.

That five-run cushion came in handy for Newburyport in the seventh.  Mary Kate Corrado singled (Allison Knowles ran for her) with no outs.  Angelica Arredondo followed with an absolute screamer at NHS third baseman Meghan Stanton that the sophomore caught.

That grab was crucial because next batter Megan Haley whacked a double to deep center.  So instead of three straight hits the Sachems had runners on second and third.  Emmy Desjardins drove in Allison Knowles with a fly ball to left before Nicolette Kent was called out on strikes to end the game.

Pentucket played without 2012 Cape Ann League All Star Sydney Snow (sore elbow).

NHS catcher Lauren Singer threw out two runners attempting to steal.  She also scored two runs and had a hit and an RBI.

Sophomore Kassidy Kennefick made several nice plays at short.  She also had two hits and scored a run.

Lauren Singer is tagged out at home by pitcher Tyler Feeney.

Lauren Singer is tagged out at home by pitcher Tyler Feeney.

Tyler Feeney went the distance for the Sachems.  She allowed seven hits and gave up four walks.  The defense behind her?  You already know about that!

This was my first look at Molly Kelly (up for the JV’s) for Newburyport.  Molly had a single in the sixth inning.

Graduated Maddy Stanton was on hand to take this one in.

I had never been to this field before.  I realized once I found it that it was the site of the old Pine Speedway.  I spent quite a few college years’ Saturdays watching the races.  The track closed in 1972.

Next game for both teams is on Monday.  Newburyport will be at Manchester-Essex while Pentucket visits Lynnfield.

Mary Kate Corrado

Mary Kate Corrado

Mary Kate Corrado batted .456 last season.  No wonder she made the CAL All-League team.

Pentucket played four games this week.  In one of them, they knocked off previously undefeated (in the CAL) North Reading.

Newburyport boxscore

Pentucket boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sydney Snow

Sydney Snow

Vicki Allman gets rid of her mask after striking out the last batter of the game.

Vicki Allman gets rid of her mask after striking out the last batter of the game.

Meghan Stanton sets to throw to second baseman Jackie Krusemark

Meghan Stanton sets to throw to second baseman Jackie Krusemark

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Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket

Third annual visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

(Manchester NH) I made my third annual visit today to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I usually collect stats and then try to describe a game.  No need to do that at the AA level of the minor leagues because their websites have all that taken care of.

So instead, I go strictly to take pictures.  Action shots always have an interest to me but the big attraction is getting photos of prospects.

Ever since I got Bryce Harper two years ago when Harrisburg visited Portland I have assumed that the next phenom may turn up at an AA game.

I chose the New Hampshire/New Britain game because of the 10:35AM start.  The reason for the early game time is because NH is playing at Reading (PA) tomorrow night.  That’s a long bus ride!

Manchester is less than an hour away from the readership in the weekly newspaper (The Town Common) that I take pictures for.  Minor league baseball is an affordable, entertaining activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The weather was terrific for an April 25th morning – sunny with temps close to 60 degrees.

The two best players in this game were Alex Meyer and Kevin Pillar.  As is usually the case, I had never seen these players before so there is some mental scrambling needed to prepare.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Fortunately, Alex was the starting pitcher for New Britain.  Kevin was in the starting lineup as the leftfielder for New Hampshire.

I also wanted to get Danny Ortiz and Danny Santana of New Britain.

Alex Meyer is a 6-9, 23-year-old.  The Red Sox drafted him in 2008 but he wouldn’t sign even though they offered him a $2 million bonus.  He signed for that same number in 2011 when the Washington Nationals drafted him in the first round at #23.  Last November Alex was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span.

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex pitched six innings today to get the 4-1 win (his second) against the Rock Cats.  He gave up eight hits, one earned run, and had seven strikeouts.

When I first got onto the field I learned that the Twins had just moved from New Britain up to Rochester (AAA).  My Murphy’s Law mentality imagined that it was Alex……..but it wasn’t.

Kevin Pillar came from a Division 2 college background in California.  He had a 54-game hitting streak but the D2 level of competition minimized that achievement in the minds of major league scouts.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Kevin was drafted in the 32nd round by the Twins in 2011.  He did very well (.347 batting average in sixty games) in the Rookie League in 2011.

In 2012 he played at Single A and high Single A and had a monster year – .323 average/6 homers/91 RBI/ and 51 stolen bases.

The 24-year-old is also an excellent outfielder.

I would strongly suspect that both players will be at Triple A before the 2013 season is over.

Special thanks to Tom Gauthier (media relations director) for arranging my visit.

Here’s a look at some of the things I saw today at the New Britain/New Hampshire game.

