(Rowley) The Rowley Rams evened their Intertown Twilight League final series with Manchester-Essex, 6-5, on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Eiras Field.
The ME Mariners won the opener of the championship series in Essex, 3-2, thanks to a seventh-inning walkoff run on Saturday afternoon. Caulin Rogers’ single drove across the game winner.
In Game 2, the Mariners battled back from a three-run deficit and went up 5-4 in the fifth inning. But the #2 seed Rams tied the score in the bottom of the 5th and tallied the unearned game-winner in the sixth.
The best-of-five series resumes on Wednesday evening in Essex.
No one person ever loses a team game. However, I’m not sure Mariners third baseman Alex Ray was buying that after his two-out boot enabled the Rams to push across their sixth run. CJ Ingraham’s grounder to Alex deflected off his glove and down the third baseline. Rowley’s Drew Carter, who had singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on Marco Luisi’s fielder’s choice, was on the move with two outs. If Alex cleanly fielded the grounder he had an easy, final-out, force out at third but the error occurred and Drew’s hustle allowed him to beat the throw home with the eventual game winner.
Joe White went the first four innings for Rowley. Adam Newell (winning pitcher) covered the fifth and sixth while Joe Martin earned the save with a hitless seventh.
Anyone at Eiras Field will tell you that the seventh had its moment of drama as Mariners’ second batter Brett Cahill hit a long out to right that was close to home-run distance. In an earlier at-bat the ME catcher had doubled off the rightfield fence. There was a bit of an incoming breeze in the seventh inning and instead of tying the game, a putout was recorded by Rams rightfielder Justin Bolla.
Manchester-Essex scored first (in the first) as Rory Gentile led off with a double to the leftfield corner, stole third, and came home on Caulin Rogers sacrifice fly.
The Rams (15-6-2 during the regular season) put up four runs in the second inning. Rowley turned a first-and-third situation into an unearned run. Catcher Brett Cahill’s throw to second (trying to get Cam D’Agostino) was low and Justin Bolla scored from third. An RBI double by Drew Carter and RBI singles by Mike White and CJ Ingraham delivered the other three runs for the home team.
ME (19-4-1 during the regular season) erased the 4-1 deficit in the fourth inning. Adrian Frattini doubled in two runs before an error by Rowley third baseman Koby Thibault (he threw wild to home) produced the tying run.
The Mariners (defending ITL champs) went in front in the fifth. Nate Bertolino reached third after a walk, steal, and fielder’s choice and scored on Mike Cain’s fly-out to center.
Down a run (5-4) in the fifth, it was Rowley’s turn to rally. A couple of two-strike hits (CJ Ingraham and Dmitri Hunt) did the damage. CJ led off with a single and stole second before Dmitri’s RBI single.
If Brett Cahill’s fly to right in the 7th was the longest out, Cam D’Agostino’s rope to center in the Rowley fifth was the hardest hit for an out in the game. Cam’s laser to center was right at CF Rory Gentile and he made the catch for the final out.
In the sixth, Rowley got the unearned game-winner and the series now becomes best two-out-of-three.
Ryan Marques went 5 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs for Manchester-Essex. Adam Philpott recorded the final out in the sixth inning.
Ian Buckley and Adrian Frattini paced ME with two hits apiece. CJ Ingraham, Cam D’Agostino, and Drew Carter did the same for Rowley.
Rowley had runners on second and third in the fourth inning but Ryan Marques retired Mike White, Nick Liguori, and Joe Esposito to escape damage.
The Mariners stole five bases while Rowley stole two.
The biggest outburst against an umpire was in the ME sixth when a very close play at first ended the inning without the runner from third scoring.
The last time I saw Drew Carter play (June 18, 2011) was at Fraser Field in Lynn at the D3 state title game that Newburyport won over Pioneer Valley. Drew made a huge defensive play at third in that one.
The last time I saw Rowley play was at Eiras Field two years ago when they defeated Rockport, 5-2, to win their first (?) ITL title.
The last time I saw Adrian Frattini he pitched Manchester-Essex past Newburyport to end the Clippers 18-game winning streak early in the 2012 season.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)