(Amesbury) In years to come, when the talk around the water cooler turns to the Ipswich Tigers’ 2013 season, I strongly suspect that their games with Amesbury will get mentioned.
Why? The Tigers defeated Amesbury twice and didn’t allow a run in either game.
Today, was the second win as Ipswich (4-10) put pitching, hitting, and defense together in a perfect package and shut out Amesbury, 4-0, on a cool Tuesday afternoon of Cape Ann League baseball.
Ipswich starter Sean Whooley allowed just two hits (Zack Fitzgerald and John Pesci) picking up his second victory of the season.
Sean struck out just one batter so the outs were made in other ways. On this day, the Ipswich defense made numerous big plays highlighted by a run-saving stab by leftfielder Ryan Silva in the corner off Mac Short in the Amesbury sixth.
The Tigers collected ten hits off of Amesbury’s first-time starter Devlin Gobeil getting at least one in every inning. Josh Guertin, Sean Whooley, and Austin Rubino each had two hits for the visitors.
Ipswich scored its first run in the second inning. Austin Rubino doubled to left with one out and came home on Eric Gongas’ single to center.
In the fourth inning, Sean Whooley singled, stole second, and reached third on a wild pitch. Ryan Law drove Sean home with a bullet single to center.
Despite all the hits, Sean Whooley’s pitching, and the tight defense, the Tigers lead was only, 2-0, through six innings. Let’s toss a cliché’ out here: it was still anyone’s ballgame!
But in the seventh Ipswich added two more runs. Josh Guertin was hit by a pitch with two outs. Josh then stole second and came home on Kyle Barber’s double over John Pesci’s head in rightfield. Sean Whooley singled to left bringing Kyle Barber in with the fourth Tiger run.
That four-run lead held up through the Amesbury seventh.
Amesbury (7-8) hit the ball hard a couple of times with nothing to show for it. Devlin Gobeil nearly reached the fence in straightaway center in the second but Ryan Law tracked it down. Twice the Indians lined to third baseman Josh Guertin. One of those line drives turned into a double play.
The heartbreaker for Amesbury, however, was Mac Short’s rope in the sixth. Tommy Connors was on first with two outs when the Amesbury catcher lasered a ball toward the leftfield corner. Ryan Silva had a great jump on it and stabbed it near the 344-foot sign to end the inning. If that ball lands, Tommy Connors would have scored and Mac Short would have been on second. The score would have been, 2-1, instead of 2-0 with the inning over.
Sean Whooley has now allowed two earned runs in nineteen innings. For those doing the ERA math at home: earned runs (2) divided by innings pitched (19) times nine, means that Sean’s current ERA is 0.74. That is awfully good!
In the first Ipswich/Amesbury game, the biggest play in the Tigers win was a seventh inning, game-ending catch in leftfield by Dan D’Agostino off the bat of, you guessed it, Mac Short.
Ipswich catcher Henry Sacco had his left arm in a sling. He injured the shoulder sliding into second in the Hamilton-Wenham game on Monday. Eric Gongas was the catcher for Ipswich in today’s game.
The Tigers have now won two straight after losing six straight and will face Rockport at Rockport on Thursday.
Amesbury will look to end a two-game losing streak at Manchester-Essex on Thursday.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)