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Danny Ortiz

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Bruce Pugh

Bruce Pugh

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

pre-game rocket launch

pre-game rocket launch

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Mark Sobolewski

Mark Sobolewski

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

Josmil Pinto

Josmil Pinto

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

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Triton defeats Newburyport in eight innings 10-7

Vicki Allman reaches third in the seventh inning after a 2-out, 3-run triple to tie the score.

Vicki Allman reaches third in the seventh inning after a 2-out, 3-run triple to tie the score.

(Newburyport) Triton survived a shaky seventh inning and went on to defeat Newburyport, 10-7, in eight innings on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon along the Merrimack River.

The Vikings (2-4) had a three run lead (7-4) with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but Vicki Allman cleared the bases with a triple to right center tying the score.

Big play in this game?  Triton pitcher Mara Spears threw a wild pitch to the next batter (pinch hitter Ashley Casellini) and Vicki Allman tried to score.  Catcher Julia Hartman retrieved the ball, tossed to Mara covering home, and Vicki was tagged out to end the inning.  If Vicki had scored the game was over.

Mara and Vicki head for the plate.

Mara and Vicki head for the plate.

Mara tags Vicki out to end the seventh inning

Mara tags Vicki out to end the seventh inning

Triton won the game with three runs in the eighth.  Cara Orlandi singled to left leading off. After a force-out by Mara Spears,  Rylee Culverwell, attempting to sacrifice bunt, ended up with a bunt single.  Both runners moved up on catcher Lauren Singer’s passed ball before Kylie Gilroy’s 2-strike single delivered Mara.  On Kylie’s RBI, Rylee ended up on third and Kylie took second on the throw.  A hard hit grounder by Kelsey Trudel with two outs overwhelmed second baseman Molly Stanton allowing two more Triton runs.

That three-run margin stood up nicely as pitcher Mara Spears retired the Clippers in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Cori Simons down with a leg injury

Cori Simons down with a leg injury

The exciting win may have been costly for Triton because Cape Ann League All-Leaguer Cori Simons injured her left leg in the fourth inning.  There was no collision involved, the talented senior was just going back to second after a pitch had been thrown.  Let’s hope/pray it isn’t serious. (I got an update this AM on Cori.  It appears to be strained ligaments.  She will be on crutches and could be back playing in a couple of weeks.)

Carley Siemasko and Vicki Allman pitched for Newburyport while Mara Spears went the distance for Triton.  The trio gave up seventeen runs but only five of the runs were earned, by my figuring.

Mara had six errors by her teammates while the Clippers pitchers had four errors by their teammates.

Newburyport put a single (Lauren Singer), RBI double (Ashley Hodge), and 2-run homer by Lea Tomasz together in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead.  Lea’s home run rolled to the fence in left field.

Kelsey Trudel had three RBI

Kelsey Trudel had three RBI

The fourth inning was a disaster for Newburyport as they gave up five runs.  The bad combination of three walks and two errors (Shelby O’Brien and Vicki Allman) was joined with a 2-run triple by Kelsey Trudel.

Down 7-3, the Clippers got a run back in the sixth.  An error by second baseman Kylie Gilroy extended the inning.  NHS had runners on first and third with one out.  Molly Stanton broke for second and was tagged out while Vicki Allman raced home.

In the bottom of the seventh the Clippers put three on the board to tie but Vicki Allman was tagged out going for the game winner.

Vicki relieved Carley Siemasko (making her first start) in the fourth inning with one out and five runs in.  The hard-throwing junior K’d Brittany Gallant and Rose Gaffin to end the inning.

Vicki cruised through innings 5-7 before the Vikings reached her for three hits in their big 8th.

Mara Spears slides home (safely) as Carley Siemasko waits for throw

Mara Spears slides home (safely) as Carley Siemasko waits for throw

Triton will host Pentucket tomorrow while Newburyport will travel to Pentucket on Friday.  Today Pentucket visited North Reading and gave the Hornets their first loss in Cape Ann League play.

Vicki Allman had three RBI while teammate Lea Tomasz had two RBI.

Vicki also had three hits and struck out six Vikings.

Rylee Culverwell, Cori Simons, Lily Anderson, and Cara Orlandi each had two hits for Triton.  Kelsey Trudel had three RBI for the winners.

Beautiful weather at Cashman Park after an overcast morning.

