(Newburyport) Newburyport and North Reading opened their 2014 baseball seasons today……….sort of.
The Clippers and the Hornets played nine innings with a winner undecided. They will resume the 2-2 game at a later date.
This was a Cape Ann League contest with plenty of baserunners and plenty of scoring opportunities. The biggest lack was a big hit and therefore special credit goes to the pitching. James Nutter (Clippers) went seven innings and Scott Allan (Hornets) went eight. Mike Jayne finished for the Clipppers and Ryan Boucher for the Hornets.
Newburyport collected two runs in the first and were blanked the rest of the way. North Reading put up single runs in the 4th and 6th.
The visiting Hornets collected ten hits (two each for Scott Meija, Ryan Boucher, and Scott Allan) and stranded at least one runner in every inning.
The Clippers had nine hits (two each for Chance Carpenter and Caleb Stott) and stranded seven.
Newburyport picked up their only runs in the first inning. Chance Carpenter had a bunt single and Caleb Stott followed with a hit to right center. Both runners advanced on a wild pickoff attempt at second by pitcher Scott Allan. Ryan Furlong flared a two-out double to left scoring both teammates.
North Reading got a run back in the 4th inning. Keith Linnane singled to center, took second (no throw), and reached third on a wild pitch. Ryan Boucher doubled the Hornets catcher home.
The Hornets got a gift run in the sixth inning. Ryan Sanborn was hit by a pitch and then stole second with two outs. Scott Allan singled to right but a quick relay back to Travis Wile put Ryan Sanborn in big trouble. Ryan had rounded third with the original intent of going home. Halfway down the line he chose to head back to third. However, Travis’s throw sailed over third baseman Caleb Stott’s head allowing Ryan to recover and tally the tying run.
Two terrific defensive plays saved North Reading. In the Clippers’ fourth they got runners (Ben Ventura and Ryan Furlong) on second and third with no outs. NR had the infield in when Travis Wile lined a rope up the middle. Second baseman Shane Driscoll made a diving catch and then tossed to shortstop Blake Tamlyn-Hayden for the double play.
Newburyport threatened in the sixth inning. A Caleb Stott double and an error (first baseman Ryan Sanborn) put runners on first and third with two outs. Pitcher Scott Allan launched a pitch (to Travis Wile) wide and in the dirt that catcher Keith Linnane somehow stopped preventing a run.
The Clippers had two-out singles in the 9th by Travis O’Brien and Tom Isabel but Hornets’ centerfielder Colby Maiola (going to Assumption) nailed Travis trying to get to third on his teammate’s hit ending the inning.
Leftfielder Leighton Paradis made several running catches on flies hit by Colby Maiola.
The last time North Reading and Newburyport met was on June 4th at North Reading when the Clippers upset the Hornets (4-0) in the first round of the Division 3 North playoffs. Colby Morris handcuffed NR that afternoon. North Reading had beaten Newburyport twice during the regular season.
NR coach Frank Carey is in his 47th season with a lifetime record currently at 716-273.
Tom Day, Shane Driscoll, Colby Maiola, and Keith Linnane had one hit each for North Reading.
Catcher Keith Linnane is looking into junior colleges in the South to continue his baseball career next season.
Scott Webster, Ben Ventura, Ryan Furlong, Travis O’Brien, and Tom Isabel each had a hit for Newburyport.
The Clippers turned in a smooth 4-6-3 double play in the eighth inning.
Cloudy and colder as the game went on. Welcome to April baseball in these parts.
(The pictures above an below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)