Newburyport boxscore

Triton boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Viking caught in a rundown

Viking caught in a rundown

Freshman Rylee Culverwell had two hits and scored three runs

Freshman Rylee Culverwell had two hits and scored three runs

Rylee Culverwell tosses to first to get Shelby OBrien

Rylee Culverwell tosses to first to get Shelby OBrien

Cori Simons

Cori Simons

Kendra Dow

Kendra Dow

Carley Siemasko

Carley Siemasko

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Amesbury rallies for two in the eighth to defeat Manchester-Essex 8-7

Adam Ivancic (00) is mobbed after scoring the winning run

Adam Ivancic (00) is mobbed after scoring the winning run

Tommy Connors drove in the winning run for Amesbury

Tommy Connors drove in the winning run for Amesbury

(Amesbury) Tommy Connor’s two-out single in the eighth inning gave Amesbury an exciting, 8-7, comeback win over Manchester-Essex on a very cold and windy Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League play.

Junior Andy Reidy pitched a complete game five-hitter and struck out fifteen Hornets.

ME coach Bob Garrett used four pitchers (Sean Desmond, Brandon Bartlett, Kevin Carter, Corey McCollum) and while they only allowed three hits among them, they also surrendered fourteen walks and hit four batters.

The walks and HBP’s enabled the Indians (3-2) to have baserunners and scoring chances galore.  The missing ingredient was timely hitting but that showed up in Amesbury’s two-run eighth inning.

In that inning, a two-base throwing error by shortstop Cory Burnham allowed John Pesci to reach.  John took third on a passed ball and scored on Adam Ivancic’s RBI single to left.  Adam took second with one out and third on another passed ball.  After a popout by Ben Cullen, for the second out, Tommy Connors was the batter.  Two innings earlier Tommy popped out with the bases loaded with two outs.  Not this time.  The Indians senior slapped a single to centerfield sending Adam home with the game winner.

Sean Desmond doubled in a run in the eighth

Sean Desmond doubled in a run in the eighth

The loss was a tough one for the Hornets because they had gone ahead by a run in the top of the eighth inning.  After Jake Fitzgerald singled with two outs, Sean Desmond reached the base of the centerfield fence with a run-scoring double.

But the Hornets (1-3) couldn’t hold the lead.

ME ended up with seven runs and got six of them in a wild third inning as they sent eleven batters to the plate.  The Carter brothers (Craig and Kevin) drove in two of the runs but the rest of them were unearned.  The Indians had three errors (Mac Short, Andy Reidy, Patrick Scanlon) and two wild pitches.

And there could have been more runs but Andy Reidy K’d Sean Desmond and Henry Gedney with the bases loaded to end that inning.

Amesbury stranded sixteen runners including the bases loaded in three different innings.

Another Amesbury run

Another Amesbury run

Ben Cullen and Devlin Gobeil each scored two runs for the Indians.

Devlin had an RBI grounder in the first inning.

In the third inning, both Zack Fitzgerald and Devlin Gobeil scored on a two-out wild pitch.

Brandon Bartlett’s wild pitch allowed Mac Short to score in the fourth inning.

A two-base throwing error by Cory Burnham enabled Ben Cullen to cross with Amesbury’s fifth run coming in the fifth inning.

A wild pitch by the Hornet’s Kevin Carter sent Devlin Gobeil home with the tying run in the sixth inning.

Manchester-Essex arrived late for the start of the game.  On a very cold, windy day those extra 15-20 minutes of waiting were tough to take.

Andy Reidy struck out fifteen Hornets

Andy Reidy struck out fifteen Hornets

ME qualified for the state tournament last season for the first time in twenty years.

ME will be hosting Rockport tomorrow.  Amesbury hosts Lynnfield.

I can guarantee you that Andy Reidy won’t be doing any pitching after going eight innings in cold weather.  I wonder how many pitches he threw?

You knew that the game was a “little long” when the Amesbury softball team was on hand for the end of the game.  They played and returned from a game in Rockport!

Amesbury boxscore

Manchester-Essex boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

John Pesci

John Pesci

Max Nesbit slides home

Max Nesbit slides home

Shortstop Cory Burnham sets to throw

Shortstop Cory Burnham sets to throw

Bob Gallagher and Gene Burnham

Bob Gallagher and Gene Burnham

Tommy Connors after his game-winning hit

Tommy Connors after his game-winning hit

Max Nesbit eyes a foul pop

Max Nesbit eyes a foul pop

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter

Amesbury bench

Amesbury bench

Tommy Connors gets some treatment

Tommy Connors gets some treatment

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Newburyport gets first win 9-5 over Saugus in baseball

Colton Fontaine had three hits and scored three runs against Saugus

Colton Fontaine had three hits and scored three runs against Saugus

Connor MacRae picked up the win for the Clippers

Connor MacRae picked up the win for the Clippers

(Newburyport) Newburyport picked up its first win of the season as they defeated Saugus, 9-5, on a lovely Thursday morning in a nonleague baseball contest.

Lefty Connor MacRae went the distance for the Clippers (1-2) allowing five runs (one earned) on five hits.  The senior K’d six.

This game was a struggle for both teams in the field.

Saugus (1-3) paid heavily for their miscues in the first two innings and fell behind, 7-0.  It was Newburyport’s turn late in the game to pay for their mistakes but the Clippers early advantage was too much for the Sachems to overcome.

Shortstop John Prentice (back on his heels) had trouble with two grounders

Shortstop John Prentice (back on his heels) had trouble with two grounders

The Clippers turned a nifty 6-4-3 double play in the first inning but that was the last time “nifty” would be used to describe either team’s defense.

Both teams had four errors and they were the costly kind.  Of the fourteen runs scored, four of them were earned by my figuring.  Equally stunning (shocking?) was the total inability of either team to throw out runners attempting to steal second.  Again, by my unofficial count, eleven runners were able to make that first-to-second move and there was never a close play!

There were also walks (five for each team) and several wild pitches.

You get the point: there were plenty of lowlights but for the home team it was Win #1 of the young 2012-13 season with plenty of games left to get better.

Shane Ripley starts his slide into third as Colton Fontaine waits for a throw

Shane Ripley starts his slide into third as Colton Fontaine waits for a throw

Tom Trainor pitched the first two innings for Saugus when Newburyport built a 7-0 margin.

Shortstop John Prentice had two-out boots in both innings that accounted for three of the Clippers runs.

Colton Fontaine reached the leftfield fence in the first inning driving home teammate Ian Michaels with the first NHS score.

Later in the second inning Tom Trainor walked in two runs and tossed a wild pitch to allow yet another Newburyport tally.

Down 7-0 after two innings I started to wonder if there might be a mercy rule in a few innings.  (Saugus had lost the day before to Danvers, 20-7, in a game both coaches stopped after six innings so that they would have pitchers available for today’s game.)

The Sachems picked up a run in the fourth inning.  Tom Trainor singled past short to deliver Dante Deltorto.

Dante Deltorto had two hits and pitched three strong innings

Dante Deltorto had two hits and pitched three strong innings

Dante Deltorto pitched innings 3-5 and limited the Clippers to one run and one hit.  But even that run (#8) was tainted as Colton Fontaine (3 hits/3 runs) was able to score from second on a fielder’s choice.  Give Colton credit for taking advantage of the Sachem defense.

Saugus added two runs in the fifth to close to 8-3.  Victor Dematteo’s sacrifice fly brought Shane Ridley (2 hits/2runs) home.  The throw home by rightfielder Ryan Short went past catcher Connor Wile out of play and another Sachems run (Peter Pulicari) was allowed home.

Two more Saugus tallies were recorded in the sixth inning.  Newly entered shortstop Caleb Stott threw away a 2-out, bases-loaded grounder and the Sachems moved to within three (8-5).

Shane Ridley pitched the Newburyport sixth.  Ian Michaels was hit by a pitch leading off.  Ian broke for second drawing a throw from catcher Victor Dematteo that sailed into centerfield allowing Ian to get third.  A Shane Ridley wild pitch enabled NHS to add an insurance run.

That four-run spread (9-5) looked tenuous in the Saugus seventh after the first two runners reached – one on a dropped throw by first baseman Travis Wile.

Nick Enos and Travis Wile near the end of the game

Nick Enos and Travis Wile near the end of the game

However, on the next ball in play Travis made a big defensive play.  Third baseman Colton Fontaine fielded a grounder and tagged the runner (Dante Deltorto) going from second to third.  However, Colton decided to also try and throw the batter out and his throw was in the dirt.  Travis made the block and prevented the ball from going out of play and giving Saugus another score.

Pitcher Connor MacRae then struck out Tom Trainor and got Nick Sweeney to pop to first ending the game.

Ian Michaels had a hit and scored three runs.

Catcher Connor Wile walked three times, had a hit, and scored two runs.

Dante Deltorto had two hits for Saugus and scored a run.

The weather was terrific for April – temps in the 60’s, with plenty of sun and a nice breeze.

Colton Fontaine caught in a sixth inning rundown

Colton Fontaine caught in a sixth inning rundown

The next game for both teams will be on Saturday.  Saugus is at Swampscott (10AM) while Ipswich will host Triton (10AM).

Saugus will be completely in the Cape Ann League next year.

Saugus in 2011-12 had enough wins in the Northeastern Conference to qualify for the Division 3 state baseball tournament.  They reached the D3 North semifinals where they lost to eventual state champ North Reading.

Newburyport was 15-6 last season.

Newburyport boxscore

Saugus boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Shane Ripley had two hits and scored two runs

Shane Ripley had two hits and scored two runs

Connor Wile reached base four times and scored two runs

Connor Wile reached base four times and scored two runs

Ian Michaels scored three runs

Ian Michaels scored three runs

 